Blabbings about family, community, sustainability and life from Frederick, MD.

Poem for Easter April 5, 2007

Filed under: poetry,Religion — tobymurdock @ 3:04 pm

My friend and biz partner Mike turned me on to Walt Whitman’s “Song of the Open Road.” I’ve put some excerpts pasted it below. Go here to see the full version.

Whitman’s voice seems to me to be constantly that of someone who just finished a 50 mile bike ride on a beautiful spring day after a great sleep, drinks up from a delicious mountain stream, takes a deep breath of clear mountain air, and then sings out his exultation of the universe. In other words, our best selves. Who we should strive to be regularly.

I like this poem particularly for Easter. Walt here is seeing the God in all things, how all things are connected together, and the beauty of that connection. Inhaling that connection, loving all of it, he urges us to boldly head out to be our best selves, to be the Christ within each of us, and live our lives to the fullest.

A great message as we celebrate the Spring, Christ, and re-birth. Enjoy.

Or as Whitman would say, “ENJOY! ENJOY! ENJOY!

Song of the Open Road

AFOOT and light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,
Strong and content I travel the open road.

The earth, that is sufficient,
I do not want the constellations any nearer,
I know they are very well where they are,
I know they suffice for those who belong to them.



Gig at Church March 20, 2007

Filed under: music,Religion — tobymurdock @ 1:38 am

I sang and played “Shine a Light” by the Rolling Stones at church this weekend. I was on the guitar and Dave, who is our fantastic church pianst, was on the keyboard. It went very well and everyone was kindly very enthusiastic.

Though I of course didn’t do it as well as Mick, here he is doing the song:


King & The World House January 28, 2007

Filed under: globalization,leaders,modernity,Religion — tobymurdock @ 7:56 pm

At Church today, Toni, our pastor, read Martin Luther King’s essay, The World House. It was fascinating, as applicable today as it was when written 40 years ago. MLK was a tremendous mind, heart and was a great communicator.

Here was an excerpt that I found particularly interesting:

We must work passionately and indefatigably to bridge the gulf between our scientific progress and our moral progress. One of the great problems of mankind is that we suffer from a poverty of the spirit which stands in glaring contrast to our scientific and technological abundance. The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually.

Every man lives in two realms, the internal and the external. The internal is that realm of spiritual ends expressed in art, literature, morals and religion. The external is that complex of devices, techniques, mechanisms and instrumentalities by means of which we live. Our problem today is that we have allowed the internal to become lost in the external. We have allowed the means by which we live to outdistance the ends for which we live. So much of modern life can be summarized in that suggestive phrase of Thoreau: “Improved means to an unimproved end.” This is the serious predicament, the deep and haunting problem, confronting modern man. Enlarged material powers spell enlarged peril if there is not proportionate growth of the soul. When the external of man’s nature subjugates the internal, dark storm clouds begin to form.

Western civilization is particularly vulnerable at this moment, for our material abundance has brought us neither peace of mind nor serenity of spirit. An Asian writer has portrayed our dilemma in candid terms:

You call your thousand material devices “labor-saving machinery,” yet you are forever “busy.” With the multiplying of your machinery you grow increasingly fatigued, anxious, nervous, dissatisfied. Whatever you have, you want more; and wherever you are you want to go somewhere else…your devices are neither time-saving nor soul-saving machinery. They are so many sharp spurs which urge you on to invent more machinery and to do more business.1

This tells us something about our civilization that cannot be cast aside as a prejudiced charge by an Eastern thinker who is jealous of Western prosperity. We cannot escape the indictment.

This does not mean that we must turn back the clock of scientific progress. No one can overlook the wonders that science has wrought for our lives. The automobile will not abdicate in favor of the horse and buggy, or the train in favor of the stagecoach, or the tractor in favor of the hand plow, or the scientific method in favor of ignorance and superstition. But our moral and spiritual “lag” must be redeemed. When scientific power outruns moral power, we end up with guided missiles and misguided men. When we foolishly minimize the internal of our lives and maximize the external, we sign the warrant for our own day of doom.

Our hope for creative living in this world house that we have inherited lies in our ability to re-establish the moral ends of our lives in personal character and social justice. Without this spiritual and moral reawakening we shall destroy ourselves in the misuse of our own instruments.


Football, Tennis, the Internet & God December 27, 2006

Filed under: books,Religion,work — tobymurdock @ 4:23 pm

At the gym this morning, I was watching Sports Center. There was a segment about Lawrence Jackson, a defensive end at USC. He hadn’t had any sacks all year and was really bummed about it. His coach, Pete Carroll, then recommended to him the book “The Inner Game of Tennis,” which is about how you have to release all anxiety, self-criticism & negativity in order for you to play tennis at your best. The day after reading the book, Jackson had 3 sacks against Oregon.

It was a timely Sports Center segment for me. Yesterday I met with a friend of mine who I used to work with. He gave me some candid, well-intentioned, but, in his characteristic , critical advice on my (Internet) business. It had me down a bit and anxious.

Sports Center of all things helped me remember that negative energy never helps you get anything done. It is a lesson that my church is always telling me, but sometimes messages only reach you in mysterious ways.

Thinking more postively about what he had to say, I now really see its merits and am going to enthusiastically construct a plan to persue his recommendations. And with optimstic thoughts behind me, I think I’ll be successful in making it happen. And will maybe have a few sacks in the process. 😉
And one of these days I’ll make positive thinking such a habit I won’t have to go through this process. But in the meantime, thank you Sports Center, Lawrence Jackson, Pete Carroll, W. Timothy Gallwey (the author) & my friend.


Church, a Fiddle, and the Blues October 18, 2006

Filed under: frederick,music,Religion — tobymurdock @ 3:23 pm


At church on Sunday,  we had Great & Joe (can’t do a link . . . they don’t have a website [yet]) come and play. They did this song, “Don’t Let the Changes Bring You Down.” Awesome!

The are a duo from Baltimore–one on the guitar, the other on the fiddle (an instrument I’d like to hear more of). I hope to hear more from them.

They are further evidence that great music is everywhere, and that a great service is needed to connect listeners to it.