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Wednesday, October 13, 2010



Listening to Thomas Mapfumo of Zimbabwe, southeastern Africa, maybe the poorest country in the world, there with Haiti and Albania. Sad situation there. Mapfumo's music I can't explain. Don't know the titles of the songs, the name of the album. Can't understand any of the words. It's like his voice is an instrument and doesn't pull my mind into it. He has a beautiful voice and delivery. It's dance music that has a casual sense about it the way reggae has its relaxed style. They're only similar in their casual way of flowing with the rhythms. His electric guitar players are real pickers.

Mapfumo's music is kind of understated, no sound assaults, just a relaxed flow of the rhythm and the girls singing, the thumb piano making it's particularly Zimbabwean sound and the electric guitar that plays along with it in the same manner. I think of it as a lilting rhythm his band makes. I actually prefer music where I can't understand the meanings of the words. I can hear the music in the voice. Much of Mapfumo's vocals are musical sounds like something a guitar or horns might do, though with the subtlety of the human voice to make all kinds of sounds at will. It's beautiful. It's the kind of music I can have playing while I write you and it's not a distraction. It's just the only thing I can think about, which is probably best.

Today the car broke. Serious problem. Can't run without fixing. Can't get to it till mid next week. I'm immobile for the time being. Hillbilly Show this weekend. Friday night rehearsal, Saturday night the show. Agnes wants me to be Ernest T Bass from Andy Griffith Show. That's going to take some doing. She thinks I'm as uninhibited as she is about cutting a shine. I don't really have any appetite for the stage, even if it's just running about being stupid. I'd rather be pulling the ropes for the big curtain. A good job for me. I can see through the opening between the curtain and the wall where I am with the ropes, a good view of what is going on onstage. I can see what is going on backstage, and can see the audience at will. This way I see everything that is going on, the entire experience. That's why I like to work the curtains.

I refuse to think about the car. It will be taken care of one step at a time, starting with getting it to the mechanic, tomorrow's project. I've learned after living this long that I don't have to worry about it. Worry just adds to it. Things have a way of falling into place when allowed. It's the way of let-go-and-let-God. It's been a rough day for the mind. In the course of the day I forgot too many important things I need to pay attention to. Things as dumb as stepping in front of a car without looking. Didn't do that, but might as well have.

I'm too ashamed of the stupid stuff I did today from forgetfulness to tell it. It was stupid. Yet, it worked out perhaps best for the long run. It's the same kind of frustration Jr felt, ashamed of forgetting things that screw up as a result. However, later I boiled some eggs and remembered to turn the heat off when it was time. Maybe I'll talk with Una about some ginko tea or something like that for holding the mind together. Like if I'm talking and get interrupted, it's gone. Gone forever. Until some time later in the day or the next day. Pop. There it is. I call it the white hair disease.

It turns out I find the forgetfulness somewhat of an adventure. I like a life with minimum drama in it, so I don't set myself up for many adventures. I like adventures like approaching a blank canvas and making something of it worth looking at, something better than a panel of white, which is quite beautiful in itself, can be a powerful visual statement. Google Robert Ryman. He paints white. Does it right.

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