Journal Notes

“Normandale Blooms” (photo by m.a.h. hinton)

More random thoughts from my journals:

I am frequently reminded of the incongruity of the bifurcated life I lead, half technology and half poetry. Fortunately for me, I am for the most part comfortable with dialectical tension as well as mystery.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Mystery, it seems to me, lies at the heart of all things. And perhaps the greatest mystery of all is  always our very selves.

* * * * * * * * * * *

How well can we say we know our selves? We know what we think and what we do, but we do not always know why we do what we do or how we come off to others when we are doing or saying something. The mystery of relationship.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Tie-dye reminds us of what is most essential in life: music, art, love, and light. It is the cloth of rebellion, anti-establishment, hope, peace, and summer. It is a poke in the eye of convention, and completely  anti-business, anti-professional, and anti-billionaire worship. It is anachronistic, irrelevant, and silly. It is a statement that the wearer desires to be guided by their own light, march to their own drummer, and live their life on their own terms.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Jazz and the Grateful Dead, like poetry, takes time. The deeper you go the more your appreciation grows.

What I am finding I admire most about Jazz and the Grateful Dead is the fearless nature of the artists in the face of finitude. Painters and sculptors work to get a work of art “set in stone.” Writers work and re-work to get each word in place exactly as they want, like a word sculpture. A poet may revisit a poem again and again, but it is always with the idea of creating something as permanent as stone.

Not so in live music. Listening to albums of Lester Young, for example, you can hear two studio performances of the same song done back-to-back and hear that very little is the same. It is the art of a single, transitory moment. It is in that way more like life itself. The emotion of a living soul expressed in the moment, beautifully. To quote Yeats: “whatever flames upon the night, Man’s own resinous heart has fed.”

* * * * * * * * * * *

I like collaborations in music especially when giants are involved: Ellington and Coltrane, Coltrane and Miles Davis, Waylon & Willie.

In the world of literature, such collaborations do not seem to work. I have read a few “collaborative” works. The result is seldom satisfying. The work seems disjointed and disconnected. Not so in music.

Comments are closed.