good morning ~
(click the link / paint selection to listen)
today's goofy track is very lightly in response to the loss of ryuichi sakamoto
playing a really lovely gig ~tonight~ in troy - - m. geddes gengras and I are gonna hit first as a duo and the rest of the bands are world class, one last plug:
Profoundly tired in my body and brain and putting too many miles on my rattling car. Feels like the tire tread of my mind is giving out, could use a new spark plug, you get the idea. The hypnagogic highway - I blink on the toll road and all of a sudden twenty minutes have gone by and there's my exit, time gaps not experienced. Yesterday I brought the first four potted plants down to the new place and - sensitive as I am to the minutia of my experience right now, raw as an exposed nerve - I felt like I could register their discomfort as they bounced in the rear of my CRV. Sorry, I thought to myself, half believing that they'd register the apology. And then of course I could feel them straightening up again on the window frame, greedily slurping up the slanted sunlight of the afternoon. So that's how it is, I thought - new sill, same pot. Lord, won't you crack me open and unbound my tender roots?
I no longer require hanging on to various pairs of shoes I've walked all the way through. I no longer require a mostly broken radio I bought from a thrift store called Pack Rats in Missouri in 2010. I no longer require a whole series of one-third-filled journals from various bursts of writerly intent over the years. I no longer require many of my books. I no longer require a good number of CDs, although I enjoy the format more and more. I no longer require about half of the DVDs I own, knowing as I do that I do not currently possess any way of actually watching a DVD. The media can be shoved in a tote bag and sold to the local record store for twenty dollars. I do require twenty dollars (many times over). I no longer require a curiously champagne-colored tactical jacket from the army navy store that I wore exactly once. I no longer require a guitar amp that was way too loud and way too big anyway. I no longer require certain button-down shirts that I fit into for a very brief window of time in 2019.
For how many years of our lives will we carry around the unused equipment of our sweetly missed friend? Her industrial air filter, unexpectedly heavy when lifted thumped in the back of the truck. Her pegboard organizers that once held drywall screws and drill bits now holding guitar picks and audio adapters, her Juul charger placed with pride atop my recording interface. What do they hold, these tools and artifacts? Potential unrealized, acts of art unmade, but then again she did more in her shortened time on Earth than most anyone that reaches retirement age will ever accomplish. They're a kind of proof, a mooring that hitches the vessel of our friendship to the dock of life on this side of the veil. Carrying the weight of these implements is a gift, I hope to live beside them and never leave or else continue putting them into an unending series of boxes.
One of the more profound changes for me when moving is what broadcast area your radios wind up in. At our apartment for the last three years we never seemed to get a super clear signal on the boombox we keep in the bathroom, had to put it up on the radiator to boost the antenna anytime we wanted to listen to NPR (the same boombox we take to the drive-in theaters in the summer, don't want the car battery to die during the second feature). We lived within a mile of an actual college radio station, too, but for the first year we lived in its throw they never broadcasted: COVID kept the students and community volunteers from the studio. Then, to meet the bare minimum of FCC requirements, they started broadcasting pre-recorded programming. But they only had maybe two hours of material, so we heard the same Soft Cell remix 1,000 times that summer. Quite literally, we were stuck in its loop, the frequency modulation beams of its antenna slicing through our bodies at all hours of the day. At the new place we have been gifted a beautiful vintage tube radio, the kind of wooden doohickey that was at one point the media focus of the homes of America. Blessedly the Hudson Valley's famous and famously weird broadcast art radio station comes in loud and clear, although driving down to the hardware store and back I have yet to figure out exactly which stations are secretly Christian. The new terrain.
In the group chat my friend points out something very important - many of the windows in our house are portals. They have the shape, almost trademarked: flat on the bottom and rounded on top (I am reminded of my other friend who has spent the last few years struggling in the tension between squares and circles: these windows contain both). It is through the rounded glass that I continually spot robins or the gleaming chain of a constellation's belt or the dumpster we've rented backing up the long curve of our driveway (how truly satisfying to throw the rotted remnants of the previous owner into its clanging hollow!). The windows of the house: that's how the light gets in.
Interrupted in the process of picking wall colors by an unexpected but very important phone call, one that will probably result in a compelling professional opportunity in the next week or two. Picked up and did the best I could - I was entirely distracted from both things, removed and not entirely present with unfolding event. I think we can work something out that will make everyone happy - a sentence I said out loud that could easily apply to either situation. Huge changes, both. But think about it: is not the color you choose to paint your walls in the house you live in more important than what you actually do for money?
But what about you? Are you slurping up the new light? What's broadcasting all around you? What color will you paint the walls of your bedroom?