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As she grows away from me, may these life lines grow with her, keep her safe…

May 30th, 2019 Jorma 24 comments

I title this blog with a quote from David Whyte’s poem, My Daughter Asleep… and I shall end with the complete poem.

Yesterday our daughter, Izze, graduated 8th grade and officially became a high school student. This is a right of passage for kids and adults alike. Who would have thought that it would have gone so fast? But go fast it did, and another milestone has been passed.

Izze heads for her seat in the High School Auditorium.

Izze heads for her seat in the High School Auditorium.

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

We certainly got to know a great group of kids and parents over these last two years. After four years of home schooling, there was lots of adjustment for us all to make… and it was all good!

Izze spots us in the stands!

Izze spots us in the stands!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Penny Purdy, Izze’s music teacher, read the names and Mr. Roach, the Vice Principal handed out the diplomas.

Two years well spent!

Two years well spent!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

We’re sure proud of this kid… but she did the work (with an occasional nudge from Mom).

Diploma in hand, she heads for her seat

Diploma in hand, she heads for her seat

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Nessa and a bunch of the other parents were committed to ‘chaperone’ the dance and after party so I hung around too. What else was I going to do?

Foto bombed in the cafeteria

Foto bombed in the cafeteria

Selfie by Vanessa Kaukonen

There were, and still are, so many feelings and emotions running around my brain I almost don’t know where to begin, but it is plain that life is evolving for my children as it did for me and that is how it must be!

This... is the dang deal!

This... is the dang deal!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

And so, another chapter has closed and a new one is waiting to be followed. I am going to post David Whyte’s beautiful poem yet one more time… and while our daughter, Izze, is a long way from sleeping on my shoulder as an infant, I suspect I will always feel this way.

My Daughter Asleep

Carrying a child,
I carry a bundle of sleeping
future appearances.
I carry my daughter
adrift on my shoulder,
dreaming her slender dreams
and I carry her beneath the window,
watching her moon lit palm open and close
like a tiny folded map,
each line a path that leads where I can’t go,
so that I read her palm not knowing what I read
and
walk with her in moon light on the landing,
not knowing with whom I walk,
making invisible prayers to go on with her where
I can’t go,
conversing with so many unknowns that must know her more
intimately than I do.

And so to these unspoken shadows and this broad night
I make a quiet request to the great parental darkness
to hold her when I cannot, to comfort her when I am gone,
to help her learn to love the unknown for itself,
to take it gladly like a lantern for the way before her,
to help her see where ordinary light will not help her,
where happiness has fled, where faith will not reach.

My prayer tonight for the great and hidden symmetries of life
to reward this faith I have and twin her passages of loneliness with friendship,
her exiles with home coming, her first awkward steps with promised onward leaps.

May she find in all this, day or night, the beautiful centrality of pure opposites,
may she discover before she grows old, not to choose so easily between past and present,
may she find in one or the other her gifts acknowledged.

And so as I helped to name her, I help to name these powers,
I bring to life what is needed, I invoke the help she’ll want
following those moonlit lines into a future uncradled by me but parented by all I call.

As she grows away from me, may these life lines grow with her, keep her safe,
so
with my open palm whose lines have run before her to make a safer way,
I hold her smooth cheek and bless her this night into all these other unknown
nights to come.

-David Whyte

…and all these other unknown nights to come!

Categories: Set Lists Tags:

Honor Memorial Day

May 28th, 2019 Jorma 15 comments
Jorma Sr. and Pentti

Jorma Sr. and Pentti

Portraits by my Dad, Jorma Sr.

Tarmo Kaukonen in Italy, WWII

Tarmo Kaukonen in Italy, WWII

Photographer unknown

On Memorial Day as the Kaukonens try their best to honor our fallen I usually default to fotos of my dad and his two brothers. Uncle Tarmo survived North Africa and Italy to die in a VA hospital in 1945 from lung cancer. Pentti never really came back from the Pacific and died quite young in a VA hospital in Northern California. My Dad, Jorma Sr. was fortunate to have lived a decently full life. For the three Kaukonen boys, serving in WWII was of paramount importance to their identity as first generation Americans… that’s just how it was.

Memorial Day was yesterday and indeed it was plain to me that as we enjoyed a beautiful day in the country that we owed it all to members of our Armed Forces! A debt to all those brave men and women that can never be repaid. fired up my bike and took a ride around the county and when I came to the site of the Buffington Island Skirmish where Union forces won that battle in 1863.

Buffington Island Skirmish today...

Buffington Island Skirmish today...

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

For a moment I found myself wrapped in history.

Talking to my friend Chuck out in California yesterday (himself a Vietnam Vet) he pointed out that our fallen lost two lives… the one they had, and the one they never got to live.

Honor Memorial Day!

Categories: Diary, Thoughts Tags:

Milestones And Music

May 23rd, 2019 Jorma 16 comments

So another camp here at the Fur Peace Ranch has come and gone.

The guys from last week.

The guys from last week.

Foto by John Hurlbut

The great Woody Mann was teaching last weekend as well as myself. I gave a songwriting workshop and I have to tell you, I am impressed and humbled by the hard work and honesty these guys all manifested.

Me and the guys...

Me and the guys...

Foto by John Hurlbut

Each one of these guys came away with five songs in various stages of completion. Truly awesome!

Saturday night with had our first guitar free concert… and I say this with a benign smile on my face. It was a jazz shows featuring Eric Alexander on Sax, Peter Dominguez on upright bass, Larry Willis on piano and Victor Jones on drums. So we’re live streaming the show from our Fur Peace Ranch channel and I’m occasionally going backstage so I can weigh in on comments. Most people really dug the transcendence of the show, and I’ll get to that in a moment. One soul simply said, ‘I don’t understand jazz.’ I found this interesting. As someone who likes a great and utterly disparate landscape of music, I never found I really had to ‘understand’ anything. I just liked it or I didn’t. Now there are lots of different kinds of jazz just as there is a great variety of rock etc. Some touches me and some doesn’t. Eric and his A Team of players were playing songs and exploring an ever changing musical universe of changes and sonic delights. Again, I’m not a jazz player and I never will be, but I love good music, and theirs touched my soul. Thanks guys! I appreciated this evening more than you will ever know. It was first rate music played by world class guys!

Live on the Fur Peace Station stage!

Live on the Fur Peace Station stage!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

More of the guys

More of the guys

Foto by jorma Kaukonen

Larry Willis on the 1903 Chickering

Larry Willis on the 1903 Chickering

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Anybody who owns anything knows that constant maintenance is well… constant. Nessa and I as owners of the Ranch are constantly called upon to step up to the plate, metaphorically speaking. We had some water problems again and here’s how we dealt with it.

Nessa... in the mud up to her knees with a leaky pipe

Nessa... in the mud up to her knees with a leaky pipe

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Notice, She’s in the hole… I’m taking the picture.

That’s my girl!

Plumbing problems sort of in the rear view mirror, I took some updated drone shots of the Ranch in between storms.

Looks nicer greened out!

Looks nicer greened out!

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

All this excitement notwithstanding, our daughter, Izze, joined here classmates for their Eighth Grade Class Trip to Washington, D.C. Now Izze has been to D.C. a lot… with Mom and Dad. I know this one was different for here… and different for Nessa and myself as parents. Time is slipping through our fingers like water. Our girl and here pals will be in high school next year. I know this is all good… and as it should be. Still and all, it is a bittersweet moment for us.

Izze and her friends at the Korean War Memorial

Izze and her friends at the Korean War Memorial

Foto by Izze Kaukonen

There have been many wars during my lifetime and the monuments in D.C. are more than powerful. Vietnam of course, is a war that defined my time in many ways, but for some reason, the Korean War Memorial has always had an effect on me.

Well… the kids are growing, the world is still turning and all I can say is… so far so good.

Onward!

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts Tags:

A Foray To Eastern Long Island

May 13th, 2019 Jorma 19 comments
Thirty Years

Thirty Years

Foto by Phil Jacobs

I had a private event in Montauk so it made sense to stop by The Stephen Talkhouse and pick a set. I’ve been working for Peter Honerkamp for thirty years and the good old Talkhouse just never gets old. My good friend G.E. Smith stopped by and we had some big fun!

Brother G. E. and me!

Brother G. E. and me!

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Jorma Kaukonen 10, 2019
Stephen Talkhouse
Amagansett, LI
New York
Friday, May 10, 2019

1. Dime For Beer
2. Serpent Of Dreams
3. Hesitation Blues
4. Day To Day Out The Window Blues
5. Death Don’t have No Mercy
6. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out
7. I See The Light
8. Candy Man
9. Embryonic Journey
10. Sleep Song
11. Watch The North Wind Rise
12. Trial By Fire
13. Good Shepherd with G.E. Smith
14. Worried Man Blues with G.E.Smith
15. How Long Blues with G.E.Smith
16. Denomination Blues with G.E. Smith
17. Trouble In Mind with GE. Smith
18. Long Gone From Kentucky with G.E.Smith
19. Nine Pound Hammer with G.E. Smith
20. Encore: Water Song

A truly great night for us! Thanks to Peter and all my old friends at the Talkhouse and G.E. Smith as well!

Then this great gal Kim through a 60th birthday party for her man Johnny… a long time Hot Tuna friend. With the help of Joynny’s sister, Jennifer, and a host of friends we all conspired to surprise the Birthday boy… and surprise him we did!

Setting up... the calm before the storm.

Setting up... the calm before the storm.

Foto by Phil Jacobs

They had the Jan Hanna Band playing some great music before and after my set. Johnny didn’t know what was coming.

The Jan Hanna Band and me

The Jan Hanna Band and me

Then it was my turn.

Jorma Kaukonen 11, 2019
The Secret Party
In Montauk

First Set:
1. Ain’t In No Hurry
2. Second Chances
3. Hesitation Blues
4. Barbeque King
5. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
6. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
7. Serpent Of Dreams
8. Sleep Song
9. San Francisco Bay Blues

Second Set:
1. New Song For The Morning
2. True Religion
3. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed & Burning
4. Come Back Baby
5. Waiting For A Train
6. Serpent Of Dreams
7. In My Dreams
8. Watch The North Wnd Rise
9. Sea Child
10. Trial By Fire
11. Good Shepherd
12. I Know You Rider

Nice... very nice

Nice... very nice

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

To see so many old friends come together and include me was… truly awesome!

Time stood still....

Time stood still....

Photographer unknown

A great weekend… and now I’m back at the Ranch getting ready for a songwriting workshop this weekend.

Good times!

Foto by Jennifer

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Set Lists, Venues Tags:

A Fortnight At Fur Peace Ranch

May 8th, 2019 Jorma 10 comments
Yes folks... a typical Fur Peace Breakfast!!!!!

Yes folks... a typical Fur Peace Breakfast!!!!!

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Well… Friday before last, G.E.Smith joined me for a weekends worth of workshops and on Saturday night he Joined foe Arlen Roth Band for an evening of cool Telecaster riffs.

My class was awesome too!

Pickers and Grinners

Pickers and Grinners

Foto by John Hurlbut

Then last weekend, our own John Hurlbut stepped up to teach The American Songbook class for our dear Spencer Bohren as he dealt with his own visitation from the storms of life.

Brother Spencer and Brother John

Brother Spencer and Brother John

Foto by Marilyn Bohren

The great Tom Feldmann ably assisted me in a weekend of spirituals and a grand time was had by all!

The Light Of This World Class

The Light Of This World Class

Foto by Stephanie Layton

Monday morning Hurl and i warmed up the breakfast crew, and then Tom Feldmann took the ’stage.’

In the shadow of the fresh fruit and bagels

In the shadow of the fresh fruit and bagels

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Monday, our daughter Izze and her friend Tess nailed a Billy Eilish song at the Middle School Talent Show. Double guitar and two part vocal harmony.

Life is good…

Onward

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Venues Tags: