Wednesday, July 11, 2012
THE BEAR TRUTH
This is a photo (third one down)taken from the doorway of my place in the woods. You can see the fire pit with the frying pan, my work gloves, and an old card from a sister, signed ‘love always’, - although I never hear from her anymore. (the idealism of youth, I guess…dust to dust). The story of the picture is: the other day, as I was about to go into town, there was a black bear out there – and alas, my camera wasn’t handy – but he was just that close, poking around lazily, sniffing the day lilies. As soon as he saw me at the door, impatiently waiting to get on my way, he scampered into the forest. Close as he was, it wasn’t as near as the mama bear who came right up the stairs to the other door, and pushed her snout right up against the screen. I was crouching about a foot and a half away from her, behind the piano. I thought “hmmm, she could just push that screen through real easy-like. And I tried to remember the running-into-bears advice I’d read. ‘Make a big, scary sound’ was one bit. So I did – a ferocious zoe-growl. Then, as we eye-balled each other, I remembered another bit: ‘Do not threaten a bear by looking at it directly.” Too late, I thought, I’m dead. But she just turned around and headed off, like the lily-sniffer. PARAGRAPH Then there was “the conversation”, which happened a few years back, after a large male bear kept coming by daily and knocking over the composting bin. I finally moved it and surrounded it with wire fencing after a zillion restorations. So when I heard the rattling and banging, and looked to see that once again Mr. Bear had bashed through the wire and overturned it anew, you can imagine how annoyed I was. Without thinking, I opened the door and started yelling at him: “What the…Stop doing that!” he made a bear-like noise back, and stood looking at me. I was still pissed off and said, “Well, you know, I have to pick up after you all the time, and I’m sick of it!” “Grrrr”, he rumbled, and he turned away and walked into the woods. “Just like a man,” I thought, “grumble and walk away”. It was a weird, and now when I think of it, a wonderful occurrence. You know you’ve been alone too long when you pick fights with a bear. My last bear image: looking out the kitchen window to see a bear cub right on top of my car. Cute. Heavy. PARAGRAPH I know. You wondering about the singing. After all, that’s supposed to be my job, not telling bear stories. Well, being as grouchy as a bear, I had decided to not do anything but jump in the lake this summer, but in fact, I am planning now for some gigs in late July and in August. I will keep you (com)posted. Meanwhile, some photos from a recent birthday party for my guitar-playing friend (and former band-mate) Paul. Great celebration. Yes, the band wears kilts. PARAGRAPH And this just in: I stopped at the real estate office on my way to the library computer, and was looking at one lakefront listing that wasn’t half a million dollars, when the agent said, “Here’s the owner now”. A man with a very healthy gut walked in. From Cleveland. He started complaining about all the money he’d lost recently in the current economic climate. I started my usual “Blame it on the greedy corporations…”. And he said, to my still unbelieving shock, “I blame it on that coon in the white house.” That shut me up. That good old American freedom of speech. I walked out at that point. Rather talk to a bear any day, than that fat, ignorant, bigoted, racist pig. PARAGRAPH and news I just got: I'll be played on Italian radio: http://www.animajazz.it/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1903 on Sabato, 14 Luglio - that's Saturday, July 14. Tune in if you can.