Creating with Grace Project – Update 1

After a 10-year hiatus from music, I feel manically obsessed to create. Some around me are a bit concerned that I will get my hopes up and be disappointed in the outcome somehow. In truth, my 10-year hiatus began in disappointment, so these fears are not unfounded. This will be the challenge – and the test of grace. It’s also the opportunity to practice transcendence; to be anchored beyond the self – unselfishly.

Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it”

Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

I was discussing this matter with a friend of mine recently. She asked me if this “would stop me from creating and sharing with others?” In part, it has for the past 10 years. On the other hand, I have always tried to be an encouragement to others, just through different means.

Another friend responded to one of my recent Purposed Imperfection posts with: “Just a reminder … whatever someone gets or doesn’t get from your music (or any other creative work) is dependent on their own life experience and not on the work itself. Your work is a catalyst for a reaction, but you don’t get to own either the bad ones or the good ones :). You get to be the person with courage to create. People will be moved (or not) based on where they are in their lives.

Good advice. It respectfully allows for others to be who they are, as they choose, without codependent interference or obligation — as grace. To live with grace in the encouragement of others.

Over the past 5 years, I have joined members of various police departments in the Saskatchewan Police Memorial Ride to Remember.   Over this period of time, I have come to appreciate these courageous men and women and the character that they model for me in service. I have also come to appreciate the challenge that many of them face in the area of mental health – and of course, the ultimate price that some have paid, laying down their life in the line of duty.

One of the stories I came to be aware of through the Ride to Remember is that of Constable Thomas Brian King. Here is an excerpt from the account record by the RCMP Veterans Association:

On the night of April 25, 1978, Cst. KING stopped a car for a minor traffic violation at 12:35 AM on Highway #11, one quarter mile north of Saskatoon city limits.  There were two youths in the car.  KING didn’t realize that these two young men were “cop haters” who had set out that evening to “get themselves a policeman.”  They intentionally knocked out the tail lights of (their) 1964 Rambler sedan and went out for a drive in the hope that they would be stopped by the law.  At 109:30 PM, near Lloydminster, the two were pulled over by two RCMP, but they decided not to try anything.  Two hours later, KING came along all alone.  When he pulled them over on Highway #11 near 51st Street, they decided to make their move.  As Cst. KING checked (their) licence, the two of them jumped him and a wild struggle took place on the shoulder of the highway.  Eventually KING was overpowered and manacled with his own handcuffs.  (One of the youth’s), who had been drinking, even went so far as to fire a shot in the air with KING’s service revolver to prove to his hostage how violently serious were his intentions.  Then KING was put into he Rambler and taken to a house in the city where friends of (the youth’s) were congregated.  When they saw KING handcuffed in the car, the friends wanted to be no part of what was going on and told (the youths) to get him away from the house.  From there (they) drove down to the banks of the Saskatchewan River and pulled KING out of the car near the power station.  (One of the youths) hauled the defenseless Cst. KING down the banks; Fisher claims he waited at the car.  Down at the river’s edge, there is some speculation that Cst. KING tried to get away and (they) hit him a severe blow to the back of the head with the policeman’s revolver.  Then (they) executed KING with a shot behind the left ear and another shot above the left eye…(then) the two of them dragged Cst. KING’s dead body further down the bank and threw him into the river.

I am moved each time I think of Constable King, and his story. This, combined with the tragic events leading to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis this past week, serve to remind us of the potential for depravity in the human heart – and the need for grace. No person is bad because of the colour of their skin, nor are they bad because of the colour of their uniform.

All of this to say – the Creating with Grace project is to be an album of original (and new) music under the title, Breathing Again. Proceeds from the sale of the album will go to support the Saskatchewan Police Memorial Ride to Remember. The album will include a song titled, Ride to Remember as a tribute to the brave men and women that I have come to know and respect over the past 5 years.

Stay tune for details as to how you can purchase this album.