If Emerson Wrote Music

Four ten. Bass practice went about the same as yesterday: mostly uninspired and aimless because the social aspects are so iffy. Nobody wants to play. So I did that, and then the mail carrier brought my Burt Bacharach disc. Aesop went nuts while I walked out to get it. Finally I opened the Coke and drank half of it. Of course it tastes good, but we’ll see how I respond to the caffeine. Suddenly I can hear an old recording I made when I was only twenty years old. It occurs to me what an impact the words of other people have on me, and always did. Especially the critical remarks. Also I perceive that I’m past my prime musically. I don’t see the point in making compositions anymore, because songs need an audience. Getting people’s attention is so hard to do.

It’s enough for me to play my bass with someone, and even this plan hasn’t worked out. Thus it’s just a matter of acceptance and going with the flow. If music ignores me, then find something else to do.

The circumstances of life have a melodic motion to them, like music without sound. Life has modulations, variations on themes, often transitioning to new songs— with no coda. Phrases may not repeat, but wander off in a different key and different meter. Who writes the score, or is it totally improvised by the performers? Like a musical version of Pirandello, say Six Characters in Search of an Author… I’d thought I was a control freak, but it turns out that the chorus is controlling me. We don’t know who arranges the sheet music. We just sing, play, and dance when our part comes.

A Bigger Design

I’m not feeling very intellectual today; no bright ideas. I’m frustrated for some reason. Loneliness, I reckon. Freedom is great, but in solitude it isn’t worth much. Except for the fridge noise, it’s very quiet in here. Add to that the looney music in my head and you get my interior theater… The theater suddenly reminds me of a scene out of Dawn Powell’s Dance Night, which I read in December three years ago. What a strange novel, improvised and out of the author’s control. I ought to finish Come Back to Sorrento and see what plot surprises come up. It’s interesting to observe an unstable writer doing an unstable book. Powell’s vision of reality will be rather eccentric and on the wild side.

Six o five. I just paid my CareCredit bill and now my balance is zero. It must have been 10 or 11 years ago when I opened an account with them. It was a lifesaver when I had no money for veterinary bills, and when Henry’s health was deteriorating with old age. And again I acknowledge that good things happen to those who stay sober. I feel much more in charge of my life since ceasing the alcohol. I don’t feel ashamed of my poverty at all; it’s still sufficient to live on comfortably. Nature has provided for me in ways I don’t always perceive. It takes perspective and a long glance backward to see what’s been done for me. The pattern behind my life suggests maybe that freedom is illusory, and there’s a bigger design at work than just my petty will. This bigger design is ever active and will provide for the future as well. Someday it’ll all be quite clear what nature intends. Hold on to the wave until then…