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no room for hipsters

the occupation of Ashley and Levon

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This is the time of year for new beginnings.  Ahh.  Our dogwood, which may arguably be the finest specimen of the plant you can find, is in full bloom.  Last year we planted wildflowers patches, to get out of mowing, and their purples and oranges are shooting everywhere.  You probably think I’m building a metaphor to describe our new life in New York.  Unmissably cliche, although valid.  I just couldn’t.   I’m going to take the new beginnings theme here and share some other things I’m going to start doing.

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1.  I am going to get serious and stay serious about playing and performing on the guitar.  This time of year makes it impossible not to pick it up.  Hmmm, sit outside under a tree, barefoot, while strumming a resonating piece of artistry, or go inside and stare at the wall behind the piano?  Every summer for about 9 years now I’ve spent with a guitar.  I’ll write something nice, take it inside and transfer the idea to piano, and put the guitar back in the case.  Longevity eventually gets you by.  I’m 27, and 9 years of half assed guitar playing equals maybe 5 good years.  If I stop breaking or cutting my fingers, I may stick with it this time.  (You can make do with 9 fingers on the piano, but not three out of four on the neck of a guitar.)

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2.  I’m going to start sharing more about songwriting.  Funny stories, logistic details, and wreckless venting are all easy blogs to write.  Songwriting is so personal and loosely understood by me that I don’t articulate much about it.  Its kind of a secret that I keep from myself and if I get quiet enough to let it spill, it does.  The rest of the time I’m guessing at it.  Maybe it will help me to write about writing.  It has been helpful to write about everything else we have gone through in the last three months.

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With that said, here is a song begun in New York at my new roommate’s piano while she was at the studio and Ashley was sketching in her journal.  You have to picture me, awkwardly in a girl’s room, which I know is borderline invasion of privacy.  But I had to play; it had been nearly two weeks.  From seven floors below, 5th Ave was deafening.  Getting quiet took a while.  Its like falling asleep: your vision flashing from subway rides, hostel bunk beds, Harlem nightclubs, and then finally I started writing without thinking.

By the time you get there,

you could change your mind,

and lay down and die, don’t die.

So far from where you were,

still recall the steps,

your foot is on the last, the past

will be by.

We are all like most,

we have some of much,

and that is not enough,

we want, more than once.

Who is there in your mind?

honest men may lie,

when in themselves they hide,

will I? well I might.

3.  I’m going to get my head around the changes I want to see in myself in my “new beginning.”  (Oh no, here I go)  In New York (I’m doing it)  a nice, southern boy will get eaten alive if he expects everyone to play nice and give each other the last piece of cake.  Its like the time Scott Jones and I were in the wilderness in Colorado and we heard that a hermit lived out there who might help us climb the mountain if there were any way possible.  We expected a nice old man to get his map out on the wooden table and show us his winter routes.  Instead, we got a cussing fit from this lunatic, and he demanded the keys to our car because he said nobody would ever find us.  I said we were from Kentucky and had come a long way.  He said to get the f*!@ back where we came from.  Stay alive.  Drink more beer. See more titties.  (I’m just quoting here.)  We listened, to every word he said.  Actually, we went back to Glenwood Springs and told the boys at the hiking store that the legend of Led King Paul was true.  

Anyway, I’ve got to stop laughing when I tell someone that I’m a musician.  I learned music before I learned cursive; I shouldn’t have to be bashful.  I’ve got to toughen up, wizen up, and probably get beaten up a few times.  Maybe I’ll go back the f*!@ to where I came from a little more certain of myself.  Thats all I really want.

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