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Jett Superior laid this on you on || October 4, 2008 || 3:31 pm

[Guest poster Chris Robinson is a long-time reader and commenter here; he could safely be called the measured voice of reason within my readership. We've had a sporadic but rich e-mail correspondence over the years, and I can say about him what I can't say about much of Cyberia: I implicitly trust him. He is sage and kind and completely honest. Sadly, he has no website for me to link, but I can tell you that he has letters in Philosophy and Political Science and is way, way more learned than me. Don't let him fool you...there are a wealth of things going on in his innards. Maybe one day I can audit one of his courses and heckle him just a little bit.]

Life Changers

Greetings to all you readers in Jett-Land. I’m honored to be the guest blogger for the day. When I was asked by our hostess, this invitation initiated some pretty deep reflection on life changing events. I’ve led a fairly uneventful life so far. There’s been no trauma or religious epiphanies (darn the luck), but I’m struck by how I have been altered fundamentally by small, mundane events. The promise of such moments gives waking up each morning a sense of adventure.

Several years ago, some students told me about the growing universe of blogs in the on-line world. I had never heard of a blog, and I set out to see what it was about. Within an hour of searching around I found two writers whose work I continue to read with fascination to this day. The first was “Sugarmama.” I was drawn to this blog for three reasons: First, the writing was vivid and funny. Second, there was a column on the side titled “Buy Me Shit” and it had a fairly long and hilarious wish-list of things Sugarmama wanted. Finally, Sugarmama’s blog featured photos and tales of her very cool dog Ruby. This blog has changed over the years, but what remain consistent are the thought-provoking writing, the humor, and the occasional photos of Ruby. The second blog I discovered that day was linked to Sugarmama, and this was Jett Superior. Jett’s writing is fiery and unpredictable. Her writing features her family, thoughts on the sacred, and a talent for poetry. I continue to read these blogs every day, and I am very grateful to both writers for all their work. They have brought me a great deal of happiness over the years.

This is just the backdrop to my post for today. I’m interested in hearing about life-changing events you’ve experienced. The one I’ll tell you about by way of example is Bob Dylan’s great record Blood on the Tracks. This record was my personal and intellectual awakening. I was dreaming my way through my teen years, and I was headed toward a safe life that I would live close to home, with a job that didn’t challenge but paid enough to get by, and a formal education that would end at high school graduation. What ambition I did have was shaped by suburbia and network television. All of this was shattered when I started listening to the first cut of Blood on the Tracks, “Tangled Up in Blue.” That lyric went straight to the marrow of my being. I was shaken. I wore out my copy of the album in a month of near-constant listening. Every corner of my life and thought was illuminated. My expectations for the life I would lead were transformed fundamentally. Within months I was reading and writing, exploring the history of philosophy, planning for college far from home, and engaging in political activism. To this day, hearing something off this record sends me back to that time when I learned to cast off mere satisfaction with what is and began to work for what could be.

Over the years, I’ve enjoyed many interesting conversations with folks about the song, book, or event that changed their life. What is yours?

7 worked it out »

  1. Jettomatika 10.4.2008

    Shel Silverstein (courtesy of Ms. Whistler, third grade) unfolded the bloom of poetry to my previously-ignorant ear; Walt Whitman sat in its center and shot fireworks out of it.

    I found God through music, not through bullshit proselytizing. There’s more Jesus in the blues than in ninety percent of pulpits.

    I Am The Cheese blew my mind with its fractal fluidity. The delicate art of leaving a silence to ponder in between the words was freakout-worthy.

    There aren’t enough words for the subtle shifts in direction that nearly all aspects of the arts have impressed on my life. Still happens; still get drunk with each shift in perception. There’s much awesomeness out there.

     
  2. Seaweed 10.4.2008

    Well, mine is kind of an ordinary life-changing story. My aunt, like an older sister to me, died suddenly and very prematurely about 13 years ago. I have lived every day since then very differently than I lived before. I’m no artist or poet or writer, but I am hellbent on life before death, and I make sure people know how I feel about them. Carpe Diem and all that.

     
  3. Black Hockey Jesus 10.5.2008

    I KISSED AWAY THE HOWLING BEAST / ON THE BORDERLINE THAT SEPARATED YOU FROM ME

     
  4. chris robinson 10.6.2008

    Jett, you are the cheese, Make no mistake. I hope you had a chance to thank Ms. Whistler for getting you started.

    Seaweed, a friend of mine died of a heart attack a few years ago. It was the first death by “natural causes” I experienced in my own cohort of friends. My friends know I love them, and not just because I got sloppy drunk with them on occasion. You honor your aunt with each act of kindness.

    BHJ, I sure do like your writing, “your holiness, and your kind of love…”

     
  5. megabeth 10.6.2008

    Mr. Robinson thanks for the shout out on sugarmama. I am blessed and lucky to have you as a reader and valuable commenter for 5-6 (!!!!!!!) years. Amazing! The lack of anonymity on my new blog has resulted in much mellowness. Sorry that I am boring now, but I think fondly of the old times when I was much more sassy.

     
  6. chris robinson 10.7.2008

    SM (MB), There’s nothing boring about you. Nothing. Nada. And thank you again for all the great writing and thoughts.

     
  7. that girl 10.9.2008

    http://heyyourememberme.blogspot.com/2008/10/glittery-pieces.html

    Here’s my latest one. I’ve been experimenting with the blog thing for a few months – your post is basically the theme of mine..memories that stand up and shout..

    I love Jett too..fiery is a great word to describe her.

     

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