Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Power Triads

That new profile photo is getting more honest by the day. I really do understand the Spanish guitar, thanks to the numbers and sensible finger discipline. I had someone take a photo of me at the piano years ago, to send to the Pope of the day, but decided against its leaving Nelson. I looked acceptable as a person, and I was smiling, but my hands on the keys lacked the whole truth, by a long shot, and I decided against false advertising.
By late Sunday afternoon, as I strolled east on Baker Street, heading for home after a walk I needed to take after I had been able to start writing my second short story within the week, I had figured out to approach the scientific study of the key of E - major, minor, and whatever - and was keen to get home to try it out. The readers know that Tim and I have been working on A, then I proceeded to D and made a bit of progress, enough to prove the logic of the numbers and our fingering drills, so now if E behaved accordingly, with adaptations, of course, we really were up and running. This would be good, because the emails to assorted authorities have been pretty sassy, and the last thing I need at this point would be some sort of road side mine, of my own bad design, blowing up and interrupting the flow of the process.
Moreover, Hayley and I have begun charting sensible chord graphics. Actually, triad graphics, and these also look satisfying.
By noon Monday, the great McDaniel and I had proceeded through both D and A, with some nice little schemas on paper. Everything worked extremely well indeed, and so I'm looking for ways to be even sassier, and probably will not stop until I find an authority who actually gives a damn about kids.
From the get go, I had a fairly good rep as a rythmn player, from ukulele to 12-string, and without bass and or drums instinctively felt the need to provide a good bottom end with the six note guitar chords. ("Bottom End" was for a time the name of one of my son's bands.) But now I can boom off the big E and A with articulation also, with all the pretty little horses thrown in. Better than that, so can the student, as soon as he learns to count on two strings.
And your mother tried to tell you that motorcycles were wicked? Tim actually has that nice little resonant classical of his, for a bargain price, because he knew how to do some necessary work on the music store owner's bike. Find Tim an old Indian or Norton and he might even show you a lick or two.
Tim is more than a gentleman biker and a guitarist. He is also a reader, and as of yesterday a valid critic, as least for me. This brings us the the second short story. I told him the drama of getting the first into the hands of the KMC magazine designers and then launched into the cycle of inspiration that had turned what was to be a family reminiscence into a bona fide short story. I quoted the gift first sentence that had told me in no uncertain terms what I was about to be about. I was not really looking for a response, but I got a beauty. He said he could really see the landscape I was describing, and so on. It was a nice boost for finishing the story, first draft, over the rest of the day.
And now it's Thursday. Story #2, "The Filly", was finished and sent to a prospective publisher yesterday. I had promised that date or today, but I had already heard the opening sentence for #3 before I started editing the draught, so I shipped #2 out on the earlier date, started #3 last night, and this morning sent #2 to a kindly and very well placed professor/author in the East.
He's quick. As I once heard a pastor say, if you want to get something done, ask a busy man. I had a very nice comment back before I even left the house for the morning walk.
But the morning actually started with an email from the musician daughter explaining her inspiration for engaging the Royal Hotel in August for the celebration of our 5oth, a subject on which I had very few clear thoughts until now, and even then I'm still a little fuzzy.
You know parents. The fuss - for years, for decades - goes the other way. That's how it has to be. The only thing you can insist on getting back from rug rats is respect and obedience, especially when you tell them to say their prayers and learn to like reading books. They love you, of course, except when you're a monster, and maybe even then, but you don't get anywhere demanding for yourself the same kind of attention you're obliged to give them. And then, eventually, they do grow up and think and feel like adults and insist on doing things for other people, including their parents. And even grandparents.
Somewhat tentatively we offered to do the traveling. They could stay in their own houses and show around any of them that hadn't been visited. But that didn't go down very well. They wouldn't get the chance to visit each other, and as they are all still friends, and they liked growing up in Nelson, our plan simply went against nature. (It's nice to have kids who understand the natural law.) So the grand gathering had to be, and all of a sudden there were enormous outbursts of energy and planning appearing on this computer. Who is coming for sure, who maybe. Who stays where. This is planned for a house, that for a restaurant, and a third thing for the beach, and of course baby sitting.
That was all to be expected, and I didn't have to involve myself with any of it. I'm not a mother and grandmother, not a housekeeper, both of whose efficiencies in these matters are utter legends. I could just keep on writing and researching for the months before it all happens. Quite possibly my only commitment was to show up, maybe looking skinnier, the father of their youth, except for the state of his hair.
But then the short stories started exploding, and Pauline booked the Royal, which has been her Queendom for some time, and I start to wonder what else Providence is up to. Like the Church, God is enormously fond of anniversaries. He's also fond of keeping His promises, but on His own time. I think this is going to be a summer to remember, even without knowing all the reasons.
It will certainly be a March to remember. Even at 73, the two-week return to fitness test still works. I'm in week three of studying solo dance, and have learned that my left leg muscles, especially in the hip, are still tight, making me suspect that it's dance, as so-called primitive people have known forever, that is the supreme mother of conditioning, even beyond yoga and tai chi. This is a conclusion that may not be valid universally, for all people at all times, but it is most certainly my ultimate destination in the past nine years of physio research.
I'll explain the rather uniquely efficient route for discovering that tightness in a separate piece. Anything that takes two years to figure out needs a thorough treatment.

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