Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Mortality

You were a crying baby not so long ago
You grew too fast, you grew too old
Now you are old and you're crying 'cause you know
You're gonna die
in the Knot
of time.

When I die give me a silver cane
Golden shoes with my walking cane
Golden shoes so I can walk away
Far away
from the knot
of Time.

When I die lay my body down
Lay me down in an Egyptian room
Send for the ship. take me away
Far away
from the knot
Of time.

This is part of a tune I wrote many years ago, a bluesy G minor, some time after a dream I had that I've never forgotten.
In it, a person was in a small circular machine going around and around slowly. It was also going up and down in the same rhythm, into the ground and back. Over and over and over. I knew there was no physical escape.
I was awakened to a monotony and repetetive motion to life, and a certain entrapment in the material realm. I think I've accepted this to some extent, as I experience the inevitable aging and natural sequences of living, in my older years. I hope to learn more and more how to let this natural rhythm carry me safely to my death.

33 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Silken Tent

She is as in a field of silken tent
At midday when the sunny summer breeze
Has dried the dew and all its ropes relent,
So that in guys it gently sways at ease,
And its supporting central cedar pole,
That is its pinnacle to heavenward
And signifies the sureness of the soul,
Seems to owe naught to any single cord,
But strictly held by none, is loosely bound
By countless silken ties of love and thought
To every thing on earth the compass round,
And only by one's going slightly taut
In the capriciousness of summer air
Is of the slightlest bondage made aware.

Robert Frost

Astrid

28/2/07 6:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Astrid

Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.

Far in the pillared dark
Thrush music went —
Almost like a call to come in
To the dark and lament.
But no, I was out for stars;
I would not come in.
I meant not even if asked;
And I hadn't been.

28/2/07 7:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that when we come here we know everything we need to know to accomplish what we came here to do. But we forget. Because we must bring into physical form, our experience, and all the thoughts that take us there.

I have seen "home", so I know there is "home", and this is just a stop along the way.

.........

Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

.........

But we don't sleep. We awaken after a dream.

Astrid

28/2/07 7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and the music...

Time After Time

Night Ride Sunrise

Straighten Up and Fly Right

Long Walk to Freedom

Halleujah

Rock This House

Astrid

28/2/07 8:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what happened to these three,

Straighten Up and Fly Right

Long Walk to Freedom

Halleujah

but you get the idea.

Many hugs, Astrid

28/2/07 8:43 AM  
Blogger Kadimiros said...

I remember those Chinese puzzlers that used to sell at one of the arcades in town. Stick a finger into either end of the woven tube, then try to pull it out, and the lengthening tube quickly contracted to grip the finger ever more tightly.

Repaired links:

Straighten Up and Fly Right

Long Walk to Freedom

Halleujah

28/2/07 11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not. It must be my poor choices in music. That's what happens when I post while I'm drinking my first cup of coffee.

Astrid

28/2/07 12:33 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Astrid

I love Robert Frost. Thanks for the grace of this poetry. What a surprise.

I was out for stars;
I would not come in.
I meant not even if asked;
And I hadn't been.


I like this.
I'll try to see what my dial-up lets me hear music-wise.:-)

But we forget

Indeed. I think remembering is the joy in itself.

Kad! I remember those puzzles. Very apropos.

To every thing on earth the compass round,
And only by one's going slightly taut
In the capriciousness of summer air
Is of the slightest bondage made aware.

28/2/07 2:29 PM  
Blogger jm said...

But we don't sleep. We awaken after a dream.

Yes.

28/2/07 2:30 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.

So true. The nature of all emotion. That's part of the rhythm I've accepted.

28/2/07 2:54 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I love African music. The harmonies are as lush as any in history but more accessible, for some reason. Cleaner, less orchestration and distraction around the pure melodies and voices. The polyryhthms are hypnotic no matter how many times I hear them. And there is often a lilt in the voice that is sweet and impossibly endearing. I heard the Jim Kweskin Jug Band do a tune called Guabi Guabi and I couldn't get it out of my mind for many years. One day by the usual magic, I found an obscure tape of an African guitarist and singer doing it in that inimitable African way. I was in heaven. All shuffle and sweetness.

I loved Afropop when it first emerged...King Sunny Ade. The "Minister of Pleasure".
Smooth, articulate and completely enjoyable as only the Minister can administer.

The African sound, of course, made American Blues. The guitar was used as percussion, because the slaveowners took their drums away. You can't take the rhthym from the man. But equally enchanting to me was how it combined in the Caribbean with the Latin rhythms to make by absolute favorite music in the world. Calypso, Reggae, and Haitian most of all. Merengue.

The combination in New Orleans was the height of American music, where people like Professor Longhair added their own creative slant to the infectious beats. Pianos were everywhere.

But it all originated in Africa.

Music is a universal language, and as a musician, I never stop being astounded by the cross-cultural exchange that has always gone on. Somewhere inside of us we want to blend.

28/2/07 3:19 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Astrid, the rhythm of Sraighten Up is very much like a lot of mine. Slow jazz/blues.

28/2/07 3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always think of Frost when I want to ground something that is etheric.

The music of course is clearly the ethic brought into vibration everyone can not only understand, but feel.

We do move on from here.

We do have a home, for which we all yearn.

Life is but a dream, with an important prupose, and what we do counts for ALL. It is beyond cell memory, but it's one step at a time. It's all good.

I'll be sure to give myself more wake-up time from now on. :-)

Astrid

28/2/07 3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Astrid, the rhythm of Sraighten Up is very much like a lot of mine. Slow jazz/blues.

I was sure that that was the case jm. My favorite too.

Astrid

28/2/07 3:34 PM  
Blogger jm said...

We do have a home, for which we all yearn.

One of my greatest interests. That's why I always thought death takes us there.

But the rocking motion of musics gets us close. It brings us into the Now. The home must be here if we can relax into life.

I wonder if the masculine polarity is forward motion, and the feminine...back and forth. Maybe we are slightly deficient in the rocking at the time.

28/2/07 3:52 PM  
Blogger jm said...

It's a quandary. All this violence and fear as the framework, as we know there is goodness and confidence as well.

This Saturn/Neptune is interesting as dreams are on the surface. Paranoia, art, nuclear holocaust, coffee and toast, Robert Frost, music, music, peotry, music.

28/2/07 4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These are very difficult, and transformational times, but we've seen them in other space in time. I personally am challenged to stay grounded.

Right now jm, music is a powerful tool for communicating. If I were you, I would audition now, and use your own creations. Be sure to copyright them.

Astrid

28/2/07 4:22 PM  
Blogger jm said...

You know, astrid. I'm beginning to agree. I do think hard times are here and music is one balm. It's timed just right. Your constant encouragement is honey in the rock.

28/2/07 4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to say that it is that music is the balm, and it is of course, but that's not the whole thing. The harmonic of this time is unique, and music is heard and felt differently.

Astrid

28/2/07 4:35 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I personally am challenged to stay grounded.

NN in Taurus always is. And you know something interesting, astrid. Just recently I set up a keyboard on a table where I have to stand to play. I've been pushing my feet into the floor, even stomping slightly, while playing. This is the grounding I've been seeking. More emphasis on the downbeat.

very interesting.

28/2/07 4:37 PM  
Blogger jm said...

The harmonic of this time is unique, and music is heard and felt differently.

? Elaboration if possible.

28/2/07 4:38 PM  
Blogger jm said...

OMG! I just remembered a dream I had last night.
I was singing Skip James' song..Killing Floor, and doing it superbly.

Hard times here
Everywhere you go
Times is harder
Than they ever been before.

If I ever get off
That killing floor
I'm not going down
That low no more

28/2/07 4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful lyrics to that bluesy G-minor song...

28/2/07 5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry for the delay jm. I have to come back later.

Powerful song!

Astrid

28/2/07 5:27 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Roger, astrid.

Thank you so much!

28/2/07 5:35 PM  
Anonymous juju said...

Jm, I love the song you wrote -- it feels so bluesy, and then has those surprises -- like the Egyptian room, and all that evokes, and for me the silver and gold become pharoh (sp?) colors, like in those great tombs. And the knot of time is a great image too -- which evokes so much -- even infinity.

Also I think its wonderful that this song and the killing floor song emerged after or in dreams. What an image, the killing floor. Do you ever perform that song?

I have those age thoughts too --- and the repetative way minds work. It becomes harder and harder to suddenly think -- oh, next week I'll be somebody new. But then life also has its own way of disrupting old rhythms or riffing on them.

I love the blues, some african music and much new orleans, but I'm even more of an Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Motown kind of girl. Though at the moment our house music mix seems to be electronica (from all over the world), hip-hop, metal, Serge Gainsbourg and some old Can thrown in. And I'm listening to one opera over and over while my son favors Dr. Demento.

I think I have to crash soon. But thank you for that song, jm. And I want to hear that Skip James song now too.

28/2/07 8:35 PM  
Anonymous juju said...

By the way -- do you all know about Pandora? The radio that is ---www.pandora.com. You can make a Skip James radio station, or a killing floor radio station, or maybe soon, or someday, a jm radio station.

28/2/07 8:41 PM  
Blogger jm said...

Juju, how amazing.

First of all, thank you so much for he compliment. This song is a particular favorite of mine. It will be good for you to hear it in performance. Capricorns like it. I learned something tonight, which I will relate in awhile.

I'm even more of an Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Motown kind of girl.

I'm a huge fan of this myself. Really huge. Love love love Motown. But funk is my favorite. I do these when in the mood. A little Bit of Soap, Mamma Said, Tears on my Pillow, I've been Lovin You Too Long, Midnight Hour...so many.
My all time favorite... Shop Around.

Motown drifted down to Jamaica and that's how ska, and some of the other forms started, which turned into Reggae. You can hear the exact guitar chop when you listen to Reggae and Motown.

I haven't performed Killing Floor yet. I came across it recently. It is so good.

And no, I haven't found pandora's. Thanks for this. A jm radio station!! You know, that has been a fantasy of mine ever since I taught aerobics years ago. To gather the best music together and let it fly. I think I will. Great idea. Just put it into the waves. My tape collection is out of this world. Really unique.

'nite juju. Good words.

28/2/07 9:47 PM  
Anonymous juju said...

Well I seem to be still up. I have this internet connection that fades in and out. I made a Skip James radio station on Pandora -- if you go to the site you can see how -- and it plays lots of great stuff -- Robert Johnson and Leadbelly, but also lots of way less known old bluesmen. Definitely worth checking out.

and it was odd -- I didn't really register the picture you put with your song -- the like it that your song says an Egyptian room rather than tomb -- it's much more mysterious and subtle

28/2/07 9:55 PM  
Anonymous juju said...

and thanks for the motown history. Actually I love funk too

28/2/07 9:59 PM  
Blogger jm said...

OMG! Juju! That was the best stroke in the song for me. "the Egyptian room". It went to my core, and I knew the song was worth it for that line.
I'm beside myself with joy that you got this. OMG. It's like reliving the creation of it.

And the radio station!! This is more than fun, this immediate grat thing!

28/2/07 10:15 PM  
Blogger jm said...

This turns me around a million times and more. If there's a chance that others will get the depth and breadth of my songs specifically like this, with literary response, then I will definitely go out there. No doubt. Whatever the cost. Thanks for this juju.

28/2/07 10:22 PM  
Blogger jm said...

I couldn't get Pandora, so it looks like reality has struck! It's jobtime so I can afford high speed! There're too many immediate grats to be missed.

28/2/07 10:39 PM  

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