Sunday, January 23, 2011

Essential Disorientation

Whenever I have tried my hand at the wholeness of a union, I come to fear that its comforts lay bare to me and my world the nakedness of me going completely soft and becoming something not true to form.

Unquestionably, I am attracted to the idea of an idyllic union which demands devotion, fidelity, truthfulness and unbroken promises. But it has also long been my belief that in such a union of one sort or another, I declare that its demands are heard too loudly and too clearly, and therefore, from time to time, must be ignored.

When I am a fraction, the lyricism of wholeness is muffled, incapable of being heard within the lucidity of an opiate derivative dream state. Despite this, I am keenly aware that I am one who feels he must always represent only half the story of a life.

When I am in fact “out there” I seek to become intoxicated by forces that seem to be electromagnetic in nature and far beyond my capacity for control. My polarization runs both this way and that way, creating an essential disorientation, but one with its rewards. I transcend the fact that I am a missing piece of whole. Being on my own, I am an eager runaway piece of puzzle, a fat and happy fraction lacking a common denominator. I want nothing more than to become disconnected and unfamiliar with the demands of home. Far and gone, I find a definitive sovereignty of the spirit.

I have never quite been able to shake loose that uneasy feeling that each homely instant and every homely action is a larcenous superficial joy, making off in broad daylight with more good humor than it brings. On the road, alone, I reject my declaration of co-dependence. Whether I’m hauling my guitar up the side of Himalayan foothills to sing out some Himalayan hillbilly song or if I have taken my guitar deep into a lazy jungle where I snake my way through each waking bluesy hour in a verdant haze of one sort or another, I instantly become capable of discarding all that should be bliss and grace.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Spinning yarns and wheels

I arrived in Siem Reap around beer:thirty, just before sunset, when my friend-in-residence and Siem Reap pick-up band mate, K. calls it a day and heads for the one and only local supermarket to knock back a few cold ones. 

I spent two weeks in Siem Reap playing in clubs with K. He sings and strums. I sing and add bluesy lead fills. We've been playing together on Siem Reap's backpacker pub streets for the past four years. We know each other's stylings well enough that we can keep rehearsal to an hour or so, and get on with the business of getting up on stage night after night with only chord charts to guide us and keep it all together. So where's the story here?

Writing about my two weeks warm up for my Southeast Asian blues scene tour has me spinning my wheels in brain gravel because I always have a great time doing this each summer. Where's the story in that?
The only value of travel writing that assures an audience’s curiosity is misfortune. That’s the hook. A captivated audience seeks commiseration and appreciation for hardships which look a lot like their own.

I am wracking my brain and decoding notes trying to assign dramatic meaning to what appears to have been a really good time, but a time filled with the not so desperate, predictable moments. 

I feel I am obligated to recognize drama and to see the humor in it. I could fiddle with this part of the trip until unease and dread resolve into something attention-grabbing.

I must show moments when endurance prevailed, where I endured one cosmic joke after another, moments in which I always take it on the chin.Here I must escape self, reinvent self, isolate a façade of self from self then reconstruct and reflect self in a fun house mirror.