Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Caramel Mystique from Short and Stout
I have disparate thoughts floating down and piling up like the snow outside my window. Humans have a natural tendency to link things together, to create meaning out of seemingly random events. I suppose it's a coping mechanism in a world we cannot possibly comprehend. Making connections can shape beauty and form from the frightening chaos of life. I suppose that is the purpose of art. But I'm just writing a tea-inspired blog. So what are these thoughts?
First, I'm re-arranging, composing, and organizing a children's musical I wrote years ago. At the same time (in the same room) my daughter is composing her own piece of music. We share the space with the computer that has the programs we need. Acoustically the piano (for me) and the steel drum (for her) are also in the room. My music is very, very silly- the musical is called 'Fundiculous'. Hers is an Easter Alleluia for our church- our most solemn time of the year. There has been some creative spillage. I found myself composing harmonies in my song, "Mediocre Inc." reminiscent of a hymn. Dammit! Scrap it. Get back into my own musical world. Start again.
The novel, "The Help", has been sitting on my shelf for two years, but I finally got to read it. Great book! If you don't know, it's about the race relations in Mississippi back in the 1960's as told by two black women housekeepers and one white woman writer. It tells about the complicated relationships that followed after the horror of slavery ended, but the hope of equality was not achieved. Time magazine this week noted that the hard-won specifics of the Voting Rights Act have been taken away piece by piece in the last few decades. Dammit. Do we have to start again?
I fantasize about travel to Asia. The music of Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Project fills my home. I want to learn Chinese, even though the one time my friend tried to teach me the simplest phrases, I was so incompetent she gave up. My friend lives in Singapore (where they speak English too) and I want to go-go-go! I lived in Singapore as a child, but have never returned: the expense, raising children, etc. It's a city-state on a tiny island south of Malaysia, two degrees off the equator, and very metropolitan. What a complicated blend of cultures: Chinese, British, Malay, Indian and more, that create a unique Singaporean identity. Damn. I should start saving.
So what brings all these together? Well, tea of course. I drink tea while composing, I drank tea while reading, and I will drink lots and lots of Singaporean tea if I get myself over there!
It's still snowing. My tea is gone. Darn. I will begin my day letting all these thoughts pile into rounded shapes, drifting insights, and hibernating dreams.
Move with intention.