Last night, I listened to music on my computer, via Spotify. Among other pieces, I listened to Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring. The piece I played was an instrumental, performed by Leo Kottke on 12-string guitar. No matter who played it, whether it was performed by a kangaroo on an oboe, it would have brought tears to my eyes. And it did. I was home alone, listening to music to try to clear my mind and take me to a mood suitable for writing.
The tears. Not because of its religious nature; most certainly not because of that. Why, then? I don’t know. Some music strikes a chord (pardon the pun) and causes me to emote. It’s embarrassing. I can be in a grocery store and the right music can trigger a deluge.
And, then, I listened to Kottke with Mike Gordon. Mike Gordon of the rock group Phish. I liked Phish. But I like Kottke better. But I loathe the two of them for messing with my emotions. They are among many, though. Many musicians, writers and performers, enjoy ripping my soul to shreds with their lyrics, in combination with their tunes. Bastards.
That’s what poets and writers are supposed to do. That’s their job. I am involved in OJT; on the job training.
By the way, can love extend beyond the safe, traditional boundaries to the edges where it does not belong? But who’s to say it doesn’t belong there? Not I. I belong to my cohort. We all do.
Some nights, and last night was one, I want to dance. I want to break out of my shell and dance. Not in the spotlight; just alone. Or with someone who can dance without judging my dancing; someone who won’t laugh at an inept amateur. Music can unleash things in me that rarely see the light of day. They’re always there, but they hide, because they’re afraid to come out in the daylight and be seen.
If I had my life to live over again, I’d do it differently. I would have gone with my friend, Paul Williams, on the walk across India after college. But none of us can live our lives over. So, I will adjust and compensate for mistakes. That’s what we do most of our lives, isn’t it? Adjust for mistakes and compensate. If we allow ourselves to be happy in the process, it’s not hard to deal with; but if we refuse to adjust our definitions of happiness to mirror our circumstances, we are destined to be depressed and unhappy. How does one readjust for years of mistakes?
My answer involves forgetting the mistakes and trying to take risks that seem too hard to take. And an occasional vodka rocks or gin martini. It helps immensely to know, from time to time, there’s someone out there cheering me on.