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Saturday, July 16, 2011


cosmic moment

Wet rainy day, 60 degrees, makes me want to sleep all day. Took a good nap awhile ago. Caterpillar napping all day. Fiddler's convention coming up tonight. I feel drawn to it by oughta and should, and not at all by wanna. I don't feel any wanna. When I get right down with myself about why, it comes back that I just don't care. I have never liked competitions from childhood on to now. I don't like participating in competitions whether I win or lose. A win I take for nothing and a loss I take for nothing. Judging at a fiddler's convention, like judging any art form, painting, photography, poetry, quilt making, what have you, is totally subjective with some basic objective principles some judges adhere to and some do not. I don't question their decisions, because I don't have the ear or the experience for it. It would be foolish to let me be a judge. Usually it's musicians who are the judges. I've never found argument with fiddler's convention judging because it's a mystery how they can distinguish between the top 10 enough to scale them 1 thru 10. I've got to where I consider a top 10 placement the same as #1.

It's enjoyable to hear the music. There's no two ways about that. A band comes onstage, plays two tunes as wound up and tight as they can get, then it's over and they leave the stage. The next band comes up when everybody gets rounded up and does the same thing. It feels unnatural to me. It doesn't feel invalid by any means, just unnatural. I'd prefer to hear the bands at someplace like the Jubilee in Sparta, or the Floyd Country Store, Applewood in Cana, Rex Theater in Galax, The Front Porch Gallery in Woodlawn, where the bands play for the people that love their music. And I like hearing them at home on cd about the best. When I get right down to the core of it, it's that I don't like to get out in a crowd of people. That's something else I've had from childhood. Maybe I got it from daddy who hated standing in line so much (WW2 Marine) we'd go to movies in the middle and sit through the cartoons and previews and the blank space between movies, then watch the first half and leave. It taught me to go by clues in the second half of a movie to figure out the first half. I have never done it since I've had a choice, but still think it an interesting way to see a movie.

I prefer my visits with other people in small numbers, less than a handful numbers. I tend to want to talk WITH whoever it is I'm talking with, not be practicing the art of running my mouth as fast as breathlessly possible to say nothing in the largest number of words. When I'm at a fiddler's convention I feel like I'm doing what is expected of me and wish I had stayed home because of it. Like when I stopped smoking for ten years, then started smoking again because I didn't like being identified a non-smoker. I don't like the smug manner of non-smokers that look down on smokers. Makes me want to smoke-smoke-smoke that cigarette. That's about as far as my inner rebel goes. Don't count on me to carry a gun for some dumb-ass rebel leader who is all about ego. No chance of getting caught in an FBI sting operation because money has no value for me. They'll never be able to set me up to receive a suitcase full of hundred dollar bills in a motel room on camera. Not a playa. That's all in the money game I don't play. Just watch it in movies.

A large part of what I like about this curmudgeon phase I'm enjoying so much is that I'm only doing things I like doing and only seeing people I like seeing. I'm truly grateful for the inner calm of this time when I give myself permission to go where I want to go because I want to for my own aesthetic interest, not what's expected of me because I used to have a radio show of mountain music. I have to confess, too, that a lot of the oughta, should, needta is self-generated. When I stop paying attention to it, I do what I really want to do and have a good time all the time. I'd rather go to Selma's for coffee and a visit with whoever I run into there. That just about says it, doesn't it. I don't wanna go.

Just now went to the kitchen, got a beer and said out loud, "I'm not going." Good. That's settled. I've heard two weather forecasts, one 20%, the other 80%. I guess I have to admit to myself I miss nearly all the fiddler's conventions because I don't enjoy them. I love the music, but it doesn't turn me on hearing the musicians so tight with a chance to only play two songs. Not enough time to warm up and get in the music groove and let it flow. No time at all for that. Of course, I understand studio recordings are made that way too. The real deal is that I don't like going out with hundreds or thousands of people around. It's why I prefer the small town to the city, Sparta traffic to Charlotte traffic. I always went to small schools. Could not go to a mega university. They wouldn't accept me anyway.

It disturbs my mind somewhat to see how much in the past I adhered to oughta, gotta, should, needta. That, I think I got from mother, school, church, television, and everybody in my life. Paying attention to it came from school where I'm told all the time it's this way and not that way, true or false, multiple choice, this not that, time-saving tests to grade since our educational system is more about form than function. It should be this way, not that way. This way over here is correct, that way over there is not. I felt in my experience like k-6 was real schooling, and 7-12 factory schooling. My college I felt was real schooling, again, to a degree. Going from 6th grade to 7th grade was a serious shock. I wasn't ready for factory life, had no idea that's what it would be. Largely, I find myself bewildered like everyone around me by the continuing changes in civilization, in belief systems, in approval, until I want to stay in peace at home where I seldom play music any more because I like the quiet so much. I don't think I'm like a snail pulling into its shell, which I'm ok with, but more like a homing pigeon that found its way home.


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