Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sometimes A Song With Meaning is a Good Thing

Ranchers For Peace are not actually involved in the livestock business.  We manage no acreage other than whatever square footage of stage we happen to occupy at any given moment.  Our kind of ranching is done in the same dimly lit, borderless region where songs come from — an intentional kind of space, where worldly concerns combine with empathy and, on a good day, become audible.  In other words: while our ranch ain’t exactly a real place you can find on a map, or travel to and see for yourself, you can often hear it plain enough — now at many locations on the interwebs, or live-and-in-person on a stage near you.
 
And sorry, but the “peace” we’re “for” isn’t exactly real either, in the sense that no such thing actually exists.  But it is more than merely metaphorical: it’s a conceptual reference point, like north or east,  toward which we can steer.  How this works on our ranch is best described by a bumper-sticker we saw not long ago on the back of some veggie-oil van crossing our western pasture at twilight in a driving rain: “If you want peace, work for justice.”  This reminds us that peace, like happiness, is not something that can be directly invoked, but is instead a by-product that only arises in the presence of other favorable conditions.  Our mission on this here ranch is to advocate for such conditions, and to join our noise with the long tradition of folksingers, bards, and troubadours who have done the same.


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