Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Called to Action

Somewhere someone is thinking of you. Someone is calling you an angel. This person is using celestial colors to paint your image. Someone is making you into a vision so beautiful that it can only live in the mind. Someone is thinking of the way your breath escapes your lips when you are touched. How your eyes close and your jaw tightens with concentration as you give pleasure a home. These thoughts are saving a life somewhere right now. In some airless apartment on a dark, urine stained, whore lined street, someone is calling out to you silently and you are answering without even being there. So crystalline. So pure. Such life saving power when you smile. You will never know how you have cauterized my wounds. So sad that we will never touch. How it hurts me to know that I will never be able to give you everything I have.
~Henry Rollins, born 46 years ago yesterday

Isn't it funny--sometimes ha-ha, sometimes strangely interesting--what gets us out of our normal routines and into action?

I was just thinking about this blog this morning. I was inspired to start it after reading hotcoffeegirl's blog. I emailed her to compliment, said something like "gee, I've always thought about starting a blog..." and she was at once supportive and curt-and-to-the-point. "If you want to start a blog, start a blog," she said. "Don't worry about the perfect design. Don't worry that no one will read you at first." Then she offered more support. It took a few days, and if you read my first post, you'll see that it was indeed a very shaky start.

This morning I'd decided that since I hadn't posted in quite a while, and I'm feeling very busy lately, I'd just clobber the blog and call it a wash. "Maybe some other time," I remember thinking, "when I'm ready."

Well, holy crap. Someone commented on my last post as a way of commenting on a response I posted on someone else's blog. Reminds me of Djikstra's famous paper: loops and loops of spaghetti, decipherable only to the author, if anyone.

"Oooh!" I thought, "a comment!!!" So I rushed right over.

I remember meeting a black guy with a mohawk back in 1980, at Raul's, after a particularly memorable show featuring the Next, the Re-Cords, the Dicks, the Mistakes, Terminal Mind, Standing Waves--surely there were more. It was completely amazing, that atmosphere where everyone's smiling, everyone's ears are ringing--complete relatedness, that feeling that we'd all been there for something important. Maybe it was: Raul's was almost gone. I'd moved away and come back just for that show--as had several of the bands.

So we start talking, me and this outrageous-for-then-looking dude. The guy asked whether I was in a band. I said no, but somehow he knew that I'd have liked to have been in one. Then he asked whether I had a rig. I knew he meant a guitar and an amp; I answered no again. Then he asked a question that has me remember that moment for ever: What are you doing about it?

"Nothing," I shrugged. He looked at me hard for another moment, then walked off. At the time, I felt about one inch tall. I'd been called on my shit, my ambivalence. I wanted something, but hadn't taken so much as the first step toward actually doing anything about it.

That guy was Doug Pinnick. I don't believe for a moment that he was recruiting me for King's X. I think he was just expressing active interest in another person, e.g., not just bullshitting after a show.

It would be three more years before I'd get a rig together. Wouldn't you know it? I was invited to join a band at the music store.

So what are you up to, really? And what do you want to be up to? And what are you doing about it?

I keep bumping into the idea that when you do the thing, you will have the power. It's as though the very act of doing something--as opposed to talking about doing something--you get the Universe's attention. People just seem to show up with things for you to do that take you further on your way. Miracles happen. OTOH, is it so miraculous that the rest of the world is more likely to notice you doing something, rather than saying something? If it wasn't for the television screen, for example, you'd probably have no idea what Wolf Blitzer is going on about, today.

Funny thing--the guy who left the comment isn't available: no return email, nothing on google but (heh) a long-neglected blog... Thanks. You may never know what you did for me.


fish said...

Hello Brad Eleven. Followed the thread back from my blog. Thanks for the link love. I will get you up on mine soon. It is great that you use blogging as an effector for taking action. I went through a very similar process myself. The best blogs to me are the ones like yours where it isn't a desire to hang with the kool kids, but an honest expression of an individual struggling with his/her life.

Jennifer said...

"I keep bumping into the idea that when you do the thing, you will have the power. It's as though the very act of doing something--as opposed to talking about doing something--you get the Universe's attention."

A very similar thought was in my head on Saturday... I had been thinking about a project and then instead of thinking about it one second longer, I just started... no plan, just the idea in my head. I trusted my hands, trusted the idea and poof! There is was. I was smiling the entire time I was working on it and smiled for the rest of the night. Oh to live in that spot. :)