Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Twelve thoughts


... have lived for 20 years in what could be considered a pretty nondescript community ... others call it rough ...

... true it is on the "wrong" side of the river ... the west side ... on the edge of "downtown" ... across the railroad tracks ... at the bottom of "C" hill ... should there be any more stereotypes ... one more ... heard "once you turn the corner ya know you're in the hood" ...

... i feel safe ... even though have survived one break in resulting in all electronics stolen, a number of house windows broken, car vandalized, tires slashed, driver window shattered, ignition switch destroyed, even a second car torched by a fire ... house side graffitied a couple of times ... oh ya ... two homicides less than 100 meters from the yard (2014) ... still feel relatively safe ... 

... yet when opened the backdoor this morning saw a knife on top of the fence post ... it was a bit unsettling ...

... perhaps I should explain the lone fence post ... at one time there was a wooden fence surrounding the property ... always being scratched or damaged ... dismantled it ... destroying a wooden fence can be a truly cathartic act ... that bullshit about good fences make good neighbors ... now neighborhood dogs have full access to the beautiful huge tree trunks & there is a well worn short cut path ... it's a corner lot and using the sidewalk means an extra, i don't know, ten steps ... i'm a good neighbor without a fence ... back to the fence post ... left one standing for winter extension cord purposes ... winter is an eight month proposition ... temperatures dip to -40 C ... car needs plugging in ... extension cord needs tying down ... hence lone fence post standing ...

... well the knife was a butcher's knife ... first thought ... what's the message ... yet if it were a message ... like straight out of Coppola's The Godfather it should have been a horse head ... don't mean to suggest this is an Italian neighborhood ... i'm Italian heritage ... the rest of the neighborhood is hugely mixed ... primarily low income edging ever so slowly to hipster ... second thought maybe someone had dropped it ... another had found it ... being considerate had politely placed the knife nice and high and visible on the fence post ... 

... thought for a moment ... just leave it there for the owner to find it again ... fourth thought ... no way ... took it inside and laid it down in the entrance way ... locked the door behind me ... rushed off because I was a few minutes off schedule being delayed by the knife action ... had to get past the railway tracks before the morning train came ... hated waiting in the resulting halted traffic jam so always timed drive early enough to avoid the train ... sped over the tracks and was well on my way to work ...

... waiting at a red light thought asked ... keep the knife ... hadn't really had time to inspect it ... looked expensive ... first glance ... seemed in good condition ... sharp ... but what can you determine by just looking at a knife ... sixth thought ... didn't need a knife ... knew if I kept it ... every time I looked or used it ... would remember this strange incident ... seven ... could keep it and hide it ... what would be the use of that ...

eight ... throw it away ...not in my trash though and no one near here ... people regularly went through the trash searching for anything ... didn't want them finding a good butchers knife ... remember that time you were helping that eight year old fix his bike ... he pulled out this kitchen knife from his backpack ... asked him why he had the knife ... "Just like to carry a knife" he replied ... "Do your parents know you have a knife?" I asked ... "No" he stated eyeing me ... "Maybe you should tell them." I suggested ... "Sure!" he lied ...  

nine ... been two days ... knife lays waiting for a decision ... a baseball bat at the front ... a butcher knife at the back ... told you I felt safe ... so why the bat & knife ... don't even know where the bat came from ... 

ten ... can never be too careful ... always be prepared ... had been a Boy Scout ... 

eleven ... replace the knife ... take a picture ... put it back inside ... write about it ... post on blog ... seems logical ... 

twelve ...

::Note:: ... still waiting for the 12th thought ... "good knives make good neighbours" - jc FB comment ...

Saturday, April 02, 2016

mystique

... Miles in Vienna 1973 ...

... was twenty ... two months married & having fled what I felt was the cultural wasteland of my Canadian prairie home, barely a couple of months in Vienna had seen Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention ... was now witnessing Miles Davis ... yes goodbye cultural wasteland ...

 ... forty-two years later I stumble on a YouTube of the whole Stadthalle concert ... the mythical memory faces the recorded image … 


... didn't remember any of the visual colors ... remembered the intensity of that single, slim figure focusing the entire energy of the momentary space and time into a place at his feet ... we, the audience, were present only to provide a testimonial vortex of the magnetic center of the mysterious electric field ...

... Miles had has back to us the whole time ... trumpet pointing straight down to his foot peddle ... exploring ... no more of a reaching/searching/probing ...  like one who had seen the abyss ... 

... i didn't know what the hell was going on but knew it was ... well shamanic & seared somewhere invisibly within breaking barriers pushing beyond normal limits ... i could only surrender to the trust nurturance ...

... here were dialogues ... obscure, undramatic, fierce ... echoing, repetition, counterpointing ... segments resembling cuneiform signs ... remote, futuristic and ancient ... piercing fragments ... expressions of the force of a personality …

… the experience lived inarticulately … 

… now i could see the whole up close … albeit edited through a film makers eyes … nothing yet everything was the same just as i am and not the same … i could reconstruct/recreate/research to find other incarnations what was described as "the greatest electric funk-rock jazz" ... learnt: 
Miles was recovering from a car accident, but refused to quit playing. "Just because I was forty-seven years old in 1973 didn't mean I was supposed to sit down in some rocking chair and stop thinking about how to keep doing interesting things. I had to do what I was doing if I was going to keep thinking of myself as a creative artist", he explained in his autobiography.” - Taken from the liner notes
 … his words validated the thrust of what it takes to be a creative artist or at least the type of artist i have dedicated my pedagogy towards … i recognize it takes tremendous courage and will to be that "creative artist" ... watching the filmed archive led to a recognition i had succumbed to the participation mystique … more than succumbed had turned the concept into a practice ... oh well so it goes ... oh how i wish I had seen John Coltrane ... so it goes ...

::Note:: ... heading out this evening to see daughter Ileana sing Beethoven's 9th with Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra ... yes back in the cultural wasteland ... so it goes ...