Welcome to the Weekly Song Videos of One of Those Times in a Life where Mark
Pearson offers music written and performed over an ongoing career of more than
forty years, songs to be enjoyed individually, seen as part of a larger yearlong
concert, or appreciated as the soundtrack to of a life. Join the journey at
the MarkPearsonMusic.com website and become part of the conversation at the
Mark Pearson Music Facebook Page.
Campfire 49: There You Were
By the time you read this, we will have celebrated lighting the 49th and final
campfire of this particular journey, this Pilgrimage, with a concert and
the release of an album of fifteen new songs. I am filled with gratitude,
thankful to discover I had the grit, and thankful for the grace given and
received. I look forward to the next adventure(s), but not before taking
some time to truly appreciate this one.Thank you to all those who have shared
the journey and have helped make it possible.
Campfire 48: There Up on That Mountain
As I reach this moment in the journey I am reminded again how long life takes
and the fact that it is over in an instant. I am surprised that the last
three stages of life turned out to each be ten year long. It was certainly
not planned that way. While I’m too close to it to judge the quality
of it, telling my story around forty-nine campfires has certainly been the
most important and satisfying work that I have ever done.
Campfire 47: Arrive Where We Started
There were a lot of significant benchmarks in the summer and fall of 2015.
There was my 50th high school reunion and 50 years of friendship and musical
partnership with Mike McCoy. My older brother celebrated his 70th birthday
and my younger brother retired. Those moments combined with others involving
lifelong connections or friendships made me realize that, in my own way,
I was arriving where I started and able to see things with new eyes and as
if for the first time.
Campfire 46: Love Abides
As the pace of lighting these campfires increases—and the goal of
lighting the “last campfire” on May 13th approaches--I
realize what a luxury it has been to meander slowly through the memories
and discoveries of a lifetime.At this campfire I talk about becoming part
of a Civil Rights Pilgrimage in the fall of 2014. Preparing for those nine
days on the bus awakened countless memories and connected me in new ways
to who I had been and what I had thought and believed in 1968 and 1969. Looking
back I realized how much faith I had in March of 1968. When I turned twenty-one
that first day of spring I believed that Robert Kennedy would become the
President, that Martin Luther King, Jr. would live long and eloquently. The
recently released Kerner Report, looking at the Detroit riots of a year earlier,
offered a road map to racial reconciliation. I also believed that the Viet
Nam War would soon be over. I mean, even Presidential candidate, Richard
Nixon, tapped his coat pocket and talked of a secret plan for peace. Twelve
months later so much had changed. I also learned during that time that my
father had been in a mental institution when I was born and much of what
I believed was suddenly in doubt.To be able to see that time from this place
is enlightening for me both from a perspective of where I was and we were
then as well as shining a different light on where we are now.Understanding
what it means to be part of a larger Pilgrimage has also helped transformed
my personal journey into a Pilgrimage. That realization fills me with gratitude.
Campfire 45: Journey of Gratitude and Grace
When I started this journey of Gratitude, Grit, and Grace I thought it would
be mostly one of awakening and recording memories. I continue to be surprised—pleasantly
for the most part--at how much of it is about discovering and discoveries.
By shining light into dark corners I am seeing things differently or for
the first time. By opening long doors long shut I am able to make connections
and see pathways. All of it has proven harder and more satisfying that I
could have ever imagined.
Campfire 44: The Stories and Songs of Our Lives
A few things became clear as I got ready to share my songs and stories in a
series of virtual campfires. I would need a team of people to help me. It
was going to take a lot longer than I first imagined. What I thought was
going to be simply a journey of memory quickly became one of discovery as
well. I also quickly realized that the exploration allowed for and demanded
that I open “doors” long shut and often locked. To do
that was more difficult and more satisfying than I could have ever imagined.