The summer of music entertainment is closing in on its end with Galax Fiddlers Convention coming up. I've missed all the fiddlers conventions. Intended to go to MtAiry and Sparta. Didn't go to either. Didn't have the money to get in at Sparta, the last half of the month. When it comes time to go out the door, I see the drive, the parking lot, walking, walking, finding a place to sit. Then sit there. I appreciate a fiddlers convention, but I don't care to enter a big crowd of people. I like simple. I'd rather go to Woodlawn on Friday nights not knowing who will be playing that night than anywhere else. Rex Theater is Friday nights too, but I'd so much rather go to Willard's shop in Woodlawn. The music there is consistently to my satisfaction. I feel like Willard, Scott and Edwin are my friends, and I enjoy hearing my friends make music. I'd rather hear them than anybody. They play music of the human dimension, music that fits my dimension, doesn't pull me outside myself, but reinforces self. Like jazz, old-time and bluegrass emphasize musicianship, emphasize music.
During the first half of my life in cities, I was accustomed to crowds and believed that entertainment was always someplace I was not, someplace I had to go to and pay for. Movies are about it for the American city's entertainment possibilities, and rock concerts. Cities have museums and a variety of entertainments. When I came to the country in the late fall, I had stressful times of wanting entertainment, needing some, anything, enough to drive to Winston-Salem to see Coal Miner's Daughter, then race back up the mountain to get out of that traffic mayhem and back home where it was quiet. /Gradually, very gradually, I began to catch on to self-entertainment. Reading gets old when it's all there is for a long period of time. I took up drawing and painting and that took care of a lot of self-entertainment. Writing this blog is a form of self-entertainment. It's a game of following mind, seeing where it will go. I start with the first sentence and watch to see what happens. I wanted to discipline myself to write something every day that makes good reading. I can't guarantee "good" every day, but sometimes it happens.
I like to hold to the original purpose, to write something every day worth reading. "Worth reading" is as relative as "good," but I'm not going to worry over the relativity of it. I just want to write something somebody can read all the way through and come away with satisfaction it was worth reading. That's my highest goal. I don't aim beyond that. I don't want to teach or preach, though I do both, because I want to allow the freedom to go wherever my thoughts flow and see what happens. Some people take a kayak over a waterfall to see what happens. I sit at home and write to see what happens. It suits my temperament much more than kayaking. I don't even want to sit in a kayak. Maybe in another lifetime, not this one. I've become so habituated at entertaining myself that Woodlawn on Friday nights is all the external entertainment I need. And it's just right. The music at Woodlawn on Friday nights is every week satisfying, whoever is playing. What more do I need? No more. In retirement, I'm able to do what I want to do, able to follow my own feelings and thoughts, find my flow and go with it. I've actually become jealous of my flow. I don't want to lose my flow. It takes a little while to get it back when I've been knocked off the track.
I like that it is not necessary to be productive. Enough people are doing productive. A lot of people want to be productive. I have wanted it too. Still do. But I like to relax from it from time to time and not be productive at all, with intent. It's like resting on the seventh day. For myself, I need to take time-out from being productive. Like taking a nap. It's good for the mental health. Today's nap was only a half hour, but I woke from it refreshed. Like with the painting, I paint a bit, sit with it for some days and work on another aspect of it, look at it for several days, apply some more paint, gradually putting puzzle pieces in place. Looking at it almost all the time I'm in the house, I see ideas I can act out with paint that I would not see running through it in one day. I find that I can see a lot more this way than I could when I was wanting to be productive. I take so long with them, that by the time one is finished and out of the house, I miss it like I would a kitten I kept for four months. That's about how long it takes to paint one. I have come to believe that hours spent looking at it must at least equal hours spent applying pigment. I look for a kind of living presence in the figures, and this is how I find it, taking my time. I'm not a factory.
I feel like it's a fairly good balance I have in the department of self-entertainment. In the company of baby Vada, 1 year old, I am entertained every minute of watching her. It's easy for me to keep an eye on her, because I like to see the development of her mind, her feet, her fingers, blowing bubbles out her nose, imitating words and sounds, discovering everything new, needing to feel it as well as see it, feeling it for confirmation of sight. It's comic that a baby has come into my life as I'm looking at the later years. The leaves are falling off my inner trees. I see in the baby myself in however many years, crawling on somebody's floor, learning to walk. My best intertainment is the people who are my friends. They are the people I want to be around. I want to be with Vada and see her develop into the neat little kid I know she will be. I love watching someone come into this world from out of the blue, seeing this person in a baby's body unable to communicate or understand, an experienced soul in a new body that needs to learn a great deal before she can set out on her own in the world.