Monday, May 14, 2007


“Simplify, simplify …” realized a man living in the woods by a pond. As much as I love witnessing the healing symbiosis being awakened around the planet by the proliferation of world music and its demonstration of the charitable nature of those who serve the muse, I need to talk about a much more direct connection to whence cometh true amusement.

Until I left home I was surrounded by musical instruments upon which to noodle, tootle, plink and squawk to my heart’s delight but I had the wrong attitude about music due to my aptitude for drawing. In the graphic arts one may become financially very successful with no more than good drafting technique and the ability to tolerate clients who want something to match their couch. One may even acquire some authority in the arts by way of a degree without ever personally meeting the muse that completely enthralls artists who have. With music, there is no faking it with drafting techniques because playing every note in the correct order and tempo yields no music without performers losing the doing part because they have fused with their instruments in being a conduit for the message of the muse. Anyone who has learned to juggle or touch type understands this.

This is all to say that for a long time in my life I was frustrated by trying to play music to the same degree that I was in love with what I heard coming from others who made it seem simple. Within a few years after forsaking my yuppie pursuits my hippie slackerdom came across a classic guitar with nothing better to do either. We moved in together. She was my first piece. I loved stroking her supple gut strings and palpitating the fretted vertebrae of her spine, but she just laid there talking in a language I still didn’t get. I memorized a whole fucking Beatles song book as if it were an engineering manual by meticulously translating the notes to the strings and making up whatever rhythm my fingers could manage, but she just spoke beautiful words that didn’t make a sentence or the sense I was looking for.

Then one day
A dear departed friend
Dropped by to say his howdy-dos
We talked about this
And smoked some o’ that
And he showed some chords of the blues.

I heard her sing
In a language I loved
The mellow sound of
ut never knew the words.
It was all that I needed
Though I never heeded
Where his fingers were for the chords.

After he left
I gave her a heft
And held her close to my heart
Where her vibrations
Transmitted mutual sensations
Through our bodies right from the start.

I wasn’t just playing
And she wasn’t just laying
There came our union of sorts.
The notes flowed so freely
Without me ever really
Playing “Michelle” as a check on reports.

The next time I visited my dad I went straight to the baby grand in his living room and began playing the same way on the keys. He came out of his den and stood there dumbfounded that his tin-eared son had discovered some gold. To this day when I play we never know where we are going, where we’ve been when we’re done or how to return there, but my traveling companion, a beautiful bamboo flute, and I know the voyage never gets out of the dock if we must buy two tickets to ride.

This shouldn't be so complicated either.
The White House move to create a national ID card for voting rights is a poorly disguised attempt to gather more information on US citizens, especially obvious since everyone has a national ID already. It’s called your Social Security Number. If it's secure enough to satisfy my bank, it should be good enough to verify my vote … on the internet. If it satisfies the most paranoid segment of our society, the neocon, corporate, capitalists who make billions with secure confidence from deals on the internet, why shouldn’t it be good enough to hold and verify national elections with more confidence than any of the more riggable methods reverted to so far in our nation’s history?

1 comment:

~~karoline~~ said...

i luved the way you painted your musical canvas. since as young as i could remember, i wished to be able to make magic in some musical form, although i haven't ever accomplished this, two of my three sons plays guitar, and the third enjoys the magic of listening with me...

thanks for sharing..