Saturday, February 28, 2009

stepping lightly, just like a ballerina

I know I have been bad about updating this, but I'm turning over a new leaf. Or, at least, things are just now starting to get interesting again.

What is up with all the sudden rhapsodizing over 'Astral Weeks?' In the last 72 hours I have heard at least 5 people talking about Van Morrison and this record. Hmph. I love this record. I have loved it ever since I switched over from hating it, about 20 years ago. I thought it was strange in 1985, but it stuck with me. I realized that I loved it in about 1988, and all things being equal this mattered not at all, as it rarely came up. Now in the last three days, everyone's suddenly all enthusiastic about it. Ok, whatever. Where were you people when I was un-confident in my own musical tastes? Now that I don't need validation, they're everywhere. I will never, everever grow so old again. Hearing the 2 pieces on NPR, the one TV piece, seeing the three magazine articles, I will try not to feel smug and instead just suggest that yes, it would be a good idea to listen to 'Astral Weeks' again soon. An aside: I associate this music strongly with the beginning of spring. The songs are all shades of green and yellow, and they make me think of things growing in good black soil, stretching for the light of the sun.

Here's something odd that happened today. I went to the pet store to purchase some dog food for the beasts, and as usual there were not enough cashiers, so I'm standing there with a 40-pound sack of Nutro Natural Choice Small Bites in Lamb and Rice Meal slung over my right shoulder as casually as only a 40-pound sack of Nutro Natural Choice Small Bites in Lamb and Rice Meal over one's right shoulder can be, and anyway this woman is taking an eternity up at the checkout stand, and she's just prattling away to the bored teenager who is waiting for her to finish writing out her check. Now, I'm aggravated because I'm waiting and holding this giant bag of dog food, and this nimrod is writing a check(!) and having to fish out her driver's license (!) and she's off on this tangent about, I don't know, switchgrass or something that she is growing for her skunks (!). Anyway, so she suddenly stops in this middle of this soliloquy and looks right. at. me. and says "I have seven cats. What do you say to that?" And I say, "um, me?" and she says "yes. I have seven cats, what do you say to that?" and I think okay, what am I going to say to this, and so what I say is this:
"Oh, wait, I know the answer to this one. The answer is one. I am the one going to St. Ives."
And the woman just *looks* at me. And takes her stuff and goes out the door. So the teenager is ringing my stuff up now and says: "You're weird." Okay, this woman was just talking at this kid for like 15 minutes at top speed and volume about having seven cats (which pretty much is game-set-match on the insanity question) and raising skunks and switchgrass, and I'm the one who's weird, huh?

The world spins on, apace. Retail service-industry teenagers think I'm weird. Music reviewers can't get enough of a 40-year-old Van Morrison record. I can't wait to see what happens tomorrow.
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A Microscopic Cog in a Catastrophic Plan by Laura Lorson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at