Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thunderstorms, Painting and Dylan's Self Portrait

All last night lightening flickered through the night skies and thunder echoed its baritone bellow. I took some video around four in the morning so it's pretty dark. The audio is good though. Have a listen to a Midwestern thunderstorm.

When I got up this morning it was still raining. Long puddles had stretched across the front yard. They were threatening to join forces and take it to the streets. But the rain stopped before chaos alas did run a'mud or a'muck.

Last night I'd watched a BBC Mystery Series called, "George Gently". It's set in the sixties. Which I don't have much memory for since the accident and my brain injury. Unless something specifically stirs up a memory I can't find my way back to my life. So it was a joy to watch one of these George Gently's and to remember that during those years I used to love to play the piano. And I always heard classical music playing in my head. And I thought about the music and playing it over and over in my head. And I could see my fingers playing an invisible keyboard on my leg, as my head ever so slightly kept time with Bach, Chopin, Debussy, Beethoven and Mozart.

I knew that I used to play the piano and I knew we had a grand Baldwin in the living room. And I knew I'd purchased an antique full grand upright and moved that thing with me everywhere. I sure used to make that piano shake when I played Rachmaninoff and Beethoven and Mozart. What fun.

I began to rattle on, telling my daughter about how much I used to love to play and how I used to practice 6-8 hours most days. And how I went to Columbia College and had my own place and worked a couple of part-time jobs and how I lived to play the piano and write back then. And she laughed when I told her how back then the pianists weren't allowed to refer to written music when they played. And I told her how I used to get lost in the music and would need to look up to see where I was going now and then. And how I hated recitals. And I told her how kind my teacher was. And how she'd come to the piano with the music and reassure me when I inevitably got lost and then I'd play and everything was fine. And I told her the only people that ever heard me play were my family members, teachers, roommates and a very few close friends. And I explained to her that this was why I was studying creative writing and poetry and music the first time around at Columbia College in Chicago. I wanted to learn how to compose and one day conduct an orchestra and write books. My daughter laughed. She thought it was funny that I'd feel okay about conducting in front of an audience as long as I didn't have to play for them. She wondered if it was because I would have my back toward the audience. And I laughed right back because, she was probably exactly right.

Anyway, it was fun watching another good mystery. They don't write much good TV in the states. There are a few good shows. The Big Bang Theory is one of my favorites. And The Mentalist and CSI are good too. But most American TV is about something they call reality TV. I call it Gag TV because it’s so stupid that's what it makes me feel like doing. I watched about 15, maybe 15 minutes of one show and maybe a year later watched about the same with another show. And that's been it. Between the library and NetFlix I am free to watch what I want. And it ain't no stinkin' reality TV. It's the best excuse for turning the TV off altogether.

I painted today. The temperature dropped 36 degrees since yesterday. It's in the mid-fifties and perfect weather for open windows and working on some canvases.

I listened to Dylan's, "Self-Portrait" cd in the studio. I set it to repeat all songs and enjoyed it all day. Some people hated it when it came out. They said it was a departure and some said it was terrible and they couldn't understand it. But I loved it. It was a defiant departure, standing on two feet with arms folded. And while it wasn't as brilliantly composed and played as his much later album, "Love and Theft," it stands on its own just fine. Though Dylan harmonizing with Dylan singing, "The Boxer," still cracks me up. Really, dude, what were you thinking? Don't mistake me, I love you man but, "Whoa Nelly."

I really love the, "All the tired horses" cut. Its ridiculous the way I can listen to that over and over again. John would make so much fun of me if he knew I was still this way.

I'm going to watch some Rosemary and Thyme tonight. When I can't see the leaves through these windows any longer and all the words that are in this old head of mine have dropped onto this page for you to read, I'm going to chill out.

And enjoy another storm, fast approaching.

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