PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … December 21st, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3162)

pohymn-sunshine

Sun of the Beach

 

Sunshine, feeling fine

But what would I know?

Left my shoes at the beach

And then I stubbed my toe

 

Turned and cursed the guilty rock

Limped along an ocean block

Stumbled over a three-inch rut

Fell upon my big fat butt

 

A child laughed, I gave a glare

His mother frowned, I didn’t care

Me required some gentle look

That is what it would took

 

To keep me from killing the boy

Who bled and died near his toy

Had it coming! was my excuse

Went to jail, couldn’t refuse

 

Arrested I was for a natural deed

Curious how the farce would lead

A trial before a grumpy judge

Who gave the jury a threatening nudge

 

Convict the kid killer! he said

I realized I was surely dead

I removed my sock to display my toe

Swollen and sore–all aglow

 

Looking for someone kind

No sympathy did I ever find

Guilty, they said,

Pronounced me dead

 

Thus my song has been sung

Three days later I was hung

So here’s my conclusion, the bottom line

It’s best to stay clear of all sunshine

 

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A Barn Yarn… August 18, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1979)

barnMany years ago a music group of which I was a member in fair standing was invited to a rustic resort in Western Minnesota to put on a concert. The brochure provided to explain the services of this facility were very enticing.

  • Gorgeous cabins.
  • Swimming pools.
  • Hiking for those inclined.
  • And buffet lines, stacked with freshly grilled hamburgers, and sweet corn— steaming, salted and buttered.

Needless to say, this music group of which I was a part was very excited to go to the facility, which was offered to believers who had grown tired of worldly toil, and who wanted to escape the rigors of a demented society and spend three days listening to Christian music, with public speakers brought in from all over the country to fill them with spirit.

The joint was aptly named Christian Retreat.

unfortunately, upon arrival we discovered that the cabins had been booked up and all they had available was one small compartment, which would not be acceptable for three–especially since I was a male intruder. So the girls skipped off to their living quarters and I was escorted … to a barn.

Now, when they told me I would be staying in a barn, I assumed it was a euphemism for a rustic facility, but one still worthy of human habitation. Climbing the crest of a hill, what I beheld was actually a barn–an Amish cathedral–complete with hay, stalls, John Deere tractors and cattle with their south ends pointed to my north.

I did not complain. I found an area they had set aside for human occupation which included straw beds and a shower they had rigged with a spigot protruding from a pipe and a wooden frame to stand upon and a hole dug to drain the excess watery parts from people like me.

I was sitting on a bale of hay when I was interrupted by the arrival of another gent. He started talking. I point this out because from the point that he commenced speech, he never stopped. He explained that he was a farm hand. He told me how difficult his day had been. Within three minutes, I had the full description of his mother’s nasty divorce from her abusive husband which left him with a single mom, working very hard, but still on food stamps.

All during the discourse he was disrobing in front of me, preparing to take his nightly shower, with no embarrassment whatsoever, and was eventually standing buck naked from the curly top of his head and simultaneously beneath.

I am not comfortable around naked people. Matter of fact, I prefer “lights off romance.” If I were a nudist, I would constantly be apologizing, making excuses and informing everyone that I planned on starting a weight loss regimen next week.

Not this fellow. He turned on the spigot, climbed up on the boards and proceeded to suds himself repeatedly.

I did not know where to look, so I stared down at my shoes. When he asked me what I was doing, I explained that I was an amateur cobbler and that I was considering taking the steps to repair my own footwear.

At this point he climbed down from the boards, fully foamy, and walked over to eyeball my shoes, to see if he might be able to assist in the cobbling

I made eye contact–not because someone in a seminar told me to, but more or less for emotional survival. He made some suggestions which I cannot remember, turned the other cheek, climbed back up on the boards and resumed his bubbly process.

I finally had enough and excused myself, explaining that I needed to go set up for the concert–and I instinctively grabbed my gym bag on the way out, knowing that unlike Douglas MacArthur, I had no intention of returning.

After the program that evening, I headed towards our beat-up van, climbed into the back, put together a make-shift pillow and stretched out to go to sleep. My partners in music were concerned, and asked me why I wasn’t going back to my accommodations.

I thought about telling them about my encounter with the farmer’s son,” but instead replied, “I discovered I really DO have hay fever and don’t get along well with barn animals–especially when they talk.”

 

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Charlotte’s World … August 5, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1966)

charlotte drawing

She came to my table and presented me with a picture.

Her name was Charlotte Lee, she was nine years old, and she had graciously and beautifully drawn a portrait of Janet and myself during our performance in Suttons Bay, Michigan, yesterday morning.

I liked her art.

Maybe it was because Charlotte’s representation of me was much skinnier. Matter of fact, I almost look normal

She gave me hair (even though she was very faithful to portray my bald landing strip at the crown),

Very astutely, she made Jan look like there was a horn growing out of her head (which actually would be very helpful and practical for encouraging rehearsal).

It was also magnificent that she made our feet the same size and we were wearing identical shoes, which if you think about it, would be wonderful–because then we could buy footwear in bulk.

I appreciated the vulnerability she expressed by taking one of the images she had launched upon and scratching it out–yet leaving it behind to show us the evolution involved in the process of creating great work. We will never know what was beneath those scratchings, yet for generations perhaps, the critics shall muse and speculate.

Don’t you like the fact that she made us smile? No–they really aren’t smiles.  More like grins. A smile can be pasted on for convenience, but a grin says the face has been surprised.

I like Charlotte’s world. It’s full of good cheer, mercy for our size and appearance, practicality for shoes and admission of flaws–by leaving behind the remnants of first drafts.

As I think about it, all of those things put together may be a delightful definition of love.

Thank you, Charlotte.

And we also appreciate the fact that unlike many fledgling artisans, you didn’t object to distribution or fuss with us about royalties.

 

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about personal appearances or scheduling an event

Always Starting Over … January 13, 2013

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shoes

Above are the shoes I was wearing tonight as I set up my equipment at All Saints Lutheran Church in Tamarac, Florida. (All Saints Lutheran–you really have to admire a church that makes sure it doesn’t offend any divine possibilities.)

I took a picture of my shoes because they are a symbol of what I do. I travel. Perhaps many people would find that difficult, boring or even impossible to achieve, but the challenge I receive in journeying across this country enables me to put into practice a precious principle. For you see–I’m always starting over.

I can finish up sharing at one venue and make great friends, receive hugs and an occasional kiss on the cheek, but as soon as I climb back into my van and turn out of that parking lot, my next destination has absolutely no idea of the magnitude of the affection just extended my way–or, for that matter, how much I treasured the folks I encountered.

Each time I stop off, my shoes join me in being a stranger. My philosophy of life is constantly being tested, because rather than being continually surrounded by patrons, family, friends and beloved well-wishers, I am usually in the presence of cautious and even suspicious individuals, who are trying to figure out who I am simply by eyeballing the cut of my jib.

So if I don’t know who I am, I certainly will not be able to convince anybody why they should care. I will tell you right now that a good percentage of the problems in this country are due to the fact that we are all encouraged to have an overblown assessment of ourselves and our abilities, which, when put to the test, come up short, making us look like we’ve been freshly smacked in the kisser with a coconut cream pie. There is power in knowing who you are. There is also a great blessing in my life of having that identity continually questioned, so that in the process of reestablishing daily the factual nature of my true character, I also can bring glory to God by every once in a while sprouting a good work or two.

After I establish who I am, I am then given the gift of sharing why I am. Once I share why I am, I can answer the question that fills the heart of every human being. Why should I care?

If we all walk around this planet expecting props for the magnificent manner with which we breathe, we will eventually destroy one another because we feel offended by the lack of appreciation for our yet-undisclosed abilities.

I like starting over. It adds muscle, credence and intelligence to what I believe and teach. It means that my talent can win over my looks. It confirms that having heart is not a lost art in a society that boasts its indifference.

I will put on my shoes in the morning and go out to meet more people who don’t know anything about me except the propaganda written on a piece of paper, which many of them will never read and the rest rarely believe. If I don’t have a gift out of my soul to carefully place into their souls, I am of little use.

So tonight I will do three things:  (1) clean out the basement of my emotions of all unnecessary and unwarranted ego; (2) think about funny things so I’m ready to be of good cheer in the atmosphere of what could be sour dispositions; and (3) spend some time with my heavenly Father, feeling valued–just in case His human creation forgets to grant me that courtesy.

I can recommend starting over. Otherwise you live under the delusion that everybody around you is madly in love with you and thinks you’re the coolest person on earth. They really don’t. They’re just trying to do the best they can and would certainly welcome any overture on your part to make their lives easier.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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