Sunday, May 8, 2016

Why Stuff Matters To Me #001

After 400 weekly blog installments I was tired of the whole thing. It was becoming obvious that a lot of readers were ignoring what I wrote or skipping all of the songs and to me, that defeated the purpose of what I was doing. I've always had a lot to say and I wanted to continue writing. Not in an academic or scholarly sense, but as an outlet. In 2015 I spied a book in a bookshop (remember those?) called "Why AC/DC Matters". I don't need anyone to tell me why but the title got me thinking. Why does stuff matter to me? And by stuff I don't mean material possessions. My blog had been an attempt to share my passion for a wide range of music, why I wanted to listen to it and to encourage others to open their ears as well. Although it mutated into a diary, training log and personal expose at times, music was the glue holding it all together. The upshot is that I am starting a new series. Some of the topics have been in my head for ages and some are brand new. With a nod to the author of the above book, which I will read at some stage, welcome to my thoughts about why stuff matters to me. My closest adviser recommends that I keep each piece of writing under 500 words; let's see how I go!

A quick tune before I start…

Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd St Rhythm Band - Express Yourself -

The first thing that matters to me is being yourself. Or more specifically, being myself. It's often a throwaway line for self-help types and I intensely dislike that. To be yourself is difficult. Even though no-one else is like you most of us spend quite a lot of time trying to be something we're not. I always find it incredibly harsh when children are advised "just to be themselves" as they really haven't had time to work it out yet and they need to be allowed a chance to try on a few different skins. Something else to remember is that who you are should continue to develop over time. You shouldn't be afraid to listen to those who might recognise that your current self is worn out. It doesn't have to be anything huge; going bald meant I that I started shaving my head and it feels good not to worry about the shiny patch on the back of my head. I feel like a new person every time I finish with the clippers! Big changes are OK as well. In 2014 when the band went to Gamilaraay Country to play music I knew that I needed to do something better with my life; something with meaning rather than just having a job. Then when Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu and I visited afterwards this cemented my desire to do something different. I was fortunate enough to find a new job with a charity that allows me to work with people to put their lives back on track. As was pointed out to me on Tuesday night, helping is the wrong word but my liberation is caught up in theirs and I'm a much better person for it.

Rollins Band - Illumination -