Joy to the World

December 23, 2013

Joy to the World

Since I figured out how to do soundcloud
I thought I would share the joy once again !

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snowfields of the equator

December 23, 2013

Just wanted to make a quick comment
about the artwork on A Hymn for Winter,
because it is a great example of one of
the circumstances that has made my life wonderful.
Mt. Kenya Sunrise
This is a scan of a 14-year-old photo
taken about 10 miles south of the equator on
Mount Kenya (the most beautiful and magical place I have ever been)
I am looking into the rising sun
across fresh snow on a glacier at around 16,000 feet.
It was taken on the descent with
one of those old disposable kodak point and clicks.

It was an incredible day.

A Hymn for Winter

December 22, 2013

i offer a song in celebration of winter and the solstice:

Songs for the Solstice

i wrote (and posted) this ‘hymn‘ on a previous solstice.
and so i offer it with some apologies:
i have been working on a different little seasonal ditty
but facing my eminent achievement of repeated failure…
(once again not finishing and
not meeting what i thought to be a very reasonable goal)
i will share this again.
(and now you can hear it right on the page! very exciting.)
i just really wanted to send out a little musical Christmas card.

i also apologize for my Northern Hemisphere bias
recognizing that winter depends on your hemispherical perspective
and your direction from the prime meridian
(thats probably not a sincere apology, but its so many fun words!)

anyway, the other song is called Season Forgiving
i am not ok with not finishing it,
but the song is about forgiveness, after all,
so i thought i better offer some to myself
and watch the sun set on the shortest day of the year.
(i guess it could, conversely, be referred to as the longest night
sort of a half full with a convex meniscus sort of thing?)
thus ends the winter solstice (in the Northern Hemisphere).
we have all of these great Christmas songs
but really the solstice was celebrated as a holiday of sorts
for possibly a few thousand years before Christmas came along
and usurped its pagan rights
“I have my rites!” cried the pagan
so maybe it should get a song too.

tool

August 17, 2013

hammer in hand –
if i am observed; i feel like a doofus
clumsy and ignorant.

guitar in hand –
i feel a bit more comfortable
(though i still prefer to play covertly).

words in mind –
i am awkward/clownish/graceless – indecisive and overwhelmed
with my endless, earnest attempts at articulation.

the truth is:
much more of the work i do with a hammer is visible to others,
though i am usually invisible.
if i do my job well…
no one will even know that anything needed to be done
so i will go unseen and unlauded:
the church mouse – with a tool belt
i’m ok with that.
and though it is so concrete an occupation
it is still surreal to me
that i can fix things.
that i know these odd things that i know:
actuators and adapters; hydraulics and hysteresis;
kelvins, compressors and chemicals
                               (typically the R2 unit just has a bad motivator)
that i am a member of an elite master-key-holders club:
drunk with power –
controlling all comfort and convenience in the communal environment
part of a guild with secret knowledge:
what lurks behind all the closed, locked doors
                                       (what does go bump in the night)

how do you pronounce soldering or spigot? 
no really, is it just a regional thing or what? – this, i don’t know.

and maybe i am not clumsy at all…
when no one is looking
I feel capable and completely confident.
when no one is looking (the iron in irony)
I make my living (quietly) with the hammer.

but my own sense of self is still wrapped in a gentle, furtive music
connected to words

which can be a burden to me
like a backpack i lug around
without ever removing any content.
just shoving more and more into it
afraid that i am forgetting or losing things that are already there
as it just grows heavier, bulkier; dragging me down
making it harder and harder to wield the hammer.
though they are not mutually exclusive
i have trouble with the balance.

the idea of the hammer still seems foreign;
it is a part of me those closest to me rarely see
they hear a bit of guitar, they read the proffered words
they are more aware of the backpack than the tool belt.
yet i spend a lot more time with the hammer
and it is ultimately the more remunerative skill;
one my life / the other my living
for me music and words fix things that a hammer cannot
but i recognize their conjunct value and
i guess i use all these tools for mending.

its hard to know what to write.
we talk so much,
we are so familiar with the depths
of each other’s griefs and pain and panic
until we are exhausted
but…
we are also safe.
here, together at this moment.

our arms may not be so strong
that they can hold sorrow at bay;
still they are strong enough to hold each other.

and somehow even when we are both empty
we can, to some small measure, fill each other.

and in other ways, where
we are overfilled overwhelmed and spilling over;
we can catch and contain a small surplus of the other.

though ive proven of late (pretty thoroughly)
that im not very good at maths (damn the greeeeeeeeee!!!)
i feel confident in saying that:
>=================>  this doesnt add up.

so once again we come around
to the wonderful mystery and miracle of love.

……….its been enough
…..sometimes just…
but here we are.

…………………………………….…………………………………….…………………….

(understatement) = that was a hard year.
even the harshest cuss seems trite as a descriptive qualifier
even mentioning it…
but as we face down another
with all the carryover from the last
(its not like the new year is a magic reset button)
and the new impossible challenges
that we are purposely pursuing (what the hell are we thinking?)
i just want to restate the obvious:
im glad we are in this together
im bolstered just by the thought…

the thought of you.
(its really my favorite one you know)

You are and will ever remain my Unfair Advantage.
……………………………………………………………………………………………..

a ghost of Christmas past

December 24, 2012

Joy to the World

Joy to the World

a musical Christmas card i gave out a few years ago
i was never completely happy with it
i’m not gonna say what about
(you can decide what not to like for yourself)
but there were also parts i really loved
(like the musical interlude that starts at about 2:15)
and it was fun to make
the cover art was a play off of the art
for an ep i was beginning to record at the time
it was the first time i really tried
to see what i could do with computer recording
and its Christmas! so there you go.

i’m feeling a little shy about sharing this
but i offer it humbly with a true desire
to wish you all a Happy Christmas!

a song for the solstice

December 21, 2012

Songs for the Solstice

A Hymn for Winter

(please excuse my northern hemisphere bias)

something good to eat

October 31, 2012

(warning: not suitable for human consumption)

once upon a time, in a distant life:
a decent college band made a terrible recording of a horrible song
written for fun as a one-off novelty at a halloween gig…

Hello(ween)

we recognized (even at the time) how bad it was
and (being without good sense) began playing it at all of our shows
throwing it into the breakdown
on the bridge of the song Celebrate (a Rare Earth cover)

Happy Halloween!

disclaimers:
1. we did not choose the band name (we inherited it)
2. this recording only exists on cassette:
the tape player i used to make this digital copy played a tiny bit fast raising the pitch and increasing the speed (ever so slightly) of this flawless gem
– i don’t think this matters much with this song –

3. my pride and sense of social responsiblity will not allow me to leave this link up after halloween

my Holotype HannaH – you defy classification.

Hannah – sings the songs that make her brave.
go child, live the tale in the world you’ve made
fly off to find your neverland
return for a space to hold my hand
then off again to a new pretend
i pray that by grace
i may be your safe place
when, it is time for all the games to end.

the Woolf is at my door

January 20, 2012

i hate fashionable melancholy
i hate the way despair is romanticized for poets and artists
like it is some prerequisite of the creative impulse
instead of the death of ambition and articulation – of any impulse
of everything
i am terrified by stories of adult suicide
it is very sad when a younger person takes their life
but it can also seem (to me) somehow impulsive and understandable
(it is terribly cold to write such a thing – I’m sorry)
where as for some one older – well they made it this far
what finally pushed them over the edge.
i hate the story of Virginia Woolf
it terrifies me, pisses me off
she had the unfair advantage
and it wasnt enough
heart full of love pocket full of rocks head full of crazy
she wrote her husband a love letter, thanking him for his goodness
and then walked into the River Ouse
“Dearest, I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can’t go through another of those terrible times. And I shan’t recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can’t concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don’t think two people could have been happier ’til this terrible disease came. I can’t fight any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can’t even write this properly. I can’t read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that – everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can’t go on spoiling your life any longer. I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been.”
it is a beautiful letter
i could not write anything truer
damn, I love my wife
they didnt have kids – they knew better (I love my kids too)
Virginia Woolf was 59.
i guess i still have a number of years
till i reach a reasonable expiration date

let it be enough