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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

“Tales” is evolving.

When I conceived of “Tales from the Attic” I thought it would centre on the many musicians I've jammed with, reminiscences of the tumultuous Greenwich Village in the '60s, on the road with Sharon, Lois and Bram … the folkie stories.

There is some of that, but three of the stories are about Bosnia and Kosovo at war.  Another is about a dark journey into Cocaine; another about anger and sexual repression; and I’m developing one about jealousy.

There are stories about love, connection, and how music creates a harmony not only of chords, but of hearts.  And scattered among these tales are humorous misadventures.

Themes of conflict are emerging, personal, interpersonal and social; some loving conflicts and some not. 

Taking shape for me out of the exploration of these tales is the discovery that there is either love or violence, and even violence is a cry for love.  The first time I heard this from my mentor, Stan Dale, I found it a very hard saying.  How could it be true?  Rape, murder, war… is the Universe driven by two opposite forces or just one?  I question it to this day.  And yet the more I revisit the memories of war torn Bosnia and Kosovo, or the conflict of love and hate in Mississippi… the deeper I dig into the guts of my own soul, the more I find it to be true.

And other themes are emerging as I develop this show… meta themes.  When I was a teenager music was about impressing, getting girls, being admired... in other words, a way of masking the insecurities that lay within.  Now my music is less about putting up a front and more about sharing what’s inside.  I seek out my inner vulnerabilities and wear them, inviting my audience to experience the deeper me, even though I know there will be judgment.  We tend to spend our lives comparing our insides to other people’s outsides.  I don’t want to continue showing up that way.  I rest in the faith that the deeper we look into each others’ eyes, the more we see ourselves. 

Stay tuned for the next installment of discovering who I am and what I’m doing here.  I think “Tales from the Attic” will soon be coming to Shelburne, Ontario, and after that, Toronto.



Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A night on Cocaine

A night on Cocaine

Each object is painted in ritual. The little square of note paper, crisply folded into an origami pocket for the gram.  The gram, sifted, strained ... a scant teaspoonful, but from the paper pocket dreams and desires float on a line of white powder into my brain.

And the ritual of the straw.  Is it a twenty rolled up and held with a rubber band, or the barrel of a Bic pen, or perhaps it’s that little glass tube hiding in an odd sock in the back of my dresser drawer.

I place the mirror out on the bedside table, and the straw, and the gram, ... and the razor blade, old fashioned kind, single edged with the metal lip that fits comfortably between my finger and thumb.

Each object is painted in ritual, infused with magic.  Cocaine, the magic powder through which some take a spiritual journey, seeking the goddess, or messages from the elders.

And we use it for sex.  I chop four fine lines, each an inch long which we snort up each nostril… snort… there is no romantic word to substitute.  You don’t inhale a waft of cocaine, like fanning the misty aroma of a fine brandy.  You snort it up your nose.

And then we crawl into bed.  And presently her beauty unfolds like a time lapse Easter flower.  Every inch of her body electrifies my senses.  Our inhibitions drop away and sex, riding down a line of cocaine blends with my heart, my guts, my soul.  Sex becomes the language of our love, the connection we make, like cream sliding into a glass of tea, we become one.

And stories that spring out of us, ageless fantasies that unite infant to child to youth to now in a way that there is no time. She is a goddess, a mother, a queen, a haughty domina, a bitch.  Her aggression blossoms, She cultivates her selfishness to an art. She takes everything she wants with a singular passion.  And I surrender to everything she takes.  I enfold her power lovingly.  I do this with ease because she is me.  We are each other.  We could switch roles in a flash because all we are doing is playing with the opposites that are one.  As if our souls were like silly putty that stretches when you pull gently, or breaks when you tug and slap it back together.

And when the crystal clarity clouds around the edges we lean over the bedside table and snort again, gliding the tube along the string of ghostly powder, careful to lick up any last tiny grain lest it be left lonely on the mirror…. The mirror, becoming cloudy now with drying saliva.        

And the fantasies, the puffy white clouds among which we soared are settling to the ground and turning dark.  The garden in which we rolled on thick beds of flowers is showing patches of hard earth.  The euphoria is now just out of reach and tinged with a nameless fear.  So we snort again… and again… and again... and we continue to play our games but they are now more desperate as the gram dwindles like watching an hour glass and knowing when the last grain slips away, this glass cannot be turned over. 

When the little paper pocket was full our souls lit up the night, but now our souls are empty and dark even as morning sun exposes us lying motionless among the crumpled bed covers, naked, with an aching need, an anxiety that will not go away.  Exhausted but unable to sleep, unable to calm our beating hearts, that we have betrayed and now must pay the penance of its incessant beating. 

And I wonder if this is how God came upon Adam and Eve after they’d eaten of the forbidden fruit.