As a writer I have two interests. Writing and going to Amoeba Music. Nothing else really has a hold on my life. The presence of my writing, which to be honest, blows me over. To celebrate a perfect sentence or two, I usually go to Amoeba to celebrate my day of work. Or to be honest, my half-n’ hour work in getting that sentence or two down on paper or computer screen. The fact is right in the middle of the sentence, I’m already thinking about taking the bus to Amoeba. I have the ability to think about two things at once. My writing and the need to get to the record store. I should stay home and finish the paragraph at the very least, but art is calling me, and like the salmon swimming against the tide of the river to reproduce, I too have a need to get to the record store in such a manner.
Like my writing, I don’t like to consider what I’m going to write about, until the very first sentence is written. So in that spirit I go into the record store without a thought in my head. Overall I know what sections the store to go to at first, because I started to have an appreciation of classical music. The thing with me is I crave new sounds. But I only like ‘old’ sounds, so what’s older than classical music? Like most people of my generation, I discovered the classics through Stanley Kubrick. If it wasn’t for him, I would more likely never heard of Beethoven’s music - although I knew the name, and often lie to people that I knew his music as well. The fact is I discovered Beethoven through Wendy Carlos’ soundtrack to “A Clockwork Orange.” At the time of the original release of the film, there was nothing happening. When you see Alex staring at you from the huge screen at the Cinerama Dome on Sunset Bouvelard, one becomes transfixed by that image as well as the music in the background. Often when I write, I always have music in the background. I avoid music with words or lyrics, because that would throw me off of my work on hand, but a nice drone or classical piece is like putting gasoline in my engine. I’m ready to roar with the appropriate sounds.
I purchased the latest Bob Dylan album “Shadows in the Night” and Glenn Branca’s “Lesson No. 1.” The Dylan is his album of standards, and Branca is one guitar rave-up. On one level, it is just like the last part of a Yardbirds song, when all the guitars go crazy. Glenn Branca is that part but with no chorus or words. So it’s very hardcore and right-to-the-point type of music for me. At times, I just crave that guitar sound - and when you have at least five electric guitars going at once, well it is sort of like heaven.
Today being Sunday, I'm finding myself totally not motivated in writing a piece. I wouldn’t say I exactly have a writer’s block, because I did write two perfectly fine sentences earlier today. No, it’s not the writing, but more of a reflection problem. I look at the window, with the Glenn Branca music blaring behind me, and I look at a tree, and oddly enough that image of the tree stays the same. I look at it and think of it as a human body made out of wood, but that’s stupid. A tree is a tree. I of course start thinking of the tree as a “tree of life.” But no matter how long I look at it, and I even went outside to get another perspective, it is obviously a tree is nothing more than a tree.
I came back in, and got in front of my laptop. Slowly sitting here, I am starting to realize that a whole world is opening up to me. As I write, I’m in my living room. I’m surrounded by my books as well as a decent, but not high-end hi-fi system. Through the internet, I can order food to be delivered, so there is no reason for me to leave - like ever. I’m feeling a certain amount of content of just being, and not thinking about it. My existence is both, important and non-important. If I die while writing, more likely it will take several days for someone to discover my body. Therefore it’s imperative to always dress well, even at home. Not only must I have clean underwear (of course), but also to make sure I dress like it will be the final day of my life. The things around me, the objects on my work table, must tell the definitive narrative of my life. With that intensity how can one possibly be ever bored!
Sunday represents a day of rest, but I can’t allow myself that form of thinking. Everyday, including Sundays, are to be regarded as time passing, and how one deals with the aspect of a series of moments going by - is the art of living. So yes, that tree outside my window is essentially both important and not important, but what is important is that I notice that tree. And I think of you as well, my dear readers. When and if when I do die at my table working on my Sunday piece, I’m thinking of you, till my last dying breath.