Wednesday, November 24, 2010

and why start now?

...and why start now? more to the point : why not?

What people who say they know me, have known me, claim to now know me do not know is that for the majority of my life I have been a Journalist. I mean that strictly as one who keeps a journal. Not exactly certain where the idea for writing down my "thoughts" came from but it did happen after my sophomore year of High School.

The High School I attended had a spasm of creative educational endeavors that school year (1970), at least in the way they were offering classes in the English Department. They offered courses each quarter as though they were college courses: English Literature, Poetry, Mythology and the Oral Tradition, Composition, American Short Fiction, and the like. The attempt did not succeed. The option of high school students to pick their own classes had reverted back to more traditional (and boring) methods by my senior year, but in that first year - in that first quarter of my sophomore year - my first quarter of being in the rarified air of 10th grade, to be able to choose my own class and choosing Poetry.....

Yeah, what of it? I chose Poetry and I played on the football team. Okay, where I went to school that was an oxymoron but life is full of Oxy-morons. Fools, idiots, and rednecks. In rural Pennsylvania. Same as anywhere else. A sensitive kid as I was had to find his way himself, mostly. A way that didn't involve falling into small town mentality or the lure of "a good job at the (steel) mill".

My father was the local eye doctor and my mother was a nurse. Lapsed. She stayed home with her four children, of whom I was the eldest and most troublesome. Neither of my parents showed particular artistic interest although someone along the way must have suggested that I might benefit from developing my own. So, my parents bought a piano - for me, primarily. Now, if you were ever a healthy child with rambunctious levels of energy living in wooded areas surrounded by houses filled with other knockabout boys eager to play cowboys and indians, or army, or football all the time; when would you be willing to practice piano? I was done by 8 years old. Choosing running through the meadows and fields with my neighbors and friends over finger exercises on the ivories. In hindsight, it was simply the wrong keyboard for me. At the wrong time of my life.

So, now, here in the space - with my youngest rambunctious offsprings bemoaning the need for afternoon "quiet time", I use a different keyboard to make a different sort of music. Word-music.