22 September 2006

dreams, and lost songs

blogging at work again. badbadbad.

this morning i awoke from a short post-bar sleep with the most amazing song coming from dreamland (no, that's not the bar downstairs). in my dream, i'd been weeping as i wrote the song because it was so goddamn good. immediately upon waking i grabbed my phone and recorded the lyrics that i could remember, amazed at the incredible quality of this magnificent piece of music.

and then i woke up again. bleary, exhausted and utterly disappointed that i hadn't drawn this song in waiting out of my subconscious. looking on the bright side a few hours later, at least i'm dreaming again -- i guess i've adjusted to the noise of atlantic avenue.

in this chaotic rollercoaster that is new york, it's hard to make space for creativity. every time i leave the house it feels like skydiving, the city screaming by like the whistling wind.

how do we find time in our lives for that which sustains us and drives us forward? when i was living in minnesota i went to church twice a week, almost without fail. and since moving to the city, i've been twice, and was disappointed both times.

but what of the spirit? have i lost touch with that elemental part of me? is yoga three times a week enough to satisfy the needs of the soul?

i only wish i knew some ministers i could ask....

11 September 2006

my friend the undertaker

i took a picnic out to the promenade on labor day, with my grandfather's copy of rilke:
already the ripening barberries are red,
and the old asters hardly breathe in their beds.
the man who is not rich now as summer goes
will wait and wait and never be himself.
nothing like some german existentialism to prepare one for fall.

the long stretch of benches looking out over the harbor were full with holiday revelers. an old man pulled in next to me and we struck up a conversation as i prepared my pastrami on rye. his eyes glowed with the arc of history as we talked of mayors, freeways, wars and love lost. as i gathered my things to head to work, i asked if we could exchange numbers. yeah, i got those digits.

and today we went out to lunch. i met 80 year old joe boyle at his office, the funeral home on my block. his cousin used to own the business years ago, and although he's retired, he still helps out around the place. we walked through the neighborhood, him pointing out a piece of quality iron work here, a new fountain there.

over burgers at an old diner, we exchanged stories, as he explained the art of embalming, explained that he owned 15 black suits, and told of another brooklyn, when everything was fine and the irish and the poles lived together, but then "the others" came and ruined this fair city.

guess i'll have to sit through a bit of old fashioned racism if want to be friends with the undertaker.