Dead aim...

Dead aim...

You know, I was just ruminating on what an ephemeral flame life is. I got an email from a friend yesterday. A mutual friend’s 24 year old daughter died in a single car crash. She left behind a six year old son… and a grieving family. I have no idea about the facts surrounding this accident, and frankly… they really don’t matter at this point. When I was 24, I thought I’d live forever… or at least until it didn’t matter any more. If you look at the picture at the top of this post, my daughter Izze has just loosed an arrow from her compound bow… I caught it in flight… an accident that makes for a great picture. The arrow was a dead bulls eye and pierced the target with the crack of a .22 rifle.

Sometimes we loose an arrow with the best of intentions and have no real idea where it is going to land… sometimes it goes where we desire. At my age, G_d gives and takes as always… sometimes the taking can be very profound. Being almost 74 is not the new anything… it is just being 74… still on the seventy side of eighty. My body feels the constraints of age as does everyone’s. My son says I have a young spirit. I hope that’s true… I think it’s true. My body, well… time waits for no man.

We save precious things for that precious moment. Sometimes the things are gone and the moment never came. Our time on earth must be treasured, but not hoarded. I was a little tired this afternoon, but I got up off my lazy butt, got Izze with her bow and arrows… went over to my sister in law’s farm, sprung my nephew with his bow and arrows and played arrow caddy for the kids for a couple of hours while they practiced.

Time well spent.

Sometimes trying to savor the moment is like trying to hold back a river with your fingers. I have really been into Karine Polwart lately and this verse from ‘The Sun’s Coming Over The Hill,’ comes to mind.

‘Now there’s some say you get what you deserve, but they’re wrong
Sometimes you get what you’re given, and then it’s all gone
And you are lucky if you are sufficiently strong
To daily decide not to die’

I am happy where I am today, which is as it should be. There is no other place I could be. I do my best to maintain balance with nature and to be there for my family. Today, I see my musical abilities in terms of being a story teller and my stories are not done yet. There is yet a tale to be told.

For me, acceptance and adaptation are the keys to the kingdom. This could change tomorrow, but today, that’s how it is.

I grieve for my friend’s daughter… her life is done before it could really begin and sad to say, there are many stories like this. I daily resolve to make the most out of every minute granted me here on earth…

Dad's hands...

Dad's hands...

Foto by Izze Kaukonen

I’m no longer the Big Dog… now I’m just the Old Dog…

Thank goodness for friends!


  1. Comment made on August 22, 2014 by John S.

    Jorma, As I heard you say one day in class, “Life’s an Old Dog!” Wise words and great to see Izze with that bow – must make you very proud. See you in October – Rev. Davis weekend!!

  2. Comment made on August 20, 2014 by Bernie

    Good post Jorma. Your thoughts are prescient both here and in song; in fact I put one some a coworkers b-day card, but I flubbed it. “The river of time flows only one way, the past is a night and it’s gone in a day” I know now it is the ‘arrow of time’ in your song “Things that might have been.” Btw Steady is She goes is a great album. It occured to me one day that you have come ‘full circle’ with it, as it has a Jeff Airplane feel to it with Teresa’s vocals. Peace, Bernie
    ps- nothin’ wrong with being a seasoned salty dog… you know all the tricks.

  3. Comment made on August 14, 2014 by HOGAN

    I remember Daddy´s hands, folded silently in prayer.
    And reaching out to hold me, when I had a nightmare.
    You could read quite a story, in the callouses and lines.
    Years of work and worry had left their mark behind.
    I remember Daddy´s hands, how they held my Mama tight,
    And patted my back, for something done right.
    There are things that I´ve forgotten, that I loved about the man,
    But I´ll always remember the love in Daddy´s hands.

    Nice song by Holly Dunn – Daddy’s Hands

  4. Comment made on August 11, 2014 by johno

    Oh Jorma – you are still the Big Dog – unfortunately time and tide waits for no man – so we all keep progressing towards perfection on the journey which is life.

  5. Comment made on August 9, 2014 by chuck newman

    No complaints and no regrets
    I still believe in chasing dreams and placing bets.
    But I have learned that all you give is all you get, so give it all you got.
    I had my share, I drank my fill, and even though I’m satisfied I’m hungry still
    to see what’s down another road, beyond a hill and do it all again.
    So here’s to life and all the joy it brings.
    Here’s to life the dreamers and their dreams.
    Funny how the time just flies.
    How love can turn from warm hellos to sad goodbyes
    and leave you with the memories you’ve memorized
    to keep your winters warm.
    There’s no yes in yesterday.
    And who knows what tomorrow brings or takes away.
    As long as I’m still in the game, I want to play
    For laughs, for life, for love.
    So here’s to life and all the joy it brings.
    Here’s to life the dreamers and their dreams.
    May all your storms be weathered,
    And all that’s good get better.
    Here’s to life, here’s to love, here’s to you.

    This beautiful song was written by Artie Butler.

    Sung for the ages by the beautiful Shirley Horn.

    Home-made gravy for the soul Jorma.

  6. Comment made on August 9, 2014 by Joey Hudoklin

    Oops. The word “when” came out “qwerth”.

  7. Comment made on August 9, 2014 by Joey Hudoklin

    Awww Jorma, I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend. I feel your pain. Throughout the years, qwerth things are good with you, it helps me feel good. When things havn’t been so great with you, I have felt those feelings as well. but feelings pass, and now my life has changed, I’m learning to accept the difficulties that life throws my way, and also accept the bad feelings that come with that. My sponsor says I’m defrosting…that’s cool, I guess.
    Hang in there with your beautiful family Jorma.
    Feel the love, live in the moment, one day at a time.
    That’s all we can do.

    I’m grateful to read your posts. They mean much to me.
    Thank you.

  8. Comment made on August 9, 2014 by Cyndy Consentino

    Dear Jorma
    Thank you for your beautiful words.
    I heard the sad news on Wednesday about this
    yoing lady whose family I know. So tragic.
    Life is truly fragile.
    Be well

  9. Comment made on August 9, 2014 by Ken

    I’m a long time follower of your blog and always enjoy your writing. The “set-list, what we saw, what we ate” posts always make me wish I had been there for that one. The thoughts you share when joy or sadness touch your life are truly special. It is a privilege to glimpse beyond the stage to see the husband, father, & friend, behind the artist. Savor the moment.

  10. Comment made on August 9, 2014 by Paul

    Thank you for your eloquent prose. My wife often has to remind be to live in the moment because each day is such a precious gift. Life is such an intense trip and I often get lost in the maelstrom of events. Sometimes a tragedy slaps you back into the here and now and says……… ENJOY each and every day, it is a precious gift from G-d.

    RIP: Danielle

  11. Comment made on August 8, 2014 by Hamneggs

    Peace.Love and Prayers to your friends family and friends and especially to the grandson.
    Love All Ways

  12. Comment made on August 8, 2014 by bob b.

    OLD DOG you’re still the BIG DOG!!! You have to feel that from all of these passionate post. We all hold our breath,”This long strange trip” just continues. It would break all our hearts if the music stops. Thanks again to all. Your Pal

  13. Comment made on August 8, 2014 by Phil Zisook

    Wonderful words. “Our task on earth is living well”.

  14. Comment made on August 8, 2014 by John B

    Great post Jorma and thanks for sharing it with us.

  15. Comment made on August 8, 2014 by Joe

    Fitting post, Jorma. Life is so precious and it is tough to hear of such loss. Today was a good day out east here in Virginia…I spent the day with a good friend at a sporting clays field also working on dead aim…and getting better! Tonight, I sit with the light of my life, my 14 year old incredibly awesome autistic daughter Nikki and we are enjoying the beautiful sounds emanating from the stereo courtesy of the extremely talented Amanda Shires. Making the most out of every minute granted us on this earth indeed! Amanda Shires (and her husband Jason Isbell) would be a great show at FPR. Anyway, I look forward to my trip west next weekend to catch you, Barry, and Moonalice at the Ranch. Blessings.

  16. Comment made on August 8, 2014 by doug mlyn

    Very profound post. Besides enjoying your music immensely over the years. I’m once and while learning from your wisdom. Onward!

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