|2/13/2018 1:59:00 PM|
Moments of magic
Faring thee well now
Let your life proceed by its own design
Nothing to tell now
Let the words be yours, I'm done with mine*
The world lost a couple of unsung giants last week - men who were outside the spotlight but who contributed mightily to the rich tapestry of American music.
John Perry Barlow was a cattle rancher and a "cyberlibertarian" activist - but most of all, a visionary and a poet; one of the two lyricists for the Grateful Dead. He died on February 7, at the age of 70 after a long illness.
Tom Wheeler was a Rolling Stone writer, editor-in-chief of Guitar Player Magazine, the author of several magnificent books on guitars and, most recently, a beloved professor of journalism at the University of Oregon. He died on Saturday, also at the age of 70.
My daughter made a magical connection with Wheeler just days before his sudden passing. They connected across the gulf of a couple of generations through a mutual love for music, musicians, and the written word.
Music does that. As columnist Jim Williams notes in these pages this week, music is never "just music." For many of us, it is as much a part of who we are as our blood and our bones. And it brings people together. We see it here in Sisters all the time. There's nothing finer than friends gathering to make and to listen to some homemade music with friends at one of Sisters' welcoming venues. And our community is blessed to have artists of extraordinary talent and power come to town regularly, where we can all bask in the profound joy of handmade art performed with passion and consummate skill.
In those moments, it doesn't matter where we come from, what our politics may or may not be, what we do for a living. All that matters is that magic is happening at that very moment in our town, in our lives, in our souls.
Music is the greatest builder of bridges we know of. And when the bridge-builders put down their tools and depart, we feel the loss keenly. It's left for us to pick up the tools and keep building those bridges as we bid the maestros well on their journey back to wherever it is that the magic comes from.
Wheel to the storm and fly.
Editor in Chief
* "Cassidy," by John Perry Barlow
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