Monday, October 31, 2011

More Ghosts, Just in Time For Halloween

I was talking about my ghost music, and the fact that I feel compelled now to write about the ghosts of futures passed. there is a long roll call. Not all of them are particularly nice or good, although some are, but all were victims in one way or other, most were silenced, many erased and nearly forgotten, and all stuck here in my head. They do not rage or fuss. They only remind me gently to remember them, especially whenever I hear a certain piece of music like the Sixth, or come across a name in the line notes.

The truth is, these ghosts will not let me go. They’ve had a hold on me for more than half a century, since I encountered the first of them staring up at me from the pages of a history book. I was curious even then – and they saw it, smelled it. They teased me, cajoled me, infiltrated my consciousness and my memory – acting as if my memory were their own, collected – and became part of me. Their ranks swelled; each encounter I had brought a lifetime of histories along with it, like a promiscuous lover. I am a walking dictionary of other people’s lives, because of them.

It is only natural, right, and necessary that I allow them out.

on a much lighter note -- and nice way to finish -- when i came home today the deer did not run away. They were grazing on my lawn and I slowly walked to my front door, talking softly to them, and for the first time they did not bolt and run, in fact staying in the yard wuite a while longer after I went inside. I always knew someday I would have the best grass in the area . . .

Happt Halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tomorrow's Blog Today

It looks as though Diane and I will be taking tomorrow off, at least the first bit, so I thought I would get tomorrow's blog in today. I have spent this afternoon working on my new project, but it is a hard go. I had forgotten that, as easy as it is to write, it is exponentially diffiult to edit, to re-write. Between fact checkinbg and keeping the story straight -- and interesting -- takes all my energy. I am exhausted at the end of it, but in a good way.

So the Blog is a break. So is listening to Shostakovich's Sixth Symphony, one of his most interesting works. In my book on him I all but dismissed this opus, much to my later embarassment, because now I realize it is a masterpiece, and I know why its emotions are so precise. This one piece IS my ghost music, but you will have to read the book to find out why,

As River Song would say, "Spoilers."


Okay, it's time to get political. Maybe just for a moment. In the weeks while I was virtually hibernating, several surveys were coinducted and information releasewd, some of which is downright shameful for an American to have to acknowledge about America. While the protests agaiust Wall Street (and by extension, Corporate America) continue to grow, and grow more hostile, recalling to many the 1960's when our vested interest was our own lives . . . it turns out that there is much statistical evidence to support and substantiate what the proesters are saying: America is falling down and the gap between the well off and the rest of the country is growing.

Survey says: one in six Americans live below the poverty line. One in eleven people seeking work cannot find it. And one in four American children goes to bed hungry every night. We know how poor much of the rest of the world is, how a billion human beings planetwide eeks out a living on a dollar a day or less. But this is America! A dollar here may buy you a burger but won't cover the tax on it and certainly won't get you something healthy to eat. Our standard of living is high, which makes our poverty line higher than for other areas of the world. And yet 17% if us are poor. In America!!

Meanwhile, CEO salaries and bonuses have multiplied exponentially even when the corporations they represent are losing profits. We have spent billions of dollars to assure ourselves of the deaths of a handful of individuals abroad -- Bin Laden, Kadafi, Hussein, And yet people are starving within the United States. Our priorities are screwed.

If they sray that way, America runs the real risk of slipping further down the list of Industrial Nations. After all, we barely have any industry left. We seem to consume and consume, those of us who still have income and credit. But as the gap widens, history shows, that disparity will lead to more and more derision, and eventually to violence. This is not the direction I want to see for America, and yet as long as Corporate America is run by greed and Washington elects to bicker and quarrel and stonewall instead of act, it is the direction we will take.

There are long term problems that need to be faced and conquered. But first we have to get rid of short term thinking. Any suggestions as to how?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My New Project

I recently found a book length manuscript I had written in 1997 and started reading it. Oddly enough, I like it. It is unrelentingly sad, but it is honest and true and beautiful in its portrayal of the uglier aspects of Mankind. And if the Holocaust told us to keep busy remembering, then this is my effort to record some names worth the time and energy. I call it "Ghost Music."

I know it is funny how you see several ideas or projects ahead of you, and you flit from one to the other until one grabs you and says: WORK ME. I have begun the transcription/rewrite of this first draft, written in pen in two journals. I do not know if this will be the project that won't let go of me until it is done, but I suspect so: my brain keeps thinking about the lines and how to make them better. I also don't know if the book will ever have any appeal to a wider public, but that does not matter. The material matters -- to me.

And I ask myself -- how can so much sorrow bring me such joy? Because I think I got it right. And because these ghosts remind me of how lucky I am. And, finally, because I have been busy remembering all my life and now it's time to share those memories, even of lives lost long before I was born.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Greetings from the Big Sky

Here I am, trying to ease myself back into the habit of blogging, a habit I have not yet completely made for myself. My blogs are sporadic and that has to change. There is always something to write about -- look at me writing about writing about stuff! There have been surveys and reports and information coming out, and then there is all that treasure trove of old material I have yet to sort through. So much work! It feels really wonderful to have so much to do, a lifetime's worth of words. Funny how having so much to say sometimes translates into saying nothing at all for long periods of time.

Meanwhile, tonight;s temperature in the Big Sky will be well below freezing, but Diane and I will be cozy in our propane heated home. So watch the skies!