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May 26, 2010

On A Guitar

Thursday. A good night's sleep, having gotten to bed by ten, up just before seven after the alarm had gone off and I'd gotten up to shut it down, returned to bed and said the hell with it. What's the use of being retired if you can't say to hell with it now and again? We need our sleep, deedle-dee-deep. Here in, well, Oakland.

To breakfast and the papers with a side trip to the supermarket on the way home. Cereal, we're out of cereal, milk, cheese, crackers and sake, a bachelor's idea of perfect fare. We are set for food for the next few days I was thinking driving home, head clear, attitude phenomenally better. Well, feeling up, best not to overstate it. It happens now and again. Nice to remember how it feels.

There are clouds, yes, but the clouds are clearing and the sun is out. A walk later, I have no idea where, although I'd like to do something different, even if it's only going to an area I haven't visited in a while. Berkeley maybe, although Telegraph near the University is a downer more often than not. An idea came to me for a photo project earlier reading the paper. We'll see. We won't mention it unless it happens. So many ideas, so many that go no further. Could it be me, Mr. Natural? No, I'd think not. Blame it on the times, the place, tornadoes in Missouri, wars in the Middle East.

Remember those new guitar chords.

Ah, yes. Those.

Later. A walk down by the lake and then on to Noah's to have a bagel and a cup of coffee out at one of their tables along the sidewalk. I never go into the Starbucks next door (with the occasional exception), not sure why, even when it's often just for a cup of coffee. A little too slick? A self image thing? We are not what?

A photograph coming back home, again by the lake. How can you pass up goslings out shilling for bread? I can't. Some slight double vision as I was setting out, double slightly in the foreground this time when I'd look down to see where I was walking, the mid and far distances clear and sharp. It evaporated as I was returning, the sinus-upper palate doing its thing, but otherwise leaving me in a good mood with no complaints. Unless that was just a complaint.

Hard to tell when you tend to be a loner, you don't have people around to mention what's what. That will only become a problem I'd guess when I start seeing demons in the stairwells and begin to feel the walls pressing in, the only way of escape involving firearms and trash cans filled with fertilizer left outside wherever their demon lair on a crowded sidewalk. We are very far from any of that. I would hope. There are boys and boys who make the news, but not on my watch.

I think a self portrait today, I have two small transparent umbrellas for the camera strobes arriving later through UPS. Yes, I read something on a web site that talked about a particular way of using them and I bit. Took a bite. Went to B&H. They're inexpensive now, probably will prove to be very costly ten years down the road when I need the funds for rent.

Now, now.

Well, I am feeling good. Let's play some more of those new chords and see how they go, here high on the white cliffs of Oakland.

Later still. Before I forget, a current project by one of the cousin's youngsters, he being the young fellow who at first seems to have brought a knife to a gunfight. I can see where this Youtube thing really brings an interesting set of tools to show your work. Back in the old days..., well, back in the old days. I'd go on, but my memory is more inventive than it is sharp. Gotta get down there to see one of his shows, though. There in Los Angeles. In June.

Evening. More guitar, more guitar as we get into the evening. The sake was nice, lifting things a bit now after consuming it over a period of about two hours. I didn't set the strobes up for the self portraits I mentioned, but we'll get to that tomorrow. Or the next day. Or the next. We're flexible here, no need to push too hard on things that don't matter too much, no need to jump through hoops unless it's necessary or it gets you off.

I can see progress again on the guitar, but it's going to take a long time before I'm able to play some of the things I'd like to play. I'm OK with that. Wish I'd know this fifty years ago. Hell, ten years ago. If you feel like doing it, just do it, who cares if it takes years and years? Of course you want to choose your projects, make sure they make some internal sense they're right, but that's hardly a reason not to start.

You're still into the sake high I'd guess. You think you're the only person who's said “I wish”?

Feeling mellow, although the fingertips on my left hand hurt. Starting to look like they've taken a beating on a guitar.

The photograph was taken in Ashkenaz in Berkeley with a Nikon D3 mounted with a 24-120mm f 4.0 Nikkor VR lens.