The resistance to writing blogs is this: I usually spend time writing and rewriting before letting anything out into the public. The blog is a journal and maybe journal is related to journey. And my journals are generally private events, places to work out ideas, dreams, stories, poems before they reach the first draft stage. They’re embryonic, even wild, unformed. Some can be caught, some not. So I fret over letting anything go in a blog.
Several themes intertwine this week, a week in which I’ve traveled to Kona on the Big Island for the Queen Lili'uokalani Canoe Race, then spent a few days after on the beach as I’ve tried to figure the next move in all this. The apparent themes are: death, political madness, lying and imperialistic actions done in the name of all of us—our children will pay for these evil stupidities--, and the internal human battles that we all deal with, which are immense in the flare, then appear even petty in the overview of hours and days. But the small is the large after all and it’s the small internal battles that are behind each world war—I grimace to think of the litter of recent failures, but after each battle I come to an understanding I haven’t had before---so maybe they aren’t failures because something’s been gained, something I can hear and speak or sing or play through my horn. And then someone else picks up on it and continues to create with it…
There is a wise one in all of us. The voice of that one is subtle, doesn’t yell or elbow or otherwise call attention to itself. It’s just there, like the knowing silence in those old Creek relatives who know that real power comes with humbleness. But there’s no mistake when I’ve heard that voice. One day the clatter of my mind was too much as my thoughts wheeled around and around about not having this or that, not being this or that, and off onto the track of judgment. You know what I mean. It’s so easy to stand there with your mental hands on your mental hips, smacking your lips with judgment over someone else’s weaknesses and poor choices in life. They’re so easy to see. Meanwhile, your weaknesses are dancing circles around you in cheap polyester, making a racket you can’t hear or see, unless you shut up for awhile. And everyone else might be pointing fingers and laughing up at the raucous pride, the need for attention, or whatever it might be. We often leap to our own uninformed conclusions, usually by leapfrogging over the wise self. And what invariably happens is that whenever I make those judgments or pronouncements I find myself on the other side of them almost immediately. And then I hear my words come back to me, sharply, painfully. Then I know I have gained knowledge.
It’s hot in this studio. It’s generally orderly: there’s musical instruments, stacks of paper, blankets hung on the wall, books, stacks of paper, my computer—tonight everything’s askew, like my mind. The couple across the way are fighting again. He howls. Her voice punches. Back and forth. Each is wrapped in private pain, but it’s a pain they share.
What is it within us that allows us to wake up from that terribly rutted hellish road?
Okay, so here it is, the contest. The first person to send the answer to firstname.lastname@example.org will receive a free Native Joy CD. Name the Creek saxophone player who has influenced me. (First and last name.)
Also, looks like I’ll be doing a performance sponsored by the DC Poets Against the War organization in DC on September 23rd at the Provisions Library. More info will follow as soon as I have it. Will be performing some of the trax from the new album as long as there’s a good sound system.