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A Photo is Worth 1000 Songs – Teton Stars

A weekly series exploring photos, words, and songs.
Photos: Arik Solberg
Words: Dave Shiffman
Songs: ♫ on Spotify

WORDS:

Stars. That’s all you see. Some are mere specks of white against the charcoal night sky, identical and seemingly as inconsequential as a flake of dust that floats across your computer screen. Others pulse with energy, reminding you that, in fact, it’s a star that gives life to everything on earth. Now and then one races across the sky like it’s being chased by Ursa Major, before it disappears in the blink of an eye. Did that actually happen? Or did you just imagine it?

You gaze at the spectacular array and know that it comes from light-years away, which is too far a distance to even calculate in a metric that would mean something to humans. You realize that space goes on infinitely and you can’t quite wrap your head around that concept. You start to feel uneasy and as inconsequential as a flake of dust that floats across your computer screen.

But you reason that your impact can not be measured against the grand scheme of the cosmos. What’s important is that you love, and are loved. Your ability to give and receive life’s greatest gift fills you with a sense of purpose. You feel privileged and relish the opportunity that God and the universe has granted you.

Another star shoots across the sky and vanishes before your eyes. You breathe in the clean mountain air and smile.


PHOTOS:

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SONGS: ♫ on Spotify

Ever since becoming deeply moved and then essentially obsessed with reggae music as a teenager, Dave has always strove to learn as much as possible about the history and culture of reggae music, Jamaica and Rastafari, the ideology and lifestyle intertwined with reggae. 

Over the years, he has interviewed many personalities throughout the reggae world including Ziggy Marley, Burning Spear, Lucky Dube, Bradley Nowell and many artists in the progressive roots scene.

Dave has also written and published a novel, “The Cosmic Burrito,” a tale of two friends who drive across the USA in search of the ultimate burrito. He plays ice hockey weekly for a recreational team he founded and manages, Team Rasta.

Reggae music has filled his life with a richness for which he will forever be grateful, and he gives thanks to musicians far and wide, past and present, whether they perform roots, dub, dancehall, skinhead, rocksteady or ska, whether their tools are analog or digital, as well as the producers, promoters, soundsystems, selectors and the reggae massive at large who comprise the international reggae community.

You can follow Dave on Instagram at @rootsdude and Twitter at @ElCosmicBurrito.