Falling in Love Again

A story of escaping the prison of professionalism after finding love inside the music.

I was raised to be a professional musician. To play all the right notes at the right time. Nothing more and nothing less. Do the job, take the money and move on to the next gig.Barry-300x300

Like a coal miner’s son I was born into a trade and a tribe that I would serve, through good times and bad for the rest of my days. They’d bury me with my guitar and my union card.

I had a dinner suit for the bigger clubs and casino shows, blue jeans, black T’s and doc martins for the smaller pubs and seedier clubs, an array of guitars and amps, skills and ‘guitar licks’ enough in the genre’s of jazz, blues, rock and country music to make a decent living. After several hundred club gigs I graduated up into the recording studio brotherhood and, as a professional I was on time, I played my parts proficiently and I got the job done.  I continued to rise through the ranks and soon I was performing on network Television.

I had made it and as much as a guitar player can be, I was model professional.

Now and then in the midst of this professional journey I would be foolish and play music for fun… on my own of course, in a room somewhere private… where no one could hear me… and I would fall upon little treasures that I didn’t understand or know what to do with… and so, I would keep them to myself and then go off onto my next professional gig, keep my head down and do my job.

But, like a child reading his first Agatha Christie novel… I could not put ‘the book’ down… or stay away from my closet musings with my guitar and these little noodlings or melodies of childlike lyrics… all of which… was very unlike the professional I was trained to be. For, without realizing it, I was falling in love… with music and these simple little musical ideas and chordal shapes.

imgres-2I would stumble upon a basic uncomplicated chord progression and begin to imagine a rock pool or a mountain stream and I would sit there and let the peace wash over me. Then I would hear someone walking down the hall towards my hideout and I would hurriedly put my guitar away as if I had been caught doing something naughty.

Continue reading “Falling in Love Again”

Keys Were Designed to Open Stuff

I had a lovely moment alone at the office early this morning and at some point I began to sing this phrase…

“I left the door open for you… so come right in”

& then

“I have given you keys to every door… ever made”

And then I saw a moving picture (kind of dream sequence) of me in a type of an old castle, down deep in the dungeons and on a wall I found a large key ring with keys of all sizes. Each key represented a door. The smaller keys belonged to the doors that I was already able to open… and each key’s size was determined by either how much I used it or understood how to use it or… believed in its actual existence.

Some keys were too big for me to even lift.

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And so I looked at one of the largest keys and saw that it was for the door to wealth. I dragged the key over to a door that was locked and I knew somehow that this door had two names. On the side facing me it was called Poverty, but… I sensed that speaking to this door was the secret to the key… rather than any heavy lifting… and after I spoke to the door to open, I saw that the other side of the door was called Wealth.

For as I waited there asking wisdom about the keys I understood that the shape of a key was merely a symbol, for the kingdom keys come in many shapes and forms. A key could be speaking or proclaiming, it could be giving or sacrificing or letting go, it could be waiting still, fasting, calling on the name of Jesus, loving unconditionally, obedience, repenting, serving, following, worshiping alone or calling many others to worship.

And in this ‘dream scape’ I knew that the keys to the kingdom had been given to all of us. We are all invited inside the kingdom and, when we are in that place we can begin to decipher each key, understand its value, its purpose and learn how and when to use each key.

I stayed in that dream place for as long as I could… considering the use and purpose of different keys. I tried speaking and singing to several doors that seemed locked to me and in this realm, when one large door opened I saw another picture of me standing on a platform in the sky, just above my earthly life. I could see LA, my house, all around the greater city and then I understood that, while I could freely enter this place of quietness, wisdom and presence, it was right here where I am today, not on some distant mountain top. It is a slightly foreign notion to accept… that the door is always open, that I am invited, and that it is up to me to enter… and linger as long as I am able.