In honor of National Poetry Month, I will provide a poem I composed while on a field trip with my middle school students.
Long and slimy
Walking, stepping, tying
Stuck under my soul
Here are some of my favorite poets:
Robert Frost, Stephen Dobyns and Langston Hughes
I grew up in a city where there are a lot of people. Which means you get to watch and observe folks as they go through their daily rituals. I am also a musician who on occasions gets to watch people as they sit at church. I try not to let my mind wonder during a church service, although it is inevitable, my mind will search for entertainment after the 3rd or 4th listening of the same homily.
One of the games I play is “What’s that person about”. It consists of giving a person a story based on nothing. I would look at someone and think…well that person is going to go home and wash his vegetables, then try on his new driving gloves. They tend to get more and more ridiculous as the game progresses. I’ve created resumes for people with jobs titles like Aglet Sales Person and Professional Mouse Milker.
Today I flipped it, and imagined what someone might think of me sitting there with a trumpet on my lap. “That guys eats too many plums, he’s obsessed with the valve caps on his trumpet and probably has nothing to offer the world except more pollution.” I laughed to myself then thought…I’m not going to be bothered by someone who doesn’t like plums.
Few are the times when something happens to me and I get to think about a drama/action movie and a singer/songwriter I like, admire and respect. The venn diagram for this situation might look like this.
In the movie Fight Club,there is a scene where the idea of a “single serving friend” is mentioned. The first time I remember thinking of this concept, was while listening to a song by Peter Eldridge called An Interesting Person from his album Fool No More.
The notion of a single serving friend is quite simple. In my case it generally happens when I meet someone while waiting in line for something and a short conversation starts. A few nice words, even a joke or two…a nod with a smile and a good-bye. The single serving friend experience is now over and you get on with your day.
I had one of these encounters recently… and it kind of made my day. Thank you single serving friend.
Recently I was at the Seattle Art Museum with my students. I forgot how walking from room to room experiencing installations of art had it’s own rhythm. Standing in one part of a room only allowed you to see part of the space. If you’re curious and you turn your head, you may see something that may alter your perception. I was as fascinated by the rhythm of the room as I was of the art displayed.
While sitting alone in a room with pieces of art that were enormous, I took a moment to feel the rhythm of that room. My eyes dances from panting to sculpture and back again. It got so that even then empty spaces were an important part of the experience. I listened carefully to the rhythms the curators at the SAM were laying down.
Below are two of the pieces that I thought were super cool. machu picchu after dark (pa’ victoria santa cruz, macario sakay y aaron.dixon), 2003–2014, William Cordova and The Yellow X, 1965, Al Held, American, 1928-2005, acrylic on canvas, 144 1/2 × 178 in.
Now that I am well into my late 30’s in age, I feel the need to become physically fit. Yes there was a need before I entering this stage, but a few days of greasy meals and one too many treats is proving more difficult to hide. That said, in the past I would just work out a little harder. Maybe put in a few more minutes into cardio, eat well, drink more water and stay away from temptations. Easier said than done, but with a little effort I could get back to just 25 pounds over the suggested weight for my height.
Add my kid to the mix with my job(s), it’s damn near impossible to find the time to get a reasonable workout and not lose hours of your day. If it seems like this is starting to sound like a commercial, don’t worry it’s not. However, I really do use my kettle bells a lot. Way more than I expected when I got them.
If you don’t know what a kettle bell is… allow me to describe one to you. Imagine putting a handle on a cannon ball, and using that to exercise instead of dumb-bells. I think it’s an efficient and effective tool that combines weigh training with cardio exercises. At least the ways I use kettle bells. Since I am usually pressed for time, because I need to stay an active musician/educator or I have a family, the kettle bell is the quick and helpful solution to my time crunch.