Rambles and brambles.
So I was going to get up early, early, to fly fish for trout in this perfect weather.
I did wake up, my body tired, I slept more.
Picked up an old poetry book, a paperback bound by duct tape
Faded, watermarks. The spine broken to “ Casa de Mantaras en punta del este” and “Otro Perro”.
New Poems by Pablo Neruda..1968-1970
I bought this at an extinct bookstore, Savran’s on the West Bank of Minneapolis in the late 70’s.
I loved this book
And still do
This book is past it’s prime: most of the poems I have not read yet
In Spanish and English,
And I remember who I was:
I remember who I am.
In those days a youth hungry for the world:
Hungry for the music of other languages,
Hungry for Coltrane in a time of punk rock-
Hungry for an exotic anything.
Hungry for Buddhism.
Hungry for staying up all night at jam sessions.
Hungry for altered experiences, of something more than the hum-drum ordinary boring life we all seemed destined for.
And what are these two poems about? A wandering dog, in a big city,
And “ strange things fall from the pine”… a connection and extension of nature in the city, or the eternal rhythm
And now I am still as driven as I was
Distracted, but grounded.
Looking out the window at the lush green of my yard, my neighborhood, and re reading these poems.
I set these poems to music: a piano vamp, supported by kind bassist and percussionists, having them read in Spanish, English, French, and even Japanese, (Pang lobal, pan lingual, I called it)
Performed in a bar where everyone wore black and pretended not to hear the music or care about anything .. back in the late 80’s…
And whether or not the music, the performance , was even “ good”,
It was part of me
And still is.
And I come back to this book of poems, it’s memories,
Of how I discovered Astor Piazolla
And met Arturo and Moira Teinkin,
of how I met my life,
of how I met my wife
and how now I am celebrating the ordinary,
waking up early in the morning,
having a garden, a dog, a family,
a community, music, teaching,
a regular life
not based on distortion of senses,
a solid Buddhist practice
where I can actually enjoy each moment of my life
and be thankful of
all the sufferings and wrong turns I took, mistakes made
lessons learned, details to attend to
without having my vision destroyed.
And this morning,
Although the to do list is immense,
I am going to read
These poems by Pablo Neruda.
A symbol of my youth.
and I will set them to music, again.
Thank you world.