SHARE, PUBLICIZE, COMMENT, AND RESPOND TO BLOGGERS


IF YOU DON’T SHARE YOU DON’T CARE.
I’ve just started recommending a few of my wordpress pals, and their writings. I still resist the word blogging because it sounds like slobbing. Web writers are amazingly talented, from all over the world, and all ages. I’ve learned about the cultures through their stories from: India, Russia, Brazil, Ireland, Scotland, Europe, and the Middle East.

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SHARE THE ROAD TO WRITING

ADVENTURES WITH THE TIDE OF THE THINKER


Audrey. Photograph By Edward Quinn

I asked the sky to send the Thinker.  Then it  rained in southwest furry,  small 22A65Ca5ndFhXTcktfb98jnckTJl4rZP0060[1]white knots of hail and dark feuding winds. The thinker heard and whistled to me. It was a sweet flutist tone, and he appeared in black and grey, the silver lining of his head like a crown of light. Flashing the boyish grin, he opened his wrestling toned-warm fins to my goose bumpy arms, and I swam along side tentatively. Even though it was my chime, I was unsteady, unwilling to climb on his back, so we swam on our toes, around my house, and the Plaza. We battled sharks from Beverly Hills, whose fins were frozen from love and kindness; we faced one of our own school, who would not lend a dollar on good faith and loyalty for their Merlot Cabernet fish oil, and we strung pearls around each other necks, with a clasp that is easily unhooked. The current drove us through three more days of rowing backward, sleeping quietly without intertwinement, and meeting as friends instead of lovers.
The absence of touch, struck like a lightning storm. I didn’t see it coming, and I may be wrong. To read the Thinker is to understand his language; a circumcision of predictability, logic, or reasoning. Like a tsunami, uncharitable waves of enlightenment he doesn’t even understand drown his soul.
I understood that he airbrushed my appearance, and dropped deep into my eyes as they widened for him. I blushed before he engulfed me, and pressed my undertow.
If tonight was the last swim because of a storm I didn’t see coming, or understand. It is because my eyes blurred by his presence.
The tide goes out, but it always come back. Sometimes it touches where we left off.

A LADY LIKE AUDREY


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The throw of the dice this week lands on new adventures in selfless livingness.
There is assurance that most of all, above the tasks, aspirations, dreams and commitments; we are dead beats without love. The feeling has to pass through our veins and arteries, as often as possible, from one suitor or another. You can love a moon in a black sky, as much as a man or woman. I believe the feeling it gives us is medicinal. It gives us something no other prescription can. That is why when sickness comes, all the love pours out from friends and family.
This comes at a time when a beautiful woman who is more saintly and then anyone I’ve met, except my mother, is suffering. You wouldn’t recognize the heaviness she is carrying; she remains light and sprite. Her doe birch brown eyes flatter her high forehead, and her silky mane of brown hair that moves like a Clairol commercial, do not interfere with her life. She devotes much of her time to the Good Samaritan manifesto. She regularly offers her time to the various shelters, serves food, and provides loving comfort to the sick with her registered lap poodle. She told me that the residents of the hospice all wait for her to show up.
“It’s amazing; they are all standing there waiting for me to come in. No one visits them. Can you imagine living like that??”
“No.
“You should come with me sometime; it’ll give you a whole new perspective.”
I agreed; and thought about what she said. We all have our way of disposing of selfish acts. Some pray, some donate money, and what I’ve found that works for me is to spread my kookiness and follies without prejudgment. If someone looks sour and glib; that’s the person who needs me. It is a branch of love that will keep on blooming.

 

DON’T READ THE NEWS OR WATCH IT ON TELEVISION


[contact-form subject='[SMILEY%26#039;S DICE’][contact-field label="Name" type="name" required="1"/][contact-field label="Email" type="email" required="1"/][contact-field label="Website" type="url"/][contact-field label="Comment" type="textarea" required="1"/][/contact-form] I’m a creative nonfiction short story writer, and a  columnist on arts and lifestyle. I have never said one word about politics; I am not a debater, academic, or political science major.

As a writer I read the newspapers; Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and the Santa Fe New Mexico papers, where I live.  I watch all the news stations. I quit MSNBC, cause Chris Mathews made me hyperventilate.  I think Charles Krauthammer is the most knowledgeable and sustainable journalist of our time.

Do to an act of nature, lightening, I lost Cable for a month. This was when Syria broke. No one talked about it here, and I felt the communities disillusionment. When my service was repaired, I turned on the news.  I felt more insulted than the time a young boy told me my legs were hairy.  Who did you think you are kidding? You want us to watch both sides fisting each other like a street gang!  Please someone tell them, the Press, chill out a bit and stop turning the news into a talk show.  You talk to us as we were mutes.  The Government has evolved as false as who we see in the mirror.  If you are plain you see beautiful, if you are beautiful you see plain.  I see you government, and I am ashamed.

I haven’t read the papers since June. This Thursday I went to the bank to make a deposit to cover my negative, and I looked at the newspapers on the customer coffee table.Image, My eyes shut after two headlines. How much more can we take? I really have lost track of priorities.

Should I get a job because my writing remains unrecognized. I need a retirement guidance counselor. I don’t like the title of financial advisor; they sound too rigid. Should I respond to the dreadful vacillation of American Policy. How much more debating can they do? It’s like when I worked in corporate real estate.  The meetings I attended and had to present were progress reports on whether I was an effective employee. I don’t know how I lasted as long as I did; my act was good, and I impressed some of the boys, but communication was too formal to bring out honesty. Maybe that’s what has evaporated in our

government, or am I seeing it differently because I’ve aged into it slowly. I think it started when the cool shit act came about. Some artists have it,  Musicians, yea they got it, gangsta’s got it, but they always had it. Those of us who feigned cool acts, became feigned. Rambling now. Got to sweep fall leaves and

start editing 350 columns.

I’m listing to Nessun Dorma, and oil treating my hair. I was thinking how much I detest all this multitasking. I can now handle five projects at once; write, sweep mop the floor, water plants, contemplate resolutions to my finances, all the while feeling my nerves tighten, and even though I stretch four times a day; this crushing operatic play in life is overstrung.  I watch those Sandals vacation commercials and practically cry because how many of us haven’t had a vacation in years, or a chance to

play a round or golf or read More Magazine all the way through?

MUSIC and DANCE INSTEAD OF PILLS


mq1tTIEMPO LIBREADVENTURES IN LIVINGNESS – CUBAN STYLE

SOMETIMES AN INTERVIEW WITH A MUSICIAN GOES DEEPER than a narrative history of recordings, concert calendar and early training. That happened when I met Jorge Gomez; founder, keyboardist and musical director of Tiempo Libre, an all Cuban born Timba band.

We met in a modest hotel room in Santa Fe, New Mexico where he and his six band members were invited to play for the second time at the Lensic Theater. It was steam-bath hot and muggy that Friday afternoon. As I stood in the doorway, Jorge wrapped up a recording session. After introductions’ everyone cleared out except Jorge and Raul Rodriguez, the trumpet player. Raul, propped up against the headboard of an unmade bed, one leg bent at the knee, the other straight out. He reminded me of Miles; cool in his skin and unflappable.

Jorge and I sat at the kitchenette bar, between us his keyboard on the countertop. Eagerness to begin was dilating from his eyes, so I began with my favorite question to all immigrants; how did it feel when you landed in the United States?

“Oh my God! It was my dream; all through childhood in Havana.”

“Do you love America now?”

His arms shot straight up, as he rose from his chair.

“Are you kidding? We love America! How can you not? This is the best country in the world. I’ve been all over: Europe, Asia, Mexico, and Caribbean. You have all the opportunities; you make your own life here, whatever you want.”  He shifts his attention to Raul, agreeably excluded.

“You can’t do this in Cuba—right Raul?” Jorge leans forward and I’m struck by the indisputable untainted smile.  Jorge continues to dramatize his arrival in Manhattan, with arms and eyes, “I got out because I had friends in New York.  They helped me get gigs in the bars, weddings, and then we got into the clubs.”  The room is silent except for Jorge’s satin smooth transitions from one question to the next. That alone is reason enough to meet Jorge for conversation.

“We were not allowed to listen to Cuban salsa music, or American music; only classical. I trained at the Conservatory all my childhood. I play all of them; Beethoven, Brahms, all of them.”

“Where did you learn Salsa?”

“From America! Yes. As teenagers we climb to the roof and we to wait till state programmed Cuban music goes off the air at 1:00am. Then we wrap aluminum around the antenna and turn our radio on. We pick up American music; like Gloria Esteban, Michael Jackson, everyone. We listened all night so we’d take the rhythms’ in our heads you know.”

“What’s the difference between Cuban Salsa and Latin Salsa?”

“Everyone claims this is their Salsa; it’s Latin, Marenge, Colombian… it is a blend of many cultures and musical influence. We take from each other. All the instruments I learn come from listening. They teach me everything; and I teach them.”

“Do Americans play Conga different than Cubans?”

“It depends on the person. See if the person is open to learn everything then he push through. For example we have been playing all these places like Michigan, Minnesota, Minneapolis…all those places that are so.” He pauses to express it precisely. Cold he says, laughing out loud.

“And I’ve seen American band playing Cuban salsa so so good, my God, so well. Blue eyes and blond hair.” Jorge breaks to howl out his enthusiasm and surprise, and demonstrate the memory.

“Who do you like to listen to do today?”

“I don’t know the names, but I have a lot of friends, and they call me and say, ‘I have a band, you come and hear me.’ So I go to the club and Wow! This is good music! Everyone is dancing. I love to see them dancing! I want to see them happy. If they want to sit and listen, good, if they want to sing along, good, they want to dance good.  Everybody have a different reaction. My job is to transfer the energy to the person; that’s the idea. Not to play the music for me; I want them to be happy.”

“ How do you do that?”

“ Sometimes you are sick, and no matter how many pills you take you are still sick. Right?”

I nod and watch his facial expressions twitch in thought.

“Then let’s say I come and say, Wow! You look so good man, you are looking good, and he claps’ his hands and pantomimes the joy he’s transferring. ‘You wanna a coffee cake and coffee, yea, come with me, (clapping again) you want to sit here? Yea sit here and see the sun.’ Suddenly, you feel good.” He nods his head. “Trust me.”

Jorge is toe tapping in place, his arms positioned in a warm world embrace.

“You forget all about the pills. Trust me, that is the kind of energy I give.”

“I suppose you don’t get sick?”

“Never. For sure. Never. I don’t know what this head pain is… how you say, headache? Like friends say I have so many problems, so many headaches, I can’t go out. I say, ‘What! Come on we go the beach, to the sand. Bring your conga. What are you crazy! Come on!’ So he comes and we play on the beach in Miami.”

Jorge drums on the counter top. “Have a beer, have another.’ And everyone on the beach comes to us. The whole idea is to forget your problems. So my friend says to me, ‘I had the best day of my life.’ Yea! Be happy! This is youth; this is how you stay young. Life is so big.”

I shake my head, “Not in America; we concentrate on sickness and misery.”

“Yea! You don’t have sickness yet, but you are going to get it.” He ruptures into laughter, and takes a sip of beer. My father tell me one time you have to hear your body; your body going to take you in the right direction. Just listen and you are going to feel so good. Sometimes I can’t go to sleep at night. All the songs and ideas in my head and I can’t sleep. I must write it down, and the next morning I feel so good, because I didn’t go to sleep. I drink beer because I am too happy-over happy.”

“Where did you learn this happiness?”

“From all the difficult paths I have in my life. Childhood was very difficult;no food, no water, no electricity, no plumbing. What you going to do? Party, go outside, dance, play basketball, baseball. I get my friends and they say, my problems’ are bigger than yours. Bla bla bla.”

I’m laughing now as Jorge continues to articulate his life philosophy.

“ At the end of the day you are so happy because you see people less fortunate and some more, and you are in the middle, and you want to help those people, you can’t go it alone.”

He chuckles again. His smile is broad as his cheek line. A streak of sunlight crossed the keyboard, and Jorge’s eye and brows are in motion, as much as his legs arms and hands.

“ What you’re going to hear tonight is a lot of crazy crazy energy, good music, a lot of stories. You’re going to see a lot of soul. When Raul plays his trumpet you’re going to turn inside out.”

“What is Timba music?”

“A mixture of jazz, classical, rock, and Cuban music.”

“Sounds like a musical.”

“Yes, Yes! We are in preparing for that.”

Four hours later I was in the Lensic Theater, twelve rows from the stage. Lead singer Xavier Mill, Jorge, Raul, Louis Betran Castillo on flute and sax, Wilvi Rodriguez Guerra on bass, Israel Morales Figueroa on drums and Leandro Gonzales on Congas opened the set, and five minutes into it I was below the stage. Two and half hours later I was still dancing, along with half the audience. That’s entertainment! http://www.tiempolibremusic.com

The three-time Grammy nominated band will perform Thu, Sep 26, 2013 at a Special Event at the Arts Garage in support of AVDA, Inc. Arts Garage in Delray Beach, Florida.