Author: Cornish, Rick

One Vehement Denial and Five Secrets of MB Tranquility
The Denial
She looked to be a sweet elderly woman, but as she strode across the lobby of the Fair Oaks Baptist Church during intermission at the Rhonda and Rage concert, her smile turned to a scowl. ‘The nerve of him,’ she hissed, poking J.D. Rhynes’ chest with her forefinger, ‘the unmitigated gall to show up here after what he’s done. And in the house of God.’ She was, of course, referring to me daring to show up at the benefit after embezzling thousands of dollars from the CBA’s Kids on Bluegrass Fund. That was Thursday night. Last night, at the Black Oak’s presentation of Rhonda Vincent and Rage, again during intermission, I was approached by a fellow who offered to tell me an amusing story. Seems his father had called him earlier in the week to ask him if he would help unload a couple of Fathers Day Early Bird tickets. ‘Your mom and I won’t be at Grass Valley this year. As long as this Cornish character is head of the outfit, we’re out. Did you hear what he did? It was right there in the newspaper.’ The guy told me he straightened his dad out. What a relief!

Okay, it’s time to make an official denial. I did not steal money from the Kids on Bluegrass Fund, or from any other fund. I am in no way affiliated with the Cornish Bluegrass Association in Cornwall England. And, at least for the time being, I have not been thrown off the CBA board of directors or out of my job as chairman. The story that appeared in the April edition of the CBA’s Bluegrass Breakdown WAS AN APRIL FOOLS JOKE! It was satire written by my good friend Chuck Poling and printed in the paper by my good friend Mark Varner. Let it be known here and now—I am guilty of many, many things (more the result of stupidity than criminality), but stealing money from children is not one of them. As one of my favorite presidents once said on national television, I AM NOT A CROOK.

The Secrets
Okay, on to a more positive topic—tranquility on the Message Board. It was about ten years ago, in the fall I think, that my wife Lynn told me she was a Buddhist. We were driving down McKee Road in San Jose, on our way to the Safeway, and as we passed the brand new Buddhist Temple that had just opened, she told me as casually as you’d tell somebody that you felt a cold coming on that she was a Buddhist. ‘I’ve been for years,’ she said matter of factly, ‘I just didn’t realize it till now.’

This was not a total surprise to me. Lynn had been a reader of deep books for as long as I’d known her. And I can’t really say things changed much after her pronouncement. Actually nothing changed at all, except maybe that little ceramic and caste bronze Buddha’s started popping up here and there, but always quite tastefully placed. But certainly nothing changed and I never really stumbled upon any particular advantage to being married to a Buddhist, unless it would be that Lynn’s a pretty tranquil person. But then she was tranquil before driving by the Temple that day.

Then, a few days ago, after receiving an e-mail from a CBA member strongly recommending that we ‘shut down the damned Message Board because of all the xxxx it churns up’, I decided to see if my wife the Buddhist might have some insight into bringing peace and tranquility to the Message Board. Sure enough, to my eternal gratitude, she whipped out the following in less than an hour. (Comments in parenthesis are mine.)

1. Accept change, nothing stays constant. (I take this to mean that music, even bluegrass music, changes over time. So do organizations like the CBA….and so does its leadership. While you don’t necessarily have to like the change, acknowledging it makes discourse a little more civil.)

2. Practice non-attachment, do not attach to pleasure/comfort/security or pain/loss. You need to let things go. (I think this means that we should try to give up those things that we hold on to like security blankets. Like my insistence on camping in the same spot at Grass Valley every year.)

3. Everything is connected or networked together, therefore practice non-duality. We need to get above pleasure/comfort/security and pain/loss. (Lots of resonance for me with this one. It’s like, this Zen Buddhist goes into a hamburger joint and says, ‘Hey, would you make me one with everything?”)

4. Practice ‘egolessness’, it is our own ego that is causing the need for pleasure/comfort/security and the ‘fear’ of pain/loss. (Just the opposite with this one. I just don’t get what Lynn’s saying here—sounds like more New Age claptrap to me. Probably because I have a very, very small ego.)

5. Be in the NOW! If we are in the NOW pleasure/comfort/security and pain/loss disappear. (Yes. YES! You can’t do anything about the past, and, as for the future, well, it will be here soon enough. When you post on the Message Board, focus on the present, on the NOW. And if your post runs long, you might want to write it in MS Word and do a spell check before pasting it onto the Board.)

So, I think I speak for all of us who frequent the web page when I say, thank you Lynn Cornish for sharing your Five Secrets to Message Board tranquility.

And to everyone else, have a terrific weekend and please, please, please, listen to and/or play some bluegrass, old time or gospel music. Coming up tomorrow, a guest Welcome post from our Northern friend Gene Bach.

Posted:  4/21/2007

Copyright © 2002 California Bluegrass Association. All rights reserved.
Comments? Questions? Please email