First and foremost this week: music. Sunday I rehearsed with the band, Unclaimed Freight, where I am part of the horn section. Tonight (Thursday) we’ll be going into the studio to record a demo CD. Tuesday night I rehearsed with members of my synagogue, Temple Ohabei Shalom, for the annual fundraiser coming up Saturday night, May 4th, Songs of Peace, Love and Understanding. I’ll be in the horn section backing up some of the singers from the temple as well as members of Soulf’ege, a fine Afropolitan band.
Add into the mix that I am training two new hires at my day job in about 2-1/2 days whereas I usually do one new hire in about 2 weeks. This is a new experiment in high speed training that I hope works out well. The two new guys, Tom and Steve, are eager and knowledgeable, and their considerable previous experience in the door hardware industry will serve them well. They will be working from home and will be supported by coaches chosen from among the other salespeople.
Whew! It is a wonderful hectic time. You know, if it was like this all the time I’d be fine with that.
In gratitude for light
Warming with the inference of caress
Not direct expression but a gesture
Unless one remembers
Of radiant generality
One should not take personally
A bomb left in a trash bin
As the warmth of the sun
An IED is indiscriminate
Everyone has an equal chance
Except those deliberately absent
Our calls paralyze the network
Until we find our own
Make sure they are safe
Yes everybody’s fine we
Assure out of town relations
But it is a lie
We are not fine
Someone took some of our limbs
And a few of our lives
To make the anonymous political statement
That we are not safe
But this is not news
And we did not need it told us this way
Today I bask in the universal warmth
Knowing it does not judge
But shines on everyone
No matter what they’ve done
And I dream of a time not yet come
Of the warmth of peace and freedom
The light of gratitude
Reflections on the bombing of the Boston Marathon, Boston, Massachusetts, April 15th, 2013
Currently I am experiencing rapid changes. I am grateful. It means I am certainly alive. But one significant change is the amount of time I can spend online, which has been greatly reduced. Still, although I have been busy in the ‘real’ world I have not be idle in the virtual.
As one might suspect from my last post the winners of the annual Eye On Life Poetry Contest have been posted, and since then other fine poetry has found a home at Eye On Life as well. So I hope you’ll stop by The Poetry Locksmith and check it all out.
I also published a brief article about the Golden Rule if you would like to read it.
My music has been all off line so I have nothing to share at this time, but I have lots and lots of ideas. Also my offline music has been most rewarding as the band in which I am a member, “Unclaimed Freight”, has been gigging more. I am experiencing growth as a simple trombone player working with a trumpet player to enhance rhythm and vocals. Sometimes we produce a fine synergy.
Anyway I just want to stop by, kind of sheepish about not being around as much as perhaps I should. So thanks for stopping by. I’ll be back when I have new things to share.
Practicing detachment, life’s changes become positive points of interest rather than negative points of stress. One can observe with innocence and wonder as changes manifest, as if watching a living thing grow and change in time-lapse photography; or one can watch with horror as the people and things one is attached to transform themselves into other people and things before our very eyes. It is a choice, though a difficult one, to decide to let go of what and whom we love, although as we contemplate life we see it is really not a choice between clinging and letting go, because everything and everyone changes whether we cling to them or not.
Current changes for me – besides the usual changes of aging and time – are a much bigger work load at my day job and the ebb and flow of the tides of playing music. Our band, Unclaimed Freight, that plays popular music is busy now whereas the Klezjam Jazz Project and Klezjam, the Klezmer band are both temporarily shelved. This gives me a chance to play tastier licks to Amy Winehouse and B.B. King covers instead of my original stuff and pieces like Miami Beach Rhumba and I Can’t Get Started. Interesting. I played a pretty good solo the other night. I’ll see if I can get permission to share it with you.
In poetry, Erren Geraud Kelly is back at Eye On Life this week as the annual Eye On Life Poetry Contest 2013 closes competition on January 31. Winners will be announced in February.
I’ve been very busy so have been a bit remiss in my huckstering of our great small poetry contest at Eye On Life Online Magazine. Great, because contestants have a great chance to win the $100 First Prize, $50 Second Prize or a book of poetry for Third Prize. The small is what makes it great, because as contests go, there are relatively few contestants in ours, hence the great odds. Small great, great small, it’s all good to me.
Elsewhere I’ve been doing a lot of music with the Klezjam Jazz Project sessions. We are doing a lot of different – and I mean different – kinds of music there. One example is this Sephardi-Jewish-North African-Arabic love song called Chihlet L’Ayani. We do some swing stuff and Latin stuff, too. I’ll probably have some more to post later.
Ultimately I’d like to do something like the salsa I recently wrote, but that’s down the road a bit.
This week at The Poetry Locksmith we are featuring the work of Nina Sokol – a poet new to Eye On Life. She begins with the poem, Everything on Earth Pulls You, that is an expression of her fascination with the comparative gravity of Earth (vs. other planets) and its effects on us.
All you poets, be sure to enter the fourth annual Eye On Life Poetry Contest – First Prize $100, Second Prize $50 and a couple of Third Prize books of poetry to be awarded to the talented winners. Check out last year’s winners, Peggy Trojan, Jim Davis, Amye Nicole Bird and Olivia Arieti if you would like to be inspired or scared away, whatever.
In other news, as promised, I have recorded my new song, Home By Myself, for your listening, uh, pleasure. I do a passable job at the vocals I hope you’ll agree, and avoid sounding too too bad on the trombone solo. While in retrospect transposing the piece one step up may have had a salutary effect, minimizing the weakness of my lower vocal range, still the piece is written in the voice of a stupid old man, so perhaps it is the truest to itself as is. Also, I loathe retakes. My next goal is to assemble a group of musicians to do at least an instrumental version live someplace. That would be fun.
The Klezmer Band that I play with, Klezjam, will be playing at the “Klezmer Konquest Hanukkah Concert” at the JCC in Worcester, Massachusetts on December 2nd, 2012. Admission is free. We play a killer hora set so come and work up a sweat with us. Will see who has to sit down first, eh?