Round and Now
Musical Journal, Tuesday evening, December 4. 2012
It’s Tuesday, December 4th, about 9:30 PM and I’m sitting in a coffee house with a cup of tea feeling through what happened tonight at the concert/rehearsal.
I played an electric oud with a power board of pedals and I beat out rhythms on a zebra wood cajon podium an angel-man in Arizona made for me to accompany my poetry. Behind me eight (?) ascending musicians accompanying nine nights of poetry about light and spiritual inwardliness, punctuated with loops and electronics and straight ahead jazz and jams and a little klezmer motif here and there to bring the whole thing to earth somewhere near Odessa. Not Odessa Texas.
One of the guitarists was playing his electric guitar with a zither case that belonged to his grandmother. From that Odessa. Its mention received applause.
No single imagination put this together. It worked from the outside in; a group of hungry musical artists converged on some center that was shared from a surprising variety of entry-ways. There was so much intersection in the room that my head is spinning too vertiginously for me to sleep right now; time to feel this through from a place that is not familiar to me because because because it’s not common what I just experienced. It’s not and it is — familiar.
At the intersection of rooted and spontaneous, then and now, gentile and jew, young and elder, black and white at the intersection where some sort of strange wisdom lurks, we landed there tonight where I was not expecting and it took my breath away.
For me, the loftiest experiences are at the places of linkage, integration, when what I thought was not compatible or stretched out linear was entirely congruent and placed circular; on the circle is sitting laughter and right next to laughter is tears, or on the circle is then and turn to the left is now or even future, there is black and white, the inward and the external, old and young, gentile and jew, the entirely personal and the universal sitting comfortably in a large circle around the center; at the center what I will call G*d. This an image from the Talmud, all of us sitting in a circle around G*d. Ever since I read that I cannot think of existence in any other way than cyclical circular round terms.
In the audience tonight individuals approaching the end of their trails with a lot of life left in them, still this probably the last stop for them, they too on the circle and the more we place them in linear I’m at the end of my line language the more we dishonor the essential nature of existence which disdains straight lines loves circles. I wonder if I will feel this way when I am at their place in existence; my sense last night is for the time of the concert anyway, they were on the circle with us where outward and inward held hands in proximity of each other and when there was outward dancing there was outward dancing and when there was inward dancing there was inward dancing and they were not so different.
Once I was tutored by life to effect a form of tears — a crying inwardly — that I practiced frequently. No one could discern it from the outside but from within my being I was weeping almost all the time. A form of tears that was entirely inward.
I assume there is a form of dancing and there is a form of joy that expresses the same way.
Tonight many in our audience were not capable of dancing in the physical sense but there was that inwardliness the dancing within that I felt with every rooted motif we played. There was no us really no them just all of us together on the great circle where we are all participants in the gift of life, not one entity giving a gift to another, all of us receiving the gift of circle-hood, circularity, it’s a circle and we are all on it then and now and that makes the future almost irrelevant.
On the circle is always now. That’s what feels so goooood. You can hear the concert and imagine the scene at www.eightnights.bandcamp.com.