Thursday, December 18, 2008

The rush of time passing

So, how elated I felt after finally writing a new post for my blog, which had been languishing since March! hardly surprising I got carried away with the sensation of time rushing like a torrent under the proverbial bridge... The flow of my thoughts, which I hope may be of interest to some of my fellow-humans (hence the attempt to capture them in words and publish them in this way), continues to proceed with such exuberant speed that it is difficult to capture so much as a starting point. "Being in America" needed a bit of background: but I got trapped by the paradox: starting in the present by telling my life story in a nutshell! Not surprising, either, that I spent much of the night tossing and turning; not surprising either that now, the morning after, I'm not much closer to solving the difficulty. I don't want to start by writing my life story, though it's possible I do want to finish by telling quite a bit of it.

I'm a person with several homes: in Ireland, in upstate New York, in Pennsylvania, in London. I've taken a leave of absence from my home in Ireland, by renting out my home there to a friend for two years, so I am free to go wandering. The intention is to wander on foot; but I find myself spending the first of these years (I'm nearly six months into it now) going flyabout prior to going walkabout. And at the present moment I'm spending some weeks with my dear mother and father, both in their eighties, in the house I grew up in outside Philadelphia.

There! At least I got the context taken care of, in a fairly short paragraph. Now, of course, the momentum of my thoughts is pretty well stalled. Rather than force it, I'll see you later.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Being in America

So, back in the USA for an extended visit, from my long-time home in the rugged Irish countryside of West Cork. This country, the USA, has been very strange to me for a long time. I've been an ex-pat since 1981, when I moved from Boston to London to pursue my career as a viola da gamba player-- and also what I hoped was true love. Can I call the stormy decade and a half of musical and personal, painful and very productive struggle, true love? I have to ask myself in response, what love is not true love? Anyway that's behind me now. A tremendous amount of water under the bridge: let's stand here a moment and watch the roaring torrent, racing and foaming, merrily shouting and singing, water and stones and gravity and spray rising into mist and negative ions animating the air, energy to breathe in, inviting a blessing from whatever is the spirit of this stream, the stream of life, the stream of time. What is this bridge we're suddenly standing on together? Shall we parse this metaphor: it must be a bridge of words, and from this bridge as from every bridge I cross in the course of my travels, I pause for a brief prayer, a moment of communion with the water, the movement, the energy which inhabits the crossing point.