Sunday, August 24, 2014


Another bird woke me this morning. At first, I thought it was a woodpecker, but it just had a knocking sort of chirp. The … can’t really use the word “tweeting” anymore, can I? … noise … that seems a paltry word to describe bird sounds. The aural presence of the bird did not really last that long, maybe 10 minutes, and then it was back to the more generalized morning bird socializing.

The house is still pretty much asleep. I'm up with my coffee and hotwaterhoney (that has a certain salacious sound, doesn't it?), desultorily working on a new mix, this one working with the word "lonely." It's interesting to listen to the various takes on loneliness. In Spanish, lonely is solitario. Now, that doesn't sound too bad, does it? Very serious and self-contained, but none of the pitifulness that comes with the English word. Even "I feel lonely," me siento sola, sounds more inclusive and hopeful. And then there is "become lonely," which does not feel like a normal construction, quedarse solo, or the verb, aislar. With those beautiful words to play with, you can understand the extraordinary beauty of Pablo Neruda.

Now, the French take that one to a tough place, délassé, désolé, abandonné. Those are cold and unforgiving places. Marshy, soft, and treacherous. Those states are much more emotionally crumpled than solitairo, less self-aware than me siento sola.  Okay, that's enough of a linguistic wandering. Portuguese and Italian are pretty close to the Spanish and I'm completely out of my league in any other language. 

For a moment there, I could not figure out how I started meandering on loneliness as that is not particularly how I feel at the moment. Depressed, yes, but not lonely at all. I received two or three communications from out-of-the-blue old friends. One remembers me in my freshman year of college who wrote, "Keep on truckin', Sally. You'll always be my Sugar Magnolia." I haven't heard from this fella in ten years nor have I seen him in 35. So that was sweet. Two high school buds appeared on FB. There was a kind note of support from a former lover that I will keep to myself.

And I was kind of truckin' along this week when, without any discernible warning, the dementors got a surprise dogpile on me. I went from vertical to a strong desire to be horizontal under the bed. I had a commitment to work with Louise on Monsterwood (Jason made his Kickstarter goal, many thanks to any of you who jumped in) so I made it down to New York City, albeit in a light fugue state, which meant I left my iPhone charger at home and was not as present as one wants to be when navigating the city. 

Amazingly (or not), seeing Louise and working did help my mood. She was on a tear; we worked for about five hours without really stopping and accomplished quite a bit. I could feel the below the surface depression like water in a sewer. At moments, I would have a small rush of despair (that sounds kind of active for the downdraw of depression, no?) but, in that particular environment, I was able to suppress it. Perhaps because Louise is empathic and sympathetic and thoroughly understands my condition and I need not hid nor prevaricate in the slightest, it is easier to bear or just accept as a life condition and carry on. 

I thought this had the menace of the Conciergerie.
On the other hand, my ... recessed? state led to a certain calm or slowing down. Before I left Brooklyn on Friday morning, I walked down to 7th Avenue in search of a proper café latté. The air was heavy and grey with a muggy threat of rain. It being the end of summer, the streets were very quiet. The folks who were out and about were unusually quiet for such a vociferous neighborhood. Even walking down the street was not the usual caroming. (Can carom be a verb? Am I butchering the language here, à la Ronald Reagan? ) Inasmuch as I very much enjoy being in Brooklyn and Manhattan, I generally rush back upstate. I feel insecure in some ways, not frightened or anything, just not entirely grounded. I probably have subterranean worries about not having enough clean underwear or meds or something when I am away from home.

At any rate, (I think that is my favorite phrase), I was unusually patient on the drive home. The Brooklyn Bridge is undergoing some major repairs and, for some reason, I had forgotten that and chose that route. But I didn't get frustrated; rather, I enjoyed the time to look at the work that was being done, the various perspectives on the bridge itself and some of the views. The FDR was similarly slow trafficked (I think I am misusing or re-appropriating that one), and I examined the beauty of decay in the rust and artful dirt along the road. I did see this sign on the way of Brooklyn and it recalled a conversation I had had that morning with JV. 

 I am quite the rambler this morning. I have been meaning to write, but could not find the point of entry. I didn't have an easy start this morning either, but I seem to have gotten over. It was a weird week, what with the chaos and madness in Ferguson, the insanity in Iraq (my friend Jason knew the fellow who was beheaded), and other disturbances in the cosmic field. I need more coffee and maybe something to eat. 

Just let me circle back to the mix topic. What got me working on another mix was this article posted by my mixing friends on FB. I like the idea of mixing being a folk art. It makes the hours and obsessive days I have spent in this pursuit feel less like wasted time and more like a legitimate artistic passion. So, I finished and "published" a mix I have been working on for three years. You can check out the playlist at the end of this post. Email me if you want a copy or access (I will probably try to post on dropbox.)

Then again, one is not really alone when one has friends and cats (or living companions of any sort).


01) Stéphanie Blythe, John Nelson, Ensemble Orchestral De Paris: St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244 (Erbarme Dich, Sein Gott)          6:23
                  from Handel and J.S. Bach: Arias, Erato, 2001
02) Uncle Tupelo: Satan, Your Kingdom Must Come Down          1:53
                  from March 16-20, 1992, Rockville, 1992
03) Jack Johnson: The News               2:26
from KGOG Private Concert 02-13-2002
04) Fleet Foxes: White Winter Hymnal   2:27
from White Winter Hymnal, Universal, 2008
05) Jack Bruce: Things We Like            3:38
                  from Things We Like, Polydor, 1970
06) Leon Russell: Stranger In A Strange Land             4:04
                  from Leon Russell and the Shelter People, 1971
07) Tandy: Facing Winter (Alone Again)                  3:57
from Some Summer's Day, Orchard, 1999
08) Cat Power: Blue          4:02
from Jukebox, Matador, 2008
09) Adrian Crowley: One Hundred Words For Snow  4:21
from A Northern Country, Misplaced, 2008
10) The Richard Thompson Band: Everything Looks Black Against The Snow    5:39
from The Paradise, Boston, MA - November 11, 1986
11) Tori Amos: Losing My Religion     2:34
                  from WBCN Naked Disc, Wicked, 1997
12) Champion Jack Dupree: Black Wolf Blues          3:02            
                  from Classic Piano Blues, Smithsonian/Folkways, 2008
13) Oscar Peterson & Stéphane Grappelli: Flamingo  5:35
from Jazz in Paris: Oscar Peterson-Stéphane Grappelli Quartet, Verve, 1973
14) Peggy Sue: February Snow             3:25
from Buzzsessions          
15) The Decemberists: From My Own True Love (Lost At Sea)       3:42
                  from Picaresque, Kill Rock Stars, 2005
16) Cowboy Junkies: Upon Still Waters                   3:23
from Open, Interscope, 2001
(17) Laura Nyro: Up On The Roof         3:15
from Christmas And The Beads Of Sweat, Columbia, 1970
18) Rogue Wave: Kicking The Heart Out                 4:14
from Out of the Shadow, Responsive, 2003
19) Eilen Jewell: How Long                  3:04
from Letters from Sinners and Strangers, Signature Sound, 2007
20) Prince: A Case Of You 3:31
from A Tribute To Joni Mitchell, Nonesuch, 2007
21) Rosalyn Tureck: Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 – Aria                   4:46
from Bach: Goldberg Variations, VAI, 1995

1 comment:

  1. Love to get the mix. Love the picture of the glass bottles -- inspired. Love your first thoughts on loneliness. Love you.