(Click on photos to enlarge.)
(Click on photos to enlarge.)
For the most part, the men I have met over the seven years I’ve participated in social introduction sites have fizzled out–either through lack of interest, lack of memory or just plain lack of fuel to keep a long distance relationship going. There is just one who has lasted as our relationship has evolved from friendship to seduction to love affair to a best friend relationship where we are crazy about each other from a distance––willing to do anything for each other that can be done from 1500 miles away––including advising each other over other romantic relationships as we share heartbreaks, frustrations and all the problems of daily life.
In this strange cyber world we are all slipping into by varying degrees, he has become one of the most important people in my life, even though it has been two years since we’ve met in person. He is my blog administrator, copy editor and computer tech. He reminds me to pay my helpers, lock my doors at night and turn the lights out. When I lost my camera, he found it from 1500 miles away in Missouri by checking the message boards in my hometown in Mexico! Once, when I was at the beach, when a friend came by and handed me something as I lay on a hammock on my front porch, he Skyped me asking me what she had handed me—having seen it on the beach cam of my next door neighbor which just happened to pick up the corner of the porch I rent every year! (I know. Sounds creepy, but it wasn’t.)
Since he hardly ever leaves his house or his computer screen, unless he is asleep he is usually available within a few minutes via Skype. He checks my computers from afar, patrolling for viruses or needed updates. He is there when I receive good news and bad. Because I live up on a mountain above a small town in Mexico and because all of the houses around me are homes used as vacation homes and usually empty, he monitors my after-midnight swims in the pool or my journeys down to the studio, waiting online to check that I am safely back in bed within a reasonable amount of time–one hour or two, depending on how ensconced I become in my late night/early morning adventures. But with all of the roles he has assumed in my life over the years we’ve know each other, one of his most important roles right from the first is as my “Music Man”!
For the first four months I knew him, he played his guitar and sang me to sleep every night over Skype, the camera of my laptop trained on my face so he could see when I slept and say goodnight and go back into his own world where few strayed. Those serenades continued off and on for the next year, but since then, he has been my music man in other ways: sending favorite songs I request as well as songs I’ve never heard before that I open like Christmas packages.
On the CD’s he has made for me or the iTunes he’s sent are my own favorites: Emmylou, Rickie Lee Jones, Tom Waits, Stacey Earle, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Nina Simone, Dan Bern, Chris Smither, Billie Holiday, Ray Charles, Lila Downs, and Janice Joplin. Joining them are his favorites, some of whom I’d never heard of before: Brett Dennen, Joe Purdy, Steve Earle, and Nanci Griffith. He has created a new world for me comprised of Towns Van Zandt, Eva Cassidy, Jolie Holland, the Wailin’ Jennys and Iris DeMent along with songs discovered via movie soundtracks or the background music of favorite TV shows. The Avett Brothers we discovered together––I no longer remember which one of us first stumbled across them on a YouTube video of the Letterman show.
Music was our courtship: Since he is too much a rebel to participate in the regular celebrations of society, songs became my valentines, my birthday gifts and Christmas stockings. Where others gave flowers, he gave songs. “I and Love and You” was declared to me by the Avett Brothers. When Amy Lavere sang to me, “Lucky boy, lucky boy, ’cause I’m your lovely girl,” I got the message that I was the lovely girl and he the lucky boy, even though in the past he had advised me not to interpret all the songs as messages.
I now have over 471 songs on my computer—most of them sent by him. They are the songs I listen to every time I have guests, when I am in my car or in my studio. They keep me company at night in the pool or my studio. The first thing the man who comes to my house to give me a weekly massage does when he enters the room is to click on my iPod in its speaker/holder. He says this is his favorite place to come—partly because of the calm and the art, but more so because of the music.
My music man. I’ll see him in person in September and it will be wonderful to give him a hug and a kiss, to travel up to Minnesota together to see my sister and nieces and to Alabama to see other friends; but this man who has been by turns my serenader, my computer tech, my editor, my confidant, my lover and my best friend has, in addition to everything else, given me one invaluable gift. He has created the soundtrack to my life.
In typical fashion, Music Man has answered this post you have just read in musical form. To hear/see it, go HERE.
Listen to this song all the way to the end. You won’t be sorry! Please tell me what you think.
The parts of us that we conceal
as well as parts that we reveal
make up who we really are.
Our eye fixed on that distant star
in dark of night that no one sees
and what we think while at our ease––
these hidden aspects of our lives
that we tell neither friends nor wives
might be more of our history
than what you hear and what you see.
We recognize that special sense
that some let slip when feeling tense––
an energy that goes unseen
during life’s banal routine.
It hints perhaps at inner life
divided from the roil and strife
of doing what the whole world does
from day to day simply because
its what moves our world along––
the business, be it bread or song
that we produce to fuel each other––
what we provide to give our brother
in trade for what he gives to us––
the “stuff” of life–the trade and fuss.
Our inner gardens we keep inside,
their harvests richer if we hide
them deep within to grow and thrive.
They are what keep our souls alive
to grow more bountiful day by day
until we choose to give away
all we’ve grown there in the shade––
theorems and the sonnets made––
all those thoughts and sounds and seeings
that seem to come from other beings
living somewhere deep inside
where they have chosen to live and hide.
These hidden parts that we conceal––
that through our art we may reveal––
these parts reached by our daily delves
into what feel like other selves––
these places that produce the yield
are treasure houses we’ve concealed.
So at those times we break the seal
and let out how we really feel––
sing the song we’ve kept inside,
paint truths from our inner guide?
It is not God, muses or elves.
We’ve simply shared our hidden selves.
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Palapa Joe’s was pulsing with the heartbeat of its last open mike of the season last night as poets and musicians held a jam-packed house in thrall. It’s rare that a bar crowd stays quiet for 2 1/2 hours while entertainment is being staged, but that was the case as act after act wowed us. Emcee Betty held it all together with her easy repartee and humor. (If you noticed that one of these photos doesn’t belong here, you caught me! None of the photos of Ron Stock turned out, so I used one of him taken earlier in the day at our writer’s group. )
Wednesday Afternoon Music Circle
I was so lucky to be invited to the Wednesday Afternoon Music Circle at Yellow Bear’s place in La Manzanilla. I am going to let the photos tell the story for once and will let those who recognize the participants add to the story if they wish, so if you recognize yourself or a friend, please identify the photos and if you were there, give a bit of information about the afternoon in comments. I had a wonderful time!!!
(Click on first photo to enlarge, then click on arrows to move through gallery.)