Jul 12 2010

four hours

in a car is all it takes to clear my mind. four hours of nothing to do but drive and drive down this endless asphalt ribbon. my hardest decision will be which music to listen to next. four hours of singing, loud, uninhibited singing, along with joni mitchell, bob dylan, cowboy junkies, counting crows, alison krauss. four hours of not caring what people passing me think as i belt out all my favorites, feet tapping, head bobbing, mouth wide.

four hours of trucks and cars and vans and jeeps and buses
and motorcycles, and one helicopter being pulled by a camper.
never saw that before. of watching for hawks and spotting two herons and counting crows as i sing a counting crows song and
then smiling to myself about that. of eating m&m’s and drinking
a coke, which I only ever do on long drives.

four hours not distracted by internet or television or telephones or anyone else’s voice. four hours of looking ahead, not behind, not up, not down, not at everything that needs to be done. four straight hours of straight hard thinking.

four hours of sky and horizon, trees and wire, whizzing by so fast you don’t see it. but it sits there, in your mind’s eye.

four hours of enjoying the ride.

four hours twice within 28.

eight hours in a car, with my thoughts and my music.

and none of those thoughts were of time.

Jun 14 2010

the long and the short of it

is that my cup is full, it is overflowing, and I keep pouring new things in. Life is short but the days are long, sometimes too long, and I find myself wishing them away, wishing for this one, or that one, to be over.

My days are consumed with holes and surprises, moments of passion, fits of anger, tears of joy, and a whole lot of busywork in between. Life is filled with life and I live it to the hilt, not wanting to miss a single thing and why should I, why would I, when there is so much to experience?

It makes me think of that Emperor, Joseph II who supposedly told Mozart his music had “too many notes.” Of course, he was so very wrong, Mozart used exactly the right amount of notes, his music comes as close to perfection as is possible, but this life, my life, seems filled with too many notes, too many choices, there is always something else and something else and something else.

I’m not saying it’s all bad, in many ways choices are good, way better than not having enough. These days we can work where we choose, marry or not as we choose, and pick from the entire pond of fish if we want to. We can eat any fruit or vegetable we want at any time of year because it is always available, we can buy anything we want at any hour of the day because the internet makes it possible, we can exchange thoughts and ideas with people on the other side of the globe, at any time, if we so desire. It makes my mind spin.

But are we frozen in place by all these choices? Have you ever been behind someone who couldn’t decide on a flavor of ice cream and stood there forever and ever? Do you ever find yourself buying much more than you need because you can’t decide between this one or that one? Do you ever have a day when you have so much to do, but get nothing accomplished because you walk in circles?

Are we getting out of tune with our own survival, with the rhythm of life that our bodies want to follow even if technology makes it unnecessary? We exercise at scheduled hours if we exercise at all, we buy more things than we have room for in our homes, we eat food that is bad for us because it is there, everywhere we look.

We keep expanding our own tiny universe, one item, one idea, at a time, until we can no longer see the big picture. All these smaller things, these superfluous notes, block our vision. All we see are these choices, the ones we pick, as well as the ones we do not.

I keep trying to find balance, but I flounder in the chaos, one day thinking I thrive on it, discovering the next I most assuredly do not.

I want my life to be a symphony filled with exactly the right number of notes. Not one too few or one too many. I look past all the choices, filter the detritus of technology and convenience and materialism that fills my line of sight, trying to find my perfect pitch. I want to be a melody, not a cacophony.

But the long and the short of it

is that I’m having a really hard time

coming up with the bridge.

There are simply too many notes.