February 7, 2009

Catch A Fire

I have a new project and want to invite you to come learn with me. I use the term “you” loosely because I am not sure who the audience of this post may be. I am trying to recruit you- You may be a close personal friend, or maybe an acquaintance from high school that I have spoken to in years, you may be a current colleague, all of whom I have culled from Facebook. You may be a regular reader of Intrepid Flame or a first time visitor brought here by a random Google search, or I may have asked you to join me from Twitter; regardless of how you are connected to me, I want to use our networked connection to learn, share, construct meaning, and explore the world of Bob Marley.

Before I continue let me elucidate a few points about how I read, learn, and express my knowledge. I have been mired in a non-fiction pile of books for almost two years. I can’t remember the last novel I read. As I read these books, I often find myself researching tangential topics on the Internet and mentally planning epic blog posts recanting all of my newfound knowledge and ideas. The problem is that these posts are rarely written, because I wait until I finish the book to scribe my thoughts, and I am often to impatient and need to jump to the next book in my cue, to spend enough time reflecting on what I have read and learned.

For this project, I want to try something new. I want to try and write a few paragraphs after every reading session, which is usually at least twenty or so pages a day. While reading, I always highlight the text, but seldom do nothing more that skim my annotations upon completion of any given book. For this project, I want to insert these highlighted passages into blog posts and reflect on what the passages me to me. I want to invite you to share your thoughts and insights, either on the quotes themselves, or on my thoughts.

Besides textual reflective blog posts, I would like to utilize as many types of media and web tools as possible to really flush out my connection to this topic. I hope to share videos, songs, while also inviting you will join me in creating podcasts or other original work loosely tied to Marley’s legacy.

In short, I want us, who ever you may be to learn as much as we can about Bob Marley and share what we find with the world in an effort to increase our understanding of not only Marley, but Rastafarianism, Jamaican history, and the role of reggae music on Pan-Africanism and modern day social/racial issues.

Only you can choose your level of involvement in this project. I hope that at the least you will read the posts and leave occasional comments, but really, I hope I can find one or two people to really take this journey with me.

Let me share with you my packing list: So far I have started reading Catch A Fire by Timothy White. My preliminary researched proved that this is the definitive book on Marley:
The information is based on interviews I conducted with Bob (I spoke with him on some two dozen separate occasions.) between 1975 and 1981, plus interviews I conducted over the years with other members of the Wailers, the band’s producers, additional back up musicians, various other co-workers, record company executives, body guard and roadies, as well as family and friends. Other sources included prominent figures in Jamaican recording industry, island politicians, Rasta elders, country soothsayers, backwoods preachers, social workers, sociologist, ghetto thugs and bush nannies.
I think it is safe to say this is a good place to start any journey into the Marley myth. The language of the text flows effortlessly, and creates a beautiful landscape on which to absorb the history. Even the preface and introduction alert the reader of the magnitude that the 400 plus page book is about to deliver. I have not been this excited to read a book in a long time:
Tim has said that his book is about “personal destiny.” He believed that you are never handed your destiny but that you have to chase it like a moving train; you run until your legs and lungs ache, and if you are extremely lucky you might catch it, thereby living the life intended of you. He loved Marley for not only boarding that rain but also for becoming its engineer.
In addition to the text, I have downloaded every studio-released album, in addition to a few live shows. I have also ordered Catch a Fire, a documentary on Marley’s life. I want to immerse myself into this world for the duration of the time I am reading this book.

I will tag and categorize every post as BobMarley, so please stop by as often as you can and participate at what ever level you feel comfortable. This is only the beginning, so please follow the tags and lets get started! Leave a comment if you have any ideas of how you can be involved with this project.

1 comment:

  1. I am also reading this book :-) I hope to participate on your journey.