Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Music and words and work and . . .

No, not this kind of carpenter ant.  THIS kind . . . 

Words. I have always loved words, as art, making word art (poetry, fiction), escape, words and puzzles, which have something in common:  both mental constructions.

If you have to have words, you can take them into the body with sound.  One way I have healed as a person, I guess I could put it that way, is that now music enters my body and my body expresses it.  Not just toe-tapping.  Chair-dancing.  Better to do it standing up.  Then you can move your feet and it's just dancing.

Saw The Carpenter Ants Sunday at Natalie's Pizza here in town, right here in Columbus, Ohio, which was a cow town when I moved here and is now a pretty cool place.  So is Natalie's.  The Rev. Bush, above, commented during their show that when you walk into a place and there's the owner to greet you, you know you're going to get good food.

If you want a Buddhist lesson, there is an important one in that.  Natalie owns it, designed it, it expresses her, it is her work and that work gives something of value to the world.  That makes her a very lucky person - she has found what she has to give.

I am dis-couraged about that myself.  Giving poetry is hard; most people don't want poetry in this, what my students would call "today's modern contemporary world."  (I still laugh a little when I write that. Bless their little hearts.)  And I guess it is hard to separate yourself from the desire to suck-cede, I mean succeed, to Be Someone, to Matter, to imprint the world, so as not to totally die and disappear.  Why should I bother with a poem or, of course, with this blog?  So one day some lonely adolescent behind a locked door, some elder who's not very mobile anymore, will feel connected, might feel connected to me?  That's what I got from poetry when I needed it.

That would have to be the motivation, because there ain't no money in poetry, and many people competing for it.  And because poems come to me, so it's something I do, weird and archaic as it's become.  I like words on paper more than words in the datastream.  I actually rediscovered recently the pleasure of writing with a wooden pencil.  I'd forgotten.

So that, and getting used to Being Ordinary.  I wonder how many other people get the edged gift at birth of a mother who is sure you're going to Be Someone Special, though she never was?  It seems to propel some people, though not into poetry. Not that being Special is the road to happiness; I'm sure it's not.*

And gosh, I almost left out how hard it is to be old, energy depleting, and on top of that cursed with a cycling depression.  At least the damn thing cycles up the hill as well as down.

Music is good for you.  I recommend it.  I vow to listen to it and to make it, if only by tapping a spoon on a glass and a wooden table.

*I just used that semicolon with defiant pleasure, because Kurt Vonnegut taught never to use them.  I don't have to listen to other people on these things anymore.  At least not in this blog.

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