Tuesday, September 27, 2011
When the spirit comes
There is a time when a blogger runs out of gas, is gasping for air. So he writes about things around the house. Things he's read. Things he'd seen on TV.
I must admit I am tired of Public Television and their money grubbing sales pitches about long-dead albums and songs, but I must say I kind of like Tavis Smiley's show. It is somehow funky and here and there, there is certainly soul, and even insight.
Take occasional guest Sonny Rollins, legendary jazz saxman.
He talks not of soul but of spirit.
All the grand dead guys around him, long vanished. He said that's spirit. They are dead but still in your memories. This somehow makes them still relevant to you, somehow still alive.
I am not yet near Sonny Rollins' eighty years, but I think I know of what he speaks.
Pockets of memories. Pockets of people, most of them dead. You can still hear them, some playing guitars, others on typewriters spilling out their insights and writing to you.
Memories of a dead town. The one-and -a-half clapboard White Rose filling station building still there, even the old pumps out front, long disused and rust- patinaed. There are aging Manitoba maples all around. They grew around the pumps at about the time you had had your heyday in literature and music. They somehow invoke memories.
Memories of old friends, the way they used to look when young, dissolving into windy marionettes. Ghosts.
Yet, says Sonny Rollins to Tavis Smiley,
"To me, they're still alive,making me so glad I had been in their company. I call it spirit. "
Spirit indeed, as I think of all the dead or dying friends in the vinyards of music and journalism.
Myself, I had the privilege of walking, playing, writing alogside with some greats. And wasn't that grand?
And I fear one day I myself will be someone's windy ghostly marionette.