Simplicity and Gratitude
Saturday, December 19, 2015
As the year winds to a close, I am made aware of how complicated our world is. We cling to images of childhood, toys, games, movies (yes, I did see Star Wars!), simple pleasures like a cookie or a cup of cocoa, mostly because we need to be reminded of a time when life was simpler. And in truth, it can be simpler if we let it. And it does not just have to be during the holidays. We can embrace a little simplicity anytime we like.
For my part – the multi-colored "happy lights” we often string up during the holidays are a welcome way to embrace simple joy, anytime. I leave a few strings up all year. And when I need to relax, I plug them in. I am also a fan of Legos, HO scale model trains, and stuffed animals. And I know it seems childish for a grown-up to play with such things, but it is part of a cultivated practice of staying connected with simpler things, both inside and out.
When the world gets to be too much for me, when the stress of holiday gatherings merges with my constant awareness of pain and suffering in the world around me, I know I need to go for a walk, have a cup of tea, play a game, play some music, cook a good meal, or just be silly. It does not stop violence in the world around me. It does not make wars cease, and people suddenly be kinder. But it stops the war in me, if only for a little while, and it makes ME be kinder. And that is a start.
So, embrace simplicity and simple joys. Not as a frantic effort to cling to the past, but as a way of being present in the now. Breathe deeply, consider a few things you can be grateful for even if your life is hard, and know that even though the world is complicated, you can choose to simplify. Even for a moment. It will help.
May the coming year be rich with blessing and wonder, and may we all find some of that simple joy. Thanks for your continued support of my music!
Happy Holidays to you and yours,
New Brother Sun CD:
We’re only a few hundred dollars away from our goal with less than 2 days to go! The CD will be released on or about April 1st. Thanks!
Joe’s Next Ireland Tour – October 3-12, 2016
I’ll be leading another music-focused tour in Ireland, October 3-12, 2016. This year’s trip was AMAZING! Thanks to all who participated. I still have some seats on the coach for next year, but they are going fast. If you would like more information, please send an email to email@example.com and/or reply to this note with Ireland 2016 in the subject line. I’ll send you the costs and a full itinerary. Many THANKS to John Smith and Jo Smith of Inishfree Tours, for all of their support and hard work!
Joe’s New Solo CD:
I’ll be in the studio the first week of January – finishing up the new Joe Jencks solo CD: Poets, Philosophers, Workers, & Wanderers! For those who ordered, THANK YOU! It will be worth the wait, I promise! Release date is hopefully in early February. For those who still want to order, you can do so on-line at: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/poets-philosophers-workers-wanderers#/