Music is one of the lodestones of my life. Had it been the only one I certainly would have ended in a very different life. I tried to leave music behind at one point. I quite genuinely believed music had nothing more for me. I wandered off into other efforts to lift myself out of here, into some other life. I had a partner. I had work. I also had a marriage and a career. Eventually, my wife believed enough in what I did that she suggested there was a way to turn my work into the completion of my degree. She was right. I sat at home night after night writing and planning and researching, following the directions that the university gave me to turn my life work into college credit. I created a document of nearly 300 pages and asked for 28 credits. I needed 24 to graduate. I did graduate. It took me 2 years, the first year to settle into what I was really trying to do and the last year to do it.
It turned out that the whole thrust of my work was over at the point that I turned it into upper division college credit by producing a post graduate level practicum. I didn’t know it was over then, but I know it now. Then I thought my work might resume around some corner I couldn’t see. Now I am pretty sure I am happy that it didn’t flower into a new life. My work to that point, in 1981 when I graduated has ebbed away. In the mid nineties music came back into my life, poised for a major intensification in 2001 when I entered my five year relationship with Frances.
In the last decade poetry has emerged as another lodestone. I didn’t have a clue that was going to happen. I have no idea if it will last. Poetry is a practice. Music is a practice. These practices are actually my work. I make my living in Engineering and I do this so I can work. I ask daily to be well placed in all of these areas. I feel blessed.
A third lodestone is my participation in AA. It too is a practice. If I don’t have sobriety I have nothing. I need to remain connected, need to serve, need to keep reverence before the Power that keeps me sober. I need to remember where I come from.
The quaternity is completed by my prayer practice. This consists of chanting and mostly solitary prayer.
You said it is how
the world is made, that the slow
sad songs are easy
to play, while the bright
glad songs just take more practice
and are more mature.
You said I like sad
because I am afraid joy
will break me open.
What do you know of me
to say such things?
February 12, 2009 9:37 AM