Midsummer

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

 

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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,

but on

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

And enjoy

These poems by Pablo Neruda.

A symbol of my youth.

and I will set them to music, again.

Thank you,

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Thank you world.

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