You see yourself in the mirror and you wonder how you got there. But really, you know. You seem to remember there was this one and that one, and they said this and that and thus and so. And they did stuff, too. Some of this stuff they did and said you came somehow to own a share of, like a squatter, sojourner, stranger in a strange land. Ends up to be a great shared mass of particles, bits of reality and misconception, outright lie and humble truth.
After all of that you look in the mirror and you either hate or love what you see. Given the random nature of what is, it doesn’t really matter which. Pick one, play the part well, and maybe they’ll ask for an encore.
I decided to drop the “Bare Bone” from the EP title and just call it, “The Rubenoff Project”, subtitle, “Songs of Love, Despair and Regret.” I’ll save “Bare Bone” for a more trombone-centered recording maybe next year.
I could have really gone either way this year, but – and this will sound a bit funny coming from a sexagenarian – but I my sound needs to mature just a bit more. The Universe has been pushing me toward being a solo act on the trombone, but it is not really what I like. I like to blend. Therefore I like somebody to blend with.
Well, it’ll come, or it won’t. Wait and see.
In the mean time my sessions are booked for August 1st and 2nd, so I have lots of time to make sure I can remember my lyrics. Lucky for me the people I will be recording with are all better than I am. 😉
Sometimes it can be difficult to face events with equanimity. It is not a difficult concept to grasp that one cannot with any certainty predict the future, yet the brain often seems to do just that, jumping ahead to negative outcomes manufactured out of its fears. Never mind that, again and again, the brain has watched the universe unfold in beautifully unexpected ways that delight and inform; still it jumps to fear, blame and anger instead of openness and patience.
When I encounter difficulty, my first instinct is to overcome it with strength. Yet usually I find that first instinct to be mistaken. Usually the difficulty will resolve itself when given time to do so. Usually the exertion of strength leads to imbalance and recurrence of difficulty – unless strength is used to curb the urge to swift action.
Swift action is useful when faced with a real danger. However, when my “fight or flight” response is triggered by baseless fears, the swift action that may result will often produce negative results. In truth, one cannot truly recognize danger when they are afraid of it. I find that when true danger arises the best response is to ignore all emotions and look mindfully, with clear, calm eyes on what is taking place. Then my response can be sensible.
The feeling of urgency to take action usually comes from the ego clinging to some desired outcome. To free myself, I detach myself from these and leave myself open to what the universe will bring.
Submissions are up at The Poetry Locksmith, which is COOL. We are blessed that many new poets have found us at Eye On Life, enriching our pages with their work. I (and we) are grateful. Please stop by and enjoy the voices of Nina Longfield, M. Drew Williams, Valentina Cano and many others.
As I mentioned I have started posting a little of my own work at The Poetry Locksmith, too. For years I felt it was a conflict of interest, but since we changed the design of the whole site a couple of years ago, and because I do not place ads on other poets’ poems, I have had no place to put ads on the Poetry Unlocked pages. Now I can put ads on my own work and feel that I have not done anyone wrong by marring their work with advertising – only mine. At the same time it gives me a creative outlet. It’s a win-win situation.
Musically things are often quiet in the summer because band members are on vacation, but now things are beginning to flow again. Gigs are scheduled for Unclaimed Freight and Too Klez for Comfort already, and I hope to schedule a performance of my own work soon. I will be sessioning with a brand new group of musicians at the end of August to see where we can go. If good recordings result I will be sure to cue you in.
My latest and greatest music can always be found at Reverbnation, a site that offers promotion services for musicians and composers like me 🙂 I have a few tunes there for your listening pleasure.
That about sums up my creative activity for now. Hope you all are having as much fun as I am.
Recently it has been a time when the swirling influences have gelled in marvelous kaleidoscopic momentary formations. At other times it has seemed as if I were wearing a trench in the Earth with the sameness of my days, and while there remains an element of that, doors have opened and I have opportunities to pass through them into new and exciting spaces. So it has passed that my companions, Desire and Despair, have at times been at odds, but as through time I have come to know them well I can greet each with equanimity and detachment for the most part; and being aware of those times that I succumb, I can afford to be amused at my inner stories rather than tortured by them. As I have said before, I am a very lucky man.
From the vantage of detachment I can look upon the boiling pot of influences and be grateful for all of its patterns – both those I would have chosen for myself and those that I would not. I can see, also, both the effects of my careful stirring of the pot and of my leaving it be. I have found (and am advised) that leaving it be is usually best.
So it seems that in my immediate future I will record my own music with fine musicians and have multiple opportunities to play R & B, Klezmer and jazz; in my intermediate future I will perhaps have an opportunity to perform my music in public, and I will be traveling to a distant land with my lovely wife; and in my later future I have no doubt that many delightful surprises await. There is some other stuff going on, but I think I have touched on the highlights. Now we’ll see how it all unfolds.
At Eye On Life the Poetry Contest is off to a slow start with only two poets so far competing for the over $150 in prizes. If this keeps up one of them will have to win two of the prizes. That won’t do. Be sure to enter right away so you don’t have to worry about the March 31 deadline. At The Poetry Locksmith, Donal Mahoney has continued to bless us with his prolific work and Samuel Vargo has returned with more of his eclectic and thought-provoking verse.
I wrote a couple of articles for newbies to door hardware – “Door Handing for Hardware Dummies” and “How to Order Hardware for Small Commercial Projects” – and a poem. Also I am working on a how-to article about what to do when your lock explodes, video included. It should be fun. I did the video already. I’ll let you know when it’s up 😉
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.