Sunday, September 17, 2006

What’s Behind the Name?

Spring of the White Robin writes about how she, and we, all got into blogging. It made me think of a “first blog” that I never wrote. So here it is:

Ever since I heard Bob Dylan I felt drawn to those who put words to music. Growing up near Texas, and going to college during a time that the world was rediscovering Willie Nelson, I came upon lots of Texas songwriters. The one that stood out in my mind, when I sought to rediscover this type of music, was Guy Clark.

When I first heard the song, Boats to Build, it spoke to me in ways I can’t explain. It became my theme song for piecing my life back together at a time when it had fallen all apart.

It's time for a change
I'm tired of that same ol same
the same ol words the same ol lines
the same ol tricks and the same ol rhymes

Days precious days

roll in and out like waves
I got boards to bend I got planks to nail
I got charts to make I got seas to sail

I always felt I had things to accomplish and that I should get on with it. I poured myself into my school work, adopting a reading innovation. I worked with my staff and together our school began to take on a new look. We shared it with the School Board using a slide show of pictures of children reading and teachers working with groups. It was all accompanied by music that described what we had been doing:

I'm gonna build me a boat
with these two hands
it'll be a fair curve from a noble plan
let the chips fall where they will
cause I've got boats to build

We continue to improve our school and the instruction we provide students. Along with work I have found myself moving into other areas with the same type of gusto. I have become involved with a Methodist Church community that is a bit liberal. Liberal in their theology and in their inclusiveness, but very committed to making a difference in how the world treats people.

Sails are just like wings
the wind can make em sing
songs of life songs of hope
songs to keep your dreams afloat

I find myself committed to many causes that I once believed in, but fell away from, sometimes because it felt safe to be silent. Now, I am not so concerned about safety and more concerned about what WE do for each other and how it affects the future.

Shores distant shores
there's where I'm headed for
got the stars to guide my way
sail into the light of day

I met Guy Clark at the Wheatland Folk Festival in Michigan. I sat in on a guitar workshop with he and Verlon Thompson. He signed my Boats to Build CD. My wife says it is the first time she saw me speechless. And speechless I was.

Guy Clark paints pictures with song lyrics. Pictures of old time Texas and folk heroes. He crafts beautiful songs about things we see everyday and might take for granted. He wrote a song called the Randall Knife about a knife his dad once owned “when he went to war to save the world from ruin”. The song was written upon his father’s death. It is a song that touches me in a way that makes me cry every time I hear it. It is a song I love, but do not listen to often.

I’ve tried my hand at songwriting. I’m not too good, but I keep at it because it makes me feel good. I would love to write songs like Guy Clark. The road I travel leads to me to places that need my talents, song writing is not one. I dedicate my life to making a difference as I travel that road and with this blog I try to share a few thoughts that I have. Some of them are just for fun, yet some of them are intended to challenge the reader. Mostly it keeps me focused on trying to make a difference. Because I know:

I'm gonna build me a boat
with these two hands
it'll be a fair curvefrom a noble plan
let the chips fall where they will
cause I've got boats to build

--Guy Clark, Boats to Build

Hear Guy Clark and Verlon Thomas perform Boats to Build.

This is why the blog is called Boats to Build, and that is why I write about the things you find here. Enjoy. --Willi

Courtesy of Odd Mix and by invitation from Jay. This weekend’s words were touch and release.




Blogger Jay said...

Love the story about how you came to call your blog "Boats to Build"

I'm dying with laughter over the "release" pic. That's hilarious.

Glad you played. Be sure to go by Odd Mix's site when he posts tomorrow and let him know you played so everyone can come over and check it out.

Great stuff!

10:48 PM  
Blogger Biddie said...

Love the touch and release photos!

10:56 PM  
Blogger gawilli said...

Boats to Build is a great song. It fits you well.

Wheatland was fun, and it truly was the only time I can think of that you were completely speechless!

So does this make Cali a Blog Dog?

11:42 PM  
Blogger Swampwitch said...

Taking some time this morning to "venture out." Visting here from Spring of the White Robin and enjoyed reading why people blog. I had never even seen a blog until last month. Now, I have one, but I still don't know what I'm doing. Your post today is powerful and as I read to the bottom and saw the picture "Release" quite funny. Thanks for the smile this morning.
These word verifications are knotting up my "lysdexic" brain.

11:14 AM  
Blogger katy said...

nice to know how you came to call your site boats to build, and that last photo of release sure got me giggling

12:42 PM  
Blogger Betty said...

There is just no privacy any more, is there?

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well THAT was unexpected!

Especially after such a toughing story...

12:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The touch photo is very nice. The release photo - not so touching. ;)

Thanks for playing!

10:03 AM  
Blogger Tink said...

The moment I saw your release picture I heard Hoop (in my head) saying, "Pinch it off!"

2:29 PM  
Blogger Molly said...

I enjoyed reading the "first blog" that you never wrote. Thank you, willi, for the lyrics. Knowing you as well as reading your blog, I believe that you have accomplished many things. Furthermore, I applaud your committment to what WE do for each other and how it affects the future. Thank you for challenging your readers as we all really have "boats to build."

9:13 PM  
Blogger Molly said...

Oh yeah, funny pics.

9:15 PM  
Blogger saz said...

What a neat story about your blog name! But of course I love the dog pictures the best. So this is Lucy? A springer spaniel I take it. I would say you have to win a prize for the best "release" photo.

4:39 AM  
Blogger willi said...

Saz, Lucy was a Shih Tzu that had been in the family 12 years. She passed away last December.

The springer spaniel is Cali.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Freakazojd said...

Oh my God, I laughed RIGHT. OUT. LOUD. at your "Release" photo. That's hilarious!!

2:09 PM  

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