MUSIC: tomorrow night at the NICE BISTRO in Whitby, Ontario. A lovely French restaurant, with great food and a jazz night once a month. I'm it, Wednesday May 17 from 7pm until approximately 9:15. Julian Yarrow will play keyboard, and I will sing, sing, sing. French and English standards. Good times guaranteed!!
AND WRITING: The post is titled for this little piece. Honestly, I'm such a happy thing most of the time, but who knows for whom the bell tolls and when.... Here's last evening's contribution to great literature:
Walking at around seven in the evening in early May is perhaps the best. The sun is still up, but it has a bit of that rosy thing starting to happen, giving the shittiest streets a glow that warms you, and the temperature, if a climate-change disaster isn’t hitting your city at that moment, is mild. Sort of perfect. The birds twitter their evening songs, the rush-hour traffic abates. One can almost still the internal shrieks of rising insanity resulting from the abysmal and disenchanting solitude of one’s life.
Oh, there are lots of things to do, chores of one sort or another, books one wants to write, music one can compose or perform, people one could help, organizations, studies, travels.....and at the very least one can always make a list of thing to do, even if one never gets to the doing. The problem is, doing things does not make a life, and running from one activity to another, although at times satisfying and certainly providing an occasional sense of accomplishment, or at least a neater home, if not a skill one might add to one’s identity, still does not satisfy the soul in a way to stop the soul’s weeping.
Why, soul, are you so demanding and so frustratingly silent, always just sitting there and waiting for one to know automatically when and where to stop, to listen, and to gain by some magic intuition the wisdom that you hold? Why can’t you just speak up, shout even, to indicate the people that will not only point out or accompany one on the path that is the right one, but who may even help to build the path?
So we walk in the eventide and look at the green grass, and smell it too, which is a delight after the sluggishness of winter and a dreary spring. We look at the new leaves on the trees and the budding flowers and we rejoice; look at the sparky little puppy that a woman takes on one of its many walks; at the trains that roll by on the subway, making long shadows across the field. And we try to convince oneself that hey, this is good, because in fact it is, the whole scene peaceful and correct and uplifting in the same way that simply putting one foot down and then the next one is. But its goodness fails to quell the howling of the empty canyon that is the mind; it fails to ease the churning of the gut, the roiling plasma of the heart, the panicked roller coaster that is each day.
One imagines childish rebellions, like eating all the junk food possible, or even some halfways-ok junk like ice cream or chips or cake. And there’s always alcohol, the friend in need; there’s some already in the cupboard at home that could be polished off. But these temptations last no longer than the thoughts; and one tries desperately to imagine flying off to foreign countries and running to some equally imagined romantic interest, - again, to no avail. Things are really bad when the fantasies fail to arouse any stirrings, physically or mentally. The passing trains produce more of a rumble.
Meanwhile the grass is green; greener in fact than it has been for a long while, and it has probably grown a quarter of an inch during this fruitless turn around a few blocks. Well, that will give one something to do fairly soon – get that old hand mower out, always good for a healthy swearing session. And perhaps one has worn out the old shoes a bit – necessitating another trip to the ‘payless’ (which translates as ‘useless’) store that sells footwear that lasts one year at best.
Always look on the bright side.
And keep on moving.
And be grateful that one can walk.
And look for the light.
And smell the green green grass of home.
This imperfect, illusory home.
P.S. One was perhaps not too imaginative when it came to possible creative outlets from the gloom last night. This morning's news had a story of a Toronto man who went to the transit yards and stole a bus. Just like that. Created a police chase and everything. Maybe there was something "abroad in the air". He certainly escaped his ennui.