Thursday, February 27, 2014

Something I really want to say .... 3

A few footsteps in the snow .... a few hundred footsteps .... a few thousand footsteps. These empty reminders are all that remain of men and women who passed through this square, this street, this plaza -- this Earth -- only moments ago. The photograph is a memory for me of a few happy months and is symbolic of an older memory of my grandfather, whose birthday is/was today. Among my books is one called, "Not Forever on Earth." It is about the prehistory of Mexico -- the Maya, the Aztec, the Toltec, the Olmec and others. The contents of the book are interesting; the title of the book is fascinating. I have been re-reading this book and I am having a difficult time because my mind keeps drifting off in pursuit of the concept of the title. Well, you can see where my mind is today: Lost in space, lost in time, lost in wondering, lost in memories ....
Now, it is February

Happy Birthday, Grandfather, February 27 .... who lived a physical, rugged, stoic life within a life, and who never found the end of the rainbow.

My grandfather, the one I was close to, was a German. His mother made him take piano and violin lessons when he was a boy. He preferred working with and riding horses, swimming and reading, but at times, decades later, when I knew him, after drinking a few beers he would open the case to the violin of his boyhood and test his hands and his memory with a piece of music.

He worked at the same job for thirty-nine years.

He had a vegetable garden every summer. During dry times, he carried water in two sprinkler buckets from a lake about two blocks distant to ensure his crops prospered.

My favorite memory of him is as an old man, sitting outside in a rocking chair in the shade of a tree in Sunday, summer heat, listening to music and reading novels.

Here are some German "boys" of a different generation to provide birthday music for him while I fade back into the shadows beyond the blogs, leaving my alter ego behind to keep an eye on things here .... be back .... eventually ....

Friday, February 14, 2014

Something I really want to say .... 2

[Editor's Note: I am living in the past today. Since I am not here at the moment (away from my blog for a while, I mean), I decided that on this Valentine's Day I would republish my post from Valentine's Day in 2011 -- three, distant years ago. In some ways, it seems like a few decades have come and gone since then. But, in other ways, it seems like time has been non-existent since then. Whatever .... three years ago the title of this post was, "A Valentine's Day note for you -- and only you." In that regard, nothing has changed and I like to remember the brief time when we were absolute beginners. Finally, if this piece seems to end sort of abruptly, it is because it was getting rather lengthy as I wrote it back then and I decided to stop and to complete it another day and to publish the rest in another segment. I never wrote beyond the initial rough draft of the second segment of this note, and likely never will now. We do not stay absolute beginners forever.]

A Valentine's Day note for you -- and only you

"The Farewell of Telemachus and Eucharis" was painted in 1818 by Jacques Louis David. While not as well known as Cupid and Psyche or as Romeo and Juliet or as Paris and Helen of Troy, these absolute lovers also were forced to part. Eucharis was a daughter of the sea nymph Calypso, while Telemachus was the son of an ancient Greek mortal who is among the three or four most remembered today. If you do not know who that man might be, perhaps your curiosity will be stirred enough after reading this to do a bit of research. I might add that my initial thought for an illustration for this post was another painting by David (Paris and Helen of Troy), but, when I saw this piece, the woman's hairstyle and the presence of the man's second faithful companion won me over in an instant.

Happiness is being an absolute beginner

There probably have been five or six variations of this song I have posted since I entered this realm of mostly invisible individuals more than two years ago. This probably is the fourth or fifth time I have posted this particular version. I absolutely love it.

This song, without a doubt, is on my list of the five best songs ever in the era of rock and roll. I love the melody. I love the lyrics. I love the smiles and the happiness and the hopefulness that emanates from the music. I love the casual movements of the performers in this version that can only be accomplished by absolute professionals at their crafts.

Have you ever noticed that? The difference between amateurs and professionals, I mean? Experience has nothing to do with it. Age has nothing to do with it. Education has nothing to do with it. It is a god-given gift -- innate, inborn, instinctual -- which is a natural movement whether melodic or violent, whether known or unknown, whether artful or crass.

It is evident on a battlefield. Some people cannot die, and a few even realize that at some point along the way. Others know from the very beginning they cannot survive warfare no matter what they do or where they hide. It is visible on a stage. Some performers struggle and work their hearts out, but while they might achieve momentary popularity, genuine art is beyond their reach. Others open their mouths and voice of an angel emerges and their bodies move like a river flowing to the rhythm of Nature itself.

Psychiatrists might gaze within the minds of men, but they cannot understand them. Writers might describe events which have occurred, but they can only blindly speculate about what will happen tomorrow. Everyone knows that vanity is a sin, but knowing is not realization and does not slow it down.

Whether you see my point or not, or, if you do, whether you agree with me or not, is of no importance. Whether you read this or not does matter. Maybe, to you. For sure, to me.

There is a cliché to the effect that nothing is certain in life except death and taxes. It is not correct. There are a few other things which are certain, like the absolute love Paris had for Helen; like the absolute perfection of Michelangelo's Pieta or David; even like the haunting, absolute truth of a rock and roll song like "Absolute Beginners."

I noticed the other day that at the site of one of David Bowie's songs, someone had written: "David Bowie is an alien." I think that possibly could be right. I think there might be a few others among us, too, but most of us are blind to their presence and are inclined to worship the momentary rather than to build upon the lasting.

Moses knew the score. And, when you have given up on mankind as I did long ago, there remains the consistency and the beauty of Nature in which to find a semblance of absolute truth.

Something special ....