Tiny Stories, Tiny Tales

So I was lucky enough to have Hollywood make a mix for me. And is it one of the best mixes, I've ever heard. Well, I should say so far. Because I've only listened to four tracks. And have replayed them over and over. I'm slow sort of listener and like to savor my music and then move on with time. Anyway, it's a fabulous mix and I look forward to the time ahead as I slowly listen to everything and think it all over.

I have to say though…it's odd listening to a certain sort of music anymore. I loved it when I was in college because I resonated with it so well and I still love it. But the resonation isn't there anymore. I think there's a song on there from the group Xiu Xiu's La Foret and they're really tight and really good and they have that sound. I'm trying to think of another band that has the sound of I'm thinking of but I'm not quite sure- it's a feeling that runs under lots of bands, and bands that are very different from each other. Like at the drive in and radiohead and Death Cab (sometimes) and Pinback (at times). There's the tight feeling that comes from good music but under that, there's a turmoil. A tight sharp turmoil. Very pretty, very well done.
And while I still enjoy that sound, my heart isn't there anymore. And I find that somewhat of a shock and almost odd.
Now that I have the time and the love to be at home and do things, I find that these things are helpers to the condition of myself. Knitting, drawing, gardening, writing, cooking- all these things, which I do nearly everyday and improve in every day, all these things mend, resolve, evolve the state of myself.
And the turmoil…it just seems to pass away. I sit on a bench and draw a teahouse, using brown and green pencils and the inward grind slows and relaxes. I cook with green and red peppers and they come out wonderfully- things loosen inside. Break down and come apart and I eat in rest. My words march along swifter and smoother and everyday they march, my seedlings in the kitchen break through the soil and start to grow, just all these things, everyday, they change everything. Everytime.

**There is perfection nowhere but everyday there is improvement. I think that must be the life of an artist- this improvement. This ascension. I don't want perfection. I just want to improve. And that is possible everyday.

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A Tale of Two Worlds

I walk past a window on my way to get a glass of water and note the snow falling outside.  As I fill my glass at the sink, my thoughts have already turned back to my work on the computer. I’m wrestling with the household budget, when I’ll fit some reading in, how to get on with my writing work, when I’ll exercise, when I’ll catch up with email correspondence and the list goes on and on.

Anytime I stop my work and look up, past the chatter in my mind, the snow catches me off guard as if it’s the first time I’m seeing it. I debate whether I can put off the grocery store to avoid driving in the snow.

This is the world of the everyday. It’s full of a thousand petty cares, some essential to living, others not as much but all in a lump group, tugging us along.

But there are times my mind needs something more refreshing, and it’s time to take a break. And that’s where music comes in—as powerful as Circe creating a circle of magic with her staff. I pick out music without words (or words I don’t understand). Today is Rimsky-Korsakov, tomorrow might be the film Phantom Thread’s soundtrack, or a piece of jazz played by Lucky Thompson.

As Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Snow Maiden starts, the circle opens. I come out of the everyday world and enter somewhere extraordinary, where beauty converges with life and cares and worries exit for a time. And all it takes is a little music, a little snow, and entering the moment that is now.

I watch the snow falling, noting the wind direction as the snow blows southeast and then drops and then exhales again southwards. I note the density of the snow, how it’s light and sparkling and then downy, heavy, and wet.  My thoughts finally still and I turn off the music. A heavy relief passes over my body and mind and I am still, watching the beauty of the world.

The Fog Rises Up and We Come Down to Meet It

This winter has frozen and thawed. And then frozen and thawed once again. With the most recent exhale of cold, fog rises up from the melting ground and wraps my town in a trance.

It softens the ragged tops of trees and transforms the dead yellowed grass into a carpet spreading out into unseen lands.  With foggy foreshortened vision, the world becomes finite and in the smallness, my wonder grows.  Trees become gloomy gods, bushes hunch over like mysterious beings with secrets hidden in twiggy souls. The sky blurs out and the land rises up to meet it and everything is reformed or brought down to its most basic form. It is easy to become lost and confused.

I walk the perimeter of my neighborhood park. We become redone together.  The playground becomes enchanted, strangely unknowable as the slides and swings soften and distort.

The ballpark’s high chain link fence however, becomes more sure.  The metal darkens and braces and holds against the diffused white light.  I stare at it through my camera lens, delighted by its ferocity while everything else around it wavers and melts.

A train passes over the hill and I can see nothing, it has been whitened out, but I can hear the busy clack of the iron wheels running on steel rails.

Geese fly overhead for a minute and then vanish.

I press on and the mist parts as I walk and so we walk together, softened, softening with the night closing in behind our steps.  The night takes everything behind us, rebuilds it like it wishes and then I step into my home and close the door.

Rain falls a few hours later and the fog mounts up, gently pressing at the windows but by morning, it is all gone and only little bits of ice remain on the walkway.