Saturday, April 4, 2015

Africa/America: Blood Drum Spirit

For your pleasure:





David Bindman, saxophone
Wes Brown, bass
royal hartigan, percussion
Art Hirahara, piano

When You Can No Longer Remember Shit ...

... make shit up.

As I see it you either turn 60 or you write a truthful memoir, but you can't do both.  Because after 60 (or after chemo and radiation or post-partum or terror or other life-changing extended sleep-depriving events) you simply don't care that much for accuracy.  You can't, it's an unattainable goal like having the body you sported at 20.

At first, this truth-bending shocked me and I would run down the street chasing some sentence that just popped out of my mouth, like, "Back in 1995 I was working for General Eclectic," hoping to tackle it and smother the inaccuracy before it embarrassed me.  And then, when my knees started barking and my hip throbbed in tune to the universe, I stopped and thought, "Who cares?"  Who cares if the year and the employer are wrong?  I'm tryin' to make a point here, people.  Whatever that was.  I don't lie with nefarious intent, I simply have decades of memory to sift through and sort out and stuff got mixed and matched in my head and if I waited for my internal fact-checker to get back to me the people I'm talking to would be gone, asleep or dead.

So, onto haiku and aphorisms, scrupulous truth be damned:

Spring in New Haven
Now that the snow has left us
bereft of complaint.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Keeping a Resolution I Swore I Wouldn't Make

Judging from the grades I make in my math classes I'm not particularly good at Logic.  Common sense I think I've got in abundance, but that other stuff (flutter of hands, rueful face...)  You see, we went to visit some friends in Poughkeepsie this weekend past.  It was combination housewarming and observance of the death of a guru, complete with meditation and a shrine and communion.

I have what I'll delicately called a perverse relationship to the spiritual arts -- I avoid them.  In posts past I confessed to years ago in Brooklyn having a yoga teacher who loved me despite the fact that I Hate Yoga.  Hate.  It.  And yeah, don't tell me it's good for me.  I know that.  What with this colossally shortened hamstring I'm sporting these days I can barely get down a flight of stairs, but you'd have to put a gun to my head to do anything about it except a few stretches and making Cuthbert drive me everywhere.  But, as I've often written, I digress.  (Embarrassment will do make you do that.)  Anyway, Dear Reader, you'd be proud of me, I meditated.  Really.  I felt things I ordinarily would not have which while not always pleasant was interesting.  All good.  We drove to the hotel to sleep.  Just before climbing into bed I ate a few apricots.

And that's where my troubles began.  I woke up the following morning with a food processor dicing chicken bones in my gut.  Not enough to deter me from eating breakfast, mind you, but enough to know that I'd better get home.  So we called our friends just to say "so long and thanks for all the hospitality" and got invited over for tea.  About 1/2 hour after arriving at their home I was pleading to lie down.  I slept and slept and slept.  Awoke, drank some herbal medicine, rattled around a bit, slept some more on the couch and then shuffled through the apartment to throw up in the toilet bowl.  Spent an extra night in Poughkeepsie in case of encore.

Here's where the un-logic comes in:  Meditation = puking your guts up.  Oh oh.

Since Sunday I've barely eaten, mostly out of fear of which end and at what velocity will the food come out.  And slept of course.  I'm sticking to bland food and juice until then.  Usually when I'm as stressed out as I am these days I'll eat anything.  Just put a piece of wet sheetrock on a plate in front of me, and it's gone.  No problem at all.  But these days I'm giving food the side eye.  Which is fine since I dropped a couple pounds that I sure don't need.  Whether I'll continue when my stress = binge eating gene reactivates is unlikely, but for now it'll do.

All this to say that I am all kinds of tired.  And the great David Carr has died.  Namaste.



Sunday, February 1, 2015

In 1934 Stars Fell on Alabama

This will be short.  Last week's entry was full of typos (now corrected) and if I type more than a few lines today's post will be, too.  But I wanted to share the news that I had The Perfect Day™.

No work work or personal paperwork to do that would result in a fine or a shutoff if not submitted.
No math work (because I lost my nerve and didn't deign to find out what classes I needed until -- oh snap! -- it was too late to enroll).
No meetings.
No reason to leave the house because we had the 4 food groups:
1.  booze
2.  coffee
3.  carbohydrates and
4.  half 'n half
No visitors and no phone calls to make or receive.

But, as rare as All the Above are in my life what made it le jour juste was that I got to quilt all day and all night stopping only to eat and drink and check to see that Cuthbert hadn't electrocuted himself trying to change the light switch in his office (not that that, frankly, would have stopped me but I digress).  The day was perfect because I went into my office/studio at 9:30 in the am and didn't stop cutting, stitching and piecing until about 11 pm last night when I could neither see nor cut straight. (See Mihály Csíkszentmihályi and the concept of flow.)  Just had to share that and what, you may ask, does that have to do with stars and Alabama?

Nothing at all except at this age I'm waxing lyrical about all the wonderful things your kids do when they are young young and I am confusing my oldest with my proxy granddaughter and so for the umpteenth time I told Cuthbert about my early days of living in Brooklyn and taking the 9 year old to the library to do a social studies assignment and she, for reasons that eluded me then and now, chose the state of Alabama, and when I swept into the children's section to pick her up she was finished and wanted to read it to me and it began:  In 1934, stars fell on Alabama ....  And it is a moment like that makes your heart break and you remember why you love them so even though they cost you money and sanity and by their very existence prove that you are not invulnerable as long as there is at least one someone that you would die for.

And now I'll return to something that I gladly live for, quilting.  Adieu.