:::Twist of Hemp Week 30 :::
I debated even posting a John Joe Badger drawing this week.
Where does my work illustrating anthropomorphic creatures even fit in to the fabric of things just now? I went for a long walk to do some thinking, and I kept coming back to the idea that the music that John Joe, and I, play is steeped in at least a couple of concepts connected to the times at hand.
And so, I sat down to draw a badger.
Irish music is joyful to the ear to be sure, and yet when you read Irish history, there is so much strife, oppression and “troubles” along the way. Music may have provided some solace to a country facing dark and challenging times. The tunes are a small something. Sometimes.
The troubles of one country aren’t the troubles of another of course. But maybe musical solace is something we can share.
The second concept I keep coming round to is that of listening. In the world of Irish music, there is no greater skill really than to listen. You can be a fab player of all the lovely tunes available to you, but if you don’t listen to the other players and to the players of history, your session experience will not be a successful one. The best sessions, the ones where we feel that deep sense of community and tuneful camaraderie, are the settings where each member of the musical community are listening, deeply listening to one another, while also listening to the history that got us here.
We find ourselves at a time in the United States where deep, communal listening is necessary. There are many ways to do this. There are many ways to protest recent atrocities and to amplify the voices of African-Americans who have for too long been sidelined.
Since John Joe Badger is primarily an illustrated character, I share with you this:
Here is the link: https://www.embracerace.org
Children’s literature can shape young minds who will shape the future. Let us feed their minds with books that inspire a future we can be proud of.
I’ve barely published a thing. So I barely have a voice, really. But I believe in the power of story and of the drawn image. I believe in the idea of change and that this change can be driven via inspiring imagery.
This weekly John Joe illustration is my small offering, in this space, just now.
If you read this blog regularly and want further reading and deeper ideas on how to dig in and do the hard work, I suggest digging into the following:
This is Week 30 of my little series. Depending upon the state of things, John Joe and I may go on a bit of a hiatus until fall when things like velvet waistcoats, hot tea and strolls in the forest come back into fashion. But we may surprise you and keep going. I do not know.
Either way, through it all, the tunes and the tea will still be flowing. In hard times, joyful tunes and aromatic tea are a balm for the senses of a sensitive creature.
I thank you for reading…..