I’ve never wanted to own a thing in my life. If there was an Enterprise Rent-a-Guitar I might never own a guitar again. Guitars are the objects I care most about, so it’s all downhill from there.

I have a disorganized pile of CDs I never listen to. Every now and then I recycle a bunch of them. Spotify perfectly fits my mission of owning as little as possible. I can listen to most of the recorded music in human history on whichever device I can find.

I love the idea of having a record player, but UGH. You pay for the objects and they take up space in your life? You have to clean them? Organize? I guess that’s why I go to the trouble of owning a guitar.

I have some books. I give them away when they start to act like they own me. Except for Their Eyes Were Watching God. That book has owned me since I opened it. Sometimes I have to give it away, because I love it so much, but I always get another copy. If Their Eyes Were Watching God called me drunk at 3am, I’d let it come over.

My phone is the only reason I have photos. I don’t keep pictures in my wallet. I don’t have a wallet. Sometimes people give me pictures of myself. I have no idea what to do with those.

I love all the gifts I get. I don’t keep them forever. I look at them, read them, wear them, and feel the love in them. One day, they feel a little heavier. They move on.

I love walking in my front door and seeing the backyard. I love the echo of an empty room. I love going to other people’s houses and seeing all their great stuff. I love touching, reading, playing, and listening to all the things in other people’s houses. I love leaving it all there.

I don’t have a television, a stereo, a couch, a boat, or a Netflix account. If I wasn’t in the music business, I wouldn’t own a computer. Maybe then I’d have to get a stereo.  

What do I get for all this silence and space? I don’t know. Silence and space, I guess. I sleep at night. I make stuff and sell it. I listen to the birds. I talk to people at the grocery store.

It’s not for everybody. I am in awe of people who take pleasure in owning, organizing, and maintaining things. I have friends who own houses worth millions. They have more wine than a grocery store. They are like rockstar astronauts to me. They have ownership skills that are beyond my comprehension. I think sharing it keeps them sane. I don’t have much stuff, but I do have a lot of thoughts. Sharing them definitely keeps me sane. Maybe owning stuff is like that too.

When I share my music with you, it’s all I’ve got. You are welcome to it. I have so much I don’t know what else to do with it. I fly from town to town giving it away. In return, people give me compliments, show me around, invite me into their beautiful homes and tell me their stories. That’s perfect because I can keep a good story my whole life. I have plenty of story-age space.

WED MAR 21
The Kraken
Chapel Hill NC

FRI MAR 23
Red Bicycle Hall
Madison, IN

MAR 24 SAT
Princeton Coffeehouse
Princeton, IL

WED MAR 28 AND APR 4
The Kraken
Chapel Hill, NC

APR 5
Cameo Theater
Fayetteville, NC

Your fan,

JByrd

 photo by Tyler Quackenbush

photo by Tyler Quackenbush

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