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The gods demand sacrifices.

It doesn’t really matter if you believe in a god or gods or goddesses. It doesn’t even matter whether god is “real” or not, and religion is completely irrelevant. The psychological and artistic truth of the statement remain. Once you realize that the gods demand sacrifices regardless of the so-called facts, you can get about your business.

For some reason, most people think I mean human sacrifices. That seems rather morbid, don’t you think? Sacrifices can be anything it hurts a little to say goodbye to. And you’d be surprised what those things are. Meaningful things. Things full of your personal memories, bursting with the emotional landscape of your past. A cherished photograph. A necklace. A dream.

Sometimes when we hold too tightly to mementos of the past, our psychological and emotional energy gets bound up in them. For most people, that gives a sense of comfort and security. We know who we are, because we can define where we’ve been. Some of us even like to stay there, in that comforting space, and resist moving forward.

But the creation of something new, innovating and transforming in life or art, requires that energy. And here is the sacrifice. You take that thing and in a sense you kill it… but the meaning is not in the death. The meaning is in unlocking its energy and setting it free to become something else. It’s accepting perpetual change – and consciously making a decision that the time for change is now.

After living in the same place for the longest period of my adult life, I found myself doing what many of us do: hoarding. Hoarding little treasures from the past, and clinging to them. I noticed that just having them around wasn’t really making me any more happy – although it was great, great fun to spend some time with them for a while. I got some canvasses and did a series of Dream Journal paintings, mixed media works that incorporate all kinds of objects full of personal memories for me. It was, in a sense, a meditation and a weaving of these things into something new, weaving their energies into the canvas.

In the process of this physical and psychic “spring cleaning,” some things around the house were liberated into their new futures courtesy of the United States Postal Service. This included some CD’s – and the only reason our entire mailing list didn’t get them was that we ran out of discs! If you got one, it has no label. No track list. Nothing. Don’t you think it’s fun to just listen to music without any preconceptions sometimes? To not know at all what’s coming next? To have no reference points about artists and so on, and just listen?

If you’re just dying of curiosity, here’s the track list for you. You will see links to the albums on Amazon, if you liked the track enough to want to download more like it. They’re all digitally available except the Screaming Trees and Rashied Ali albums, which are pretty rare even as CDs.

Until the next time the gods of art demand sacrifices, enjoy!

MYSTERY MIX 042013

1. Mamas & the Papas: Dream a Little Dream of Me album

2. Carlos Santana & John McLaughlin: Naima (John Coltrane) album

3. Bill Laswell & Lori Carson: Kala album

4. Prasanna: Sri Valli Devasenapathe album

5. The Doors: Horse Latitudes album

6. The Screaming Trees: I Have Seen You Before album

7. Radiohead: Everything in Its Right Place album

8. Rashied Ali Quintet: As Salaam Alikum album

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