Friday, November 8, 2013

Birthday, Melodica, Jalapeno

I took out my melodica tonight among a group of friends playing guitar and harmonica and had a go at it, my fingers tripping over the black keys and wishing I could see the keyboard, rooted as I am in the visuals of the piano. The key of E was a trial. Need to practice.

But....a little later, as I was doing my usual picking out a tune, a lament of sorts but nothing that I could name or put words to (and best done in my attic rooms on a hot summer night with cricket song filtering in from open windows), it occurred to me that I'm invoking the memory of my father on his fiddle or his harmonica, from fifty years ago, when he played old Irish tunes and never a piece of music to be seen, all played from memory, or from some instinctual place deep within him.

Just the other night I had to take my melodica apart (an easy task, really) and stuff in a pinch of fluff from my unsewn sofa cushion (handy, that) to prop up a key that had given way just the smallest bit, and would sound when I blew. Repaired, it went back to its almost un-pretty yet sufficient tone, all I need, really, to add a riff here and there with a jamming group of friends.

I want to do more of this. (The playing, not the repairing.)

A full troop of friends and family came out to look at my art tonight (despite nasty rain and wind), and most of them traipsed over to my house afterwards for Champagne and cake. (Up late last night, as the baking fool.) According to Facebook, I turned 108 today. (And all I had to do to effect that elevated status of years was to change my birth year to 1905.) (And I sold five — FIVE! — pieces.)

And you know what else I did today? I snorted jalapeno-laced pho broth up into my sinuses when a co-worker made me laugh. OWZA YOWZA. I was doubled over in both laughter and pain, not entirely certain where it would make its exit: my mouth? My nose?! I can't remember where it ended up (the garbage can? My throat?), but I do remember wondering how in hell I was going to deal with that searing burn. Holy mother-of-fuck I was ready to breathe fire. The flaming sinuses of hell, thankfully, faded to mere embers in a few minutes, but the laughter continued to erupt and spill out for the rest of the afternoon .

Can we all agree that life can be very, very good?

As Raymond Carver says in my sidebar:

"There isn't enough of anything

as long as we live. But at intervals
a sweetness appears and, given a chance
prevails. "

This sweetness — I can see it.
And, by god, it shall prevail.


  1. abundance abounds! you are blessed in so many ways. selling 5 pieces is a score, girlfriend! Good for you! were they photos or your pastels? Have you thought of selling on Etsy? Well, actually, my shop, conLuz, has not generated any sales, so maybe don't consider Etsy. OR, just maybe, you'll have more luck than I.

    So happy you had a wonderful birthday - no one deserves it more than you, m'dear.

  2. Tara! It was grand — every minute of it.

    I have mixed feelings about Etsy as a marketing tool. It's altogether too massive, and it's difficult to make a mark amidst the tens (possibly hundreds) of thousands of craftspeople selling there. I much prefer person-to-person marketing, like Melinda does with her work at wholesale craft shows, but then, they're costly to pull off and of course there's never a guarantee of success. Bottom line: it's a crapshoot, and you better have a day job to support your passion. (And I'm thankful that my day job is as the employee of someone else's passion!)

    As the Wicked Witch of the West says while melting: "Ohhhh, what a world, what a world...."