Saturday, August 29, 2009
George Ensle: A Messenger from the Other Side.
Maybe it was because he was from Houston, my old hometown. Or maybe it was because he had known and even opened for Navasota’s hero, Mance Lipscomb. It might have been because so many of his songs seemed to conjure up such familiar pictures in my mind. But it was probably because of the funny, sometimes heart-grabbing stories and introductions George Ensle told between his original songs that made him one of my personal favorites that have performed at the Corner Café.
He shared about a human dynamo across the street from his home in South Austin, a little old lady who had once helped her husband build their home, doing a great deal of the stone work herself. He and his wife had set out to be of her assistance, and ended up receiving a blessing themselves. George Ensle has learned to relish in God’s mysterious ways, His wonders to perform. And guys down the street that found insane pleasure in sitting in front of an air conditioner, out in the yard! Ensle seems to genuinely enjoy his own jokes, and the everyday hilarity in life. And he remembered Mance as a warm and generous friend who had always invited him to come and visit in Navasota. But regretfully, he never did. He still finds satisfaction though, that Mance Lipscomb, upon hearing him play, told him he had good rhythm as he stepped off the stage. You can tell that moment stands like a tiny trophy in his heart, treasured encouragement given from somebody who ought to have known. He even played a song inspired by, and written in tribute to Mance.
Ensle has mastered the difficult task of bringing to life the forgotten and unseen realities around us. He told of a tender moment, which had repeated itself, after someone close to him had died, when a butterfly came and landed on his toe, as if to give a comforting farewell, like a messenger from the other side. And maybe it was. But only an artist of some kind would have comprehended the timely love note. Many of his songs are written about everyday incidents or people who made eternal impressions on him. They and their spirits have been kept alive by his soulful lyrics.
Ensle sings about the here and the now as well, about his wife, his daughter, red neck neighbors who never throw anything away, yet always aware that God had woven himself through every person and incident and facet of our lives. George Ensle reminds us of the miracles that we once saw, and the ones we might miss if we quit looking for them. He is no angel, but he is definitely a messenger from the other side.