Jes Raymond

& The Blackberry Bushes

Walking with Fire

I was once a part of a Peace Walk in Taos, NM. The leaders of the walk had come from Japan and they carried with them an alter like pan that held a small fire they kept burning. One of the leader's grandmother had started that fire, and they tended it so that it never went out. The grandmother had gone to Hiroshima right after the bombing, where her son was one of the deceased. They would never find his body, and so she took an ember from the fires that were still burning and brought it home to her alter. She tended it and kept it ever burning. The Peace Walkers had started their flame from that alter fire and brought it to the us on a ship. Then they had walked across the US carrying it and gathering people to walk some of the miles with them. 

I was changed by those people, and now, 17 years later, I don't remember their names, but I vividly remember how dedicated they were to that flame. 

I started a song right after the election about fire, because it is apparent to me that we need some passion. I was writing it in the middle of the chaos, the chaos in my heart and the chaos in my life, since we had just moved and I was trying to set up a mic amidst towers of moving boxes and piles of things with no shelves yet to put them on. But that is where the flame came from, that acute pain of seeing so many people vote against the well being of their neighbors. I took the flame from that moment, and now I am trying to best determine how to keep it going for a long time. It has to be kept going. I can't sleep in, I have to have my space orderly, I have to take really good care of myself. All these things are part of keeping a flame going for a long time. It is obvious to me now that all the songs for my next album will come from that flame, and when they are ready, I will walk them out into the world.  

There is a tyrant who is a stranger. There is a tyrant in our bed. There is a Tyrant in our stories, There is a tyrant in our head.

We do it all up, we suck it all in, we smile and agree. We're the center of attention while we bind our own feet.

Damn that phony shine. I am after something brighter. I will stand up tall in my get it done boots, and I will set myself on fire.

I will set that fire, I am after something brighter. 

In spite of the weeds, in spite of the ache- Today is a pair of hands and tomorrow is the clay.

What they didn't tell you, that's their biggest lie. 

See, there is nothing like the way that your heart reflects the light. 

Damn that phony shine. I am after something brighter. I will stand up tall in my get it done boots, and I will set myself on fire.

I will set that fire, I am after something brighter.