Wouldn’t You Love to Know is my 22nd career album and I’m tempted to think it may be my favourite. The songs were written over the four-year period since my last album of new songs which turns out to be the longest space of time between albums since I started this work in 1989. This collection chronicles a rather difficult stretch of time for me which includes, among other things, the death of my father, Alfred C. Bell, last summer.
Now, approaching my 60th year, I can imagine that earthly life isn’t interminable after all. I can feel it in the aching of my aging body. I can feel it in my growing disaffection for trivial pursuits and a deepening concern to leave behind an inhabitable planet for my beloved children and grandchildren. I feel it in a building sense of urgency to find and offer better words and melodies that might animate for others the faith-way that has so animated and sustained my life. Paradoxically, in a season of social and environmental trauma, I feel it in a deepening inner quietude that comes with the conviction that the God who once pronounced the relational and material goodness of creation, won’t abandon that good work.
Though not written in the happiest of times, this is hopeful album. However, I don’t think it’s just whistling in the dark. It’s born of the love that generates us and holds us in its being. It is my hope that these words and melodies may inspire a renewed neighborliness toward human and non-human creation based on a faith that the God who created an abundant world, is the eternal wellspring of that abundance which counter’s the fear-based narratives that undergird so many of our failing structures.
I really enjoyed making this album and accompanying book. I hope that comes across as you listen and read. And I deeply appreciate all those who contributed so magnificently to its making.