Goodnight, dear George…

Listening, trying to invoke an inspiration beyond its semi-silent interlude, at time of transition from awake to motion to sleep to deprivation. Only there is a stop-gap that keeps stopping the rhythm of these fingers that never seemed to attack the fingers of George Gershwin when he sat down to compose.

As I sat this afternoon, at times so relaxed that I felt a meditative epiphany, the orchestra serenaded with Gershwin’s brilliance, but it was the maestro at the Steinway who commanded complete attention as his hands performed the most complicated dance upon the ivory keys. There is an immediacy to the rhapsody – we feel the country industrializing beneath its very beat. Close your eyes and imagine the engine’s steady sway as it plows through snow-covered steel tracks carrying a load of passengers ready to punch-in for their daily bread. So many, though, were closer to the breadlines, or at least the lines of inequality, as the songlines carry us downtown. Downtown, all the way South, where sweet tea made up for life that was far from sweet. Gershwin’s  sultry notes linger as we imagine the cotton burning beneath a sun that never sleeps.

How did this Jewish maestro understand the worn souls of African-Americans down South? How does any soul, who understands a history of repression, not recognize another in a state of equal despair.  One can only wonder what Gershwin would have produced had he lived longer – experienced the full magnitude of WWII – witnessed the Civil Rights movement – certainly the shedding of so much blood would have taken us deeper into the psyche via orchestration. We shall never know for Gershwin died in 1937, at age 38, of an inoperable brain tumor. While absorbing a bit of Gershwin’s songbook this afternoon, I couldn’t help but wonder if the energy, the elegant explosions, were product of an unconscious sensing there would not be enough time.

George Gershwin’s music was an apt segue of our most recent ‘holiday’. Who cannot listen to Gershwin and question dear Geroge’s romanticism?  It was a wise move of the DSM symphony to have Gershwin on the playbill this Valentine’s Day weekend. However, I’d like to think it was to commemorate the historical composition of “Rhapsody in Blue”, that debuted on February 12, 1924, at the “Experiment in Modern Music” in NYC. Ninety years ago, Gershwin debuted a composition that was written during a train ride from NYC to Boston – the rhythm of the rail’s noise opened his mind to lay the tracks for a piece that created a whole new destination. Hearing that slow cry of the clarinet today, in an environment designed for acoustics, reminds me why music can make one’s soul weep.

Exit stage left ~

This post was a test to see if I could sit and write 750 words. It is to be a new mission, to establish a habit of writing, whether I have anything to say or not. Of course, they are  supposed to be words that are nonsense, not actual posts, so perhaps I shall give myself a bit of grace as this will not meet the intended number. (Oh, and be assured, I will not be posting 750 words of nonsense each day!)

Perhaps, I just wished to reach out to you, dear reader (if you are still stopping) with a small offering for a weekend that leaves us celebrating, and sometimes, remembering. After all, winter is a time to remember, for it was Terry McKay who stated, “Winter must be cold for those with no warm memories”. (“An Affair To Remember”)

So, on that note, I shall leave you with something to wrap you in warmth this cold February evening.  May we all remember to dream. ~ a

camouflaged

Perhaps it is the lines on the paper that stop me. Perhaps it is the lines outside, along the roadside, that wish to keep us align, in line, that stop me. Where did that voice go – the one that was never without a story. As a child, the bathroom mirror was my audience as I would sing a whole storyline into my hairbrush. Tenderness of small brains, we create a world without knowing there is an outside waiting – waiting in the wings to clip ours until we conform. But – but that is only the way for some, for as I explore the minds of other creatives, those encouraged to non-conform, I find a whisper of the reality to feed inner hunger – a creative monster’s appetite for more flesh, blood, and breath that shall create a mighty force that blows the page wide open – somewhere the lines converge until the bloodline of humanity have threaded a seam into my little dream creating a landscape where the sun rises in the East, but never sets because the day never ends unless the dream’s mind ceases to exist. 

Why do we create, really? Not just stories – words upon these blank canvases, but any creation? Are we hard-wired to create anything, or are we only to produce those symbols of beauty? Yet, that makes no sense for do we not project our unconsciousness, our mind’s vocal ramblings – musings – dark side – into words, rhythm, paining… actually, the medium may be endless today.

If you are lucky enough to create, and create some more, do you share it? Do you attempt to profit from it? While reading from a few books this weekend, one on the craft of writing – another on the arts and artist – I’m struck by those that are compelled to write a whole manuscript only to shove it in a drawer. The artist that stashes dozens of canvases into a closet. Some may give their art away, only – that I understand to some extent for are we not grateful for the product as it allowed our mind’s to breathe – to experience the silent relief akin to our body’s spent nature after extreme endurance, or sex.

Do you create – if yes, what do you prefer – that your art is viewed as a gift, or a commodity?

nature

camouflaged, a deer at dusk settled into the snow waiting for dark to cover the landscape – there was no movement, just a heavy silence of what could not be spoken between us – how I long to be as free as ‘she’, though we both know that freedom never escapes what is imminent ~ 

(a view from the side of the road while chasing the sunset)

 

dream scape

the dream ended weirdly, what dream ends as Hollywood, really… Perhaps it is the constant resort to use a facility, perhaps it was our reckoning of a city gone under siege, yet I had just spoken with a man who was going to let me trespass on his land so that I could smell the trees, so that heavy, yellow ruts of grass clumped with shards of frozen snow melt could trip me as it romped with the dog far into a country of no country in suburbia – how everyone lined the streets in panic, thou, dogs ran wild and I kept on seeing pink, and my boss (my real boss) how did it end, was it that dark street filled with human panic, there was someone, a young man who took my hand- I wonder where we are now…

Dreamscapes are rather amazing. I blame last nights on too much sugar and carbs before bed. Who knows, perhaps the new app playing sound waves geared for sleep are causing warped wave patterns – this is the second odd dream in three days. I feel my childhood creeping in- so many dreamscapes, highly colored storyboards that swept me away in daytime too until the night terrors came…then, I gave up sleep all together – it was when life became forever changed.

A week ago, sitting in my favorite coffee shop, I streamed this onto a little notebook. I was rather curious about it, what I wrote, so today I reread it…

how sad are we when
a blanket covers a garden

to prevent frost, but the
sun comes undone
a candle lights the way
under a trellis gate
wrapped in gold bandages
wintered bramble
spikes catching a red feather

quick, a fallen wound
tonight we celebrate you
or is it her
turning an age
turning over this packed skin
a thin scrim of soil, cracked
no one remembered
she had died

that explains the tea cup
of frozen ice

sing a sad song to her today
it’s never too late
even the forgotten
hear

under a blanket of snow
a clover moon
shining

a vibration will reach
to a solid core
gone molten

sing to her
it has been silent, too long

address unknown…

Piano keys promise a magic not forgotten. Imagine fingers gliding right into treble, until notes sound a melding of rain drops and iced pellets that fall upon a Midwestern winter landscape. Eyes closed, forgetting the smell of wet dog and generic walls that have become home for so long that there is a loss of how many years. Perhaps it is baby grand sounding in a dark corner of a city bar, a clamouring crowd waiting for Sunday’s nightly specials to begin while a  sliver of moon rising, painting slushy concrete a fashionable sheen. However, what if – what if we changed things, channel a different vibe… ambient notes,  a la Eno, and a far off echo of Nakai’s warble. A train whistle shattering crystalline silence, announcing civilizations arrival into white crusted pine boughs and green skies.

These are two scenarios that have long played in my mind – the city dweller vs the wilderness survivor. I was a teenager who longed to be a New Yorker, even though I had never even visited. It seemed a place of great sophistication and intelligence; where everything that could conceivably happen would transpire without much effort.

I was also a teenager who lived to be outside, to feel real ground beneath her feet while marveling how trees swayed even with no breeze. It was not a Midwest sunrise longed for, though, but that of the Alaskan wilderness, one barely grazed by human hands. Again, a place never visited, but there was a certainty  that a cozy cabin could be mine.

Neither happened.

Yes, NYC has finally been crossed off the list with a thick black line just slightly thicker than the ones that are starting to form in the corner of my eyes. New York is a place for minds broader than mine, younger, that can function within the confines of small spaces. Spending a bit of time with Goodbye To All That: Writers On Loving And Leaving New York confirms these suspicions. A city for romantic notions of coffee shop writing and calling unique brownstone home…if you can afford it, make it, and remain inspired.

Alaska, though, has resurfaced as something that could happen as I begin to understand the sacred, or better stated, finding sacred space.  For me, that requires a landscape of vast majesty. Not a majestic vertical rise of steel beams, but wide expanses of evergreens that reach for a place that might just crack open, in the middle of the night, a blaze of reds and greens. A place for those who understand nature can break you, but she can heal you as well. A far off land, where if one closes their eyes, they might just…

So, this opening of landscape has me envisioning a new space – one of possibilities. Perhaps, opening a new cafe where only thing on the menu is a feast of dreams, written in a language that not even I can discern. I’ve thought about creating a place that might find my anam cara, who will certainly be a spiritual soul hacking it out in a landscape of remote beauty. A place that knows no boundaries. A place where no one knows my name.

We shall see — if the dust starts to gather about this place, just know, I’ve not given up the dream, but have decided that perhaps it no longer can be found at the YHC.

big chill…

The big chill is looming in the rafters of the North. We have stockpiled our resources for a few days in hell. Too bad this hell is not the one that some bible readers proclaim is one’s domain if not adhering to their salvation. Something tells me even they (the proclaimed) would embrace glowing embers verses frozen pipes. Sigh…to think I used to dream about living in Alaska.

Beyond that, I wrote a bad poem after speed reading last weeks NYT’s Sunday paper (this weeks will arrive tonight, and it bothers me to be a week behind).

Did you see last weeks at all – especially their “Sunday Review… Year in Pictures”? How could anyone see the couple buried in what seems an embrace, beneath an avalanche of rubble, and support any clothing company that has holdings in Bangladesh?

There were so many humbling photos. It made the article on Martha Beck’s 3,000 dollar weekend retreat for people to ‘find themself” seem rather nauseating – esp. after I thought that is what I needed if I had the money….

The minnow swims sideways, gleaning off the back of that big bass
going somewhere blindly, riding a shadowy underworld of browns and greys
a lake of runoff water covered with a skin of swaying green

it will be okay
making its waves differently, silver body gleaming a Pisces cube, traveling a trajectory unknown
it is a survivor – a little fish in a big

(The last part is too sad to go on – think Moby Dick with no cozy whale belly. Perhaps there Are dangers to reading the daily news) 

Before I go – a question – do you ever feel you were born in the wrong era? I sit here listening to Pandora and old-time jazz keeps coming up (Chet Baker is my stream) and it seems rather decadent, as decadent as the Pullman train that shall start operating from Chicago to NYC with fine dining and sleeper car… sigh, I wonder if it was more glamorous to be poor back then, too..

(Sorry, I keep worrying about the poor with these storms of snow and below freezing temps. There are so many that must be so frightened, wondering what to do when there is nowhere to really go, but to travel in one’s mind and imagine a warm place called home. I wonder if they feel like little fish in an environment formed from excess…)

how we bait the innocent
the tolerant
the little fish just moving along
invisible, until someone cast a
net 

(peace and warmth to you… btw, I am working on bringing back my meditation practice, but am uncertain of my method, so if you are in need of warm thoughts to be sent your way, drop me a note and I shall add you to my intentions – I can be positive AND healing, promise ~ a)

before this day is done…

if there is beauty in this world may it embrace us until our arms entwine not allowing trespass
we shall never be strangers if we realize the air is flowing in and out and there is no division between your
exhale and where an inhale begins – some say this is a day where we begin again for another year
yet do we not begin again every second minute hour day as this vast network of cells die and replicate
a guitar sings to me as his voice betrays what is really there behind that wooden memory
and steely fret crying regrets for would we need this melody if the tree still swayed by her riverbed

close your eyes if you are still awake
let this non-lullaby lull a new awaking:

imagine a day playing by water so still our laughter shattered her surface
floating our secret whispers forward
and our toes gathering muddy sand
swirling a dirty dervish that spooked golden sunfish
no worries for we only had poles to placate
adults needing to justify a day in nature

but we visited here everyday in our simple brains
finding comfort in invisible sunsets
gone purple and pink in winter -

(you know this is just what it is…nothing…but i could not let a thought go unsaid for there is a longing to share something everyday yet most days words never get said. we enter into another year, but in my mind it is truly just another day – there shall be no grand resolutions or sentiments…well, unless you count the idea of the desire to go more inside by leading a life more outside – it shall not be easy for all around me the country is silently being paved over and this heart is crumbling under the weight of not smelling the trees. if i find a way, be it good or bad, but certainly with honesty, a new way to live will be unearthed…if only in this simple mind ~ peace ~ om shanti ~

celebration Eve, an imperfect night ~

i love you (I love you)
who is you (You is who)

(warning: this shall be an imperfect post – it actually has already begun for those opening lines were  a longer poem an hour ago, but I wouldn’t allow the muse voice yet (she was yelling in my ear in the bathroom) until 10 pages were read from three books next to me -

SEEKING, perhaps it is Fitting to read from all sides on this religious of eves (for some) – Fitting that the chapter read from On Heaven & Earth : Pope Bergoglio & Rabbi Skorka  dialogue their thoughts on atheist and other religions, While Hamza Yusuf explains how reading the verses of Matharat al-Qulub will mend humans’ fractured heart, While Krishnamurti writes of how we can create a new culture, Not through a religion, a politic, But through Creativity…)

orbs shall shine tonight upon this earth from a far off place
a place filled with calm, a bundled home, energies compounded in
brilliance until reaching our senses, detecting its mastery, instinctively

(mastery is for the universe, not me – i (I) would love to be perfect if it were not certain that in wanting it, it is killing what is Me – the only thing perfect that i know is she, a dog, who was an answered prayer – it is no coincidence that a dog (human’s best friend of unconditional love) is god backward)

what is G_d (insert Your word for the divine)
what is the divine
are we not
mir -
- ror

(if we are mirror, then, does that mean All is imperfect – our design against attainment of perfection- imagine a hole that allows certain things to be lost to the universe, to reabsorb or transfer into energies, so even if we strive for it attainment is beyond our grasp as grasping lends to only a larger opening for it to leave – one’s energies, to become a diamond, are never lost, just redirected (perhaps allowing orbs to glow even brighter))

i burn bright tonight (I burn brightly)
will you (You will (i hope))
reach out to this warm light and
we shall celebrate nothing (and everything)

(just gaze up tonight (seeing or not) as a child does hoping to glimpse that old man and his magic creatures)

find it in your right pupil’s reflections (a pinpoint star dancing in a black orb)
and transfer it to your all seeing Third (it is There, between both orbs)

and

create a vision that dwells in possibility, then
breathe in until filled with beauty so bright
that your exhale fills a bit of that hollow that resides
within me ~

There is inward beauty only when you feel real love for people and for all the things of the earth; and with that love there comes a tremendous sense of consideration, watchfulness, patience.

If we awaken creative beauty inwardly, it expresses itself outwardly, and then there is order. ~ Krishnamurti, This Matter of Culture

 

(confession I saw this on another blog, but instead of reblogging, I went out to YouTube so I could post it with a comment – is that awful? Anyhoo, I would love to ponder and wax poetic tonight, but it was a weekend in libraryland, ergo, the brain is tapped.

So, please, sit back with a warm cup of somethin’ and listen to a folksy, Lou Reed rendition of this classic. I’m feeling kinda blue this holiday, but Lou and Rufus remind me that it is best to put a different spin on things in order to discover a better melody. May your night be melodic and blue… peace ~ ) 

 

 

solstice eve

In this torn desert world there is no love because pleasure and desire play the greatest roles, yet without love your daily life has no meaning.

how do I continue in a life with no meaning?

And you cannot have love if there is no beauty.

beauty covers this world, does it not?

Beauty is not something you see—not a beautiful tree, a beautiful picture, a beautiful building, or a beautiful woman. There is beauty only when your heart and mind know what love is.

what is love

Without love and that sense of beauty there is no virtue, and you know very well that, do what you will, improve society, feed the poor, you will only be creating more mischief, for without love there is only ugliness and poverty in your heart and mind. But when there is love and beauty, whatever you do is right, whatever you do is in order.

this life, this world, seems out-of-order

If you know how to love, then you can do what you like because it will solve all other problems. – Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known, p 86

Krishnamurti’s quote arrived in my inbox a couple of days ago. It made me sad for I have known for a long time that love has alluded me. This is a rather pathetic statement, yet it is an honest one. Krishanmurti would say it is a statement that misunderstands what love is. I do not counter.

Today, I found the longer piece of this quote and read it. So many bits of wisdom found in just four pages of rumination. I will simplify my conclusion:

To love, as K. writes, is to find Your child again.

At the end of the page, I wrote this as I my mind wondered, wandered…

Where did you go, my dear, upon the willows that bowed to feet still unbound?
Gone are smiles that grace an open voice that knows nothing of proper laughter.
Did those many branches entangle your spirit until the winter wind froze
all the pieces into fabric only used by common man, but, what is common -
what is man – when a talisman coin finds it way into an empty palm
lined with a thousand years of other lives,
yet this one remains uncertain in today’s noise.
Did you fly into that doves gaze when he pushed you high,
trying to catch the sky with toes, you think – stretch – just a bit more…
for there is no knowledge that it cannot be done.
Come undone – unwrap these frozen binds so we can
become friends again and our blood will circle,
letting nature pool until roots are neither for soil or kin.
When that last glimpse of the Sun rises before it sinks again,
grab it in your eye and hold it – then let it go
until your mind sees it inside. Look for me,
on that side, a star – a light of you,
gone golden. 

Then inwardly you are completely silent. Do you understand what that means? It means that you are not seeking, not wanting, not pursuing: there is no center at all.
Then there is love. ~ Krishnamurti, “Freedom From the Known”

outsider turned in

shattered I  blink
remembering fragments
vivid black wreckage

a breath is all
that is left of this sentence
this life of passive verbs

a breath is all
when we crash upon pavement
in a mass of regret

to remain a life that never ends
breathing and present

(we are all outsiders until we turn in - this is a combination of dream and reading of Krishnamurti and Zen wisdom that in no way attempts to simplify death – it is (for me) a reminder of the importance of finding a thread of humanity in the present in order to remain connected as an outsider trying to turn in in order to never forget those that came before me, nor those that will remain after I am gone – it is living one’s truth that is the way to truth, not just for this life but for the heart beat of humanity that weaves a distinct rhythm from a cosmic loom we cannot see but feel in every breath ~ ) 

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