Thursday, December 20, 2007

Rosetta and I on the Solstice

No sooner did I put up my spot of blog than I proceeded into a computer meltdown. Despite the trauma, at some point I recalled something my psychic-tools teachers used to say — that sometimes when you take a spiritual/personal step forward, other peoples’ energy or old programming in your space can say No, don’t change, it’s rocking my world! and cause some bounceback. The watchword in that case is stay amused. So I did pretty well at that.

The crash was due to my clouded thinking while in stupid chase of what I thought was an undesired use of one of my tunes. My website statistics were telling me that a new movies site was generating quite a few hits to my site, and when I clicked on the url, I got a porn page. So rather than prudently exiting, no, I huffed and I puffed and I thought, “misusing my lovely rendition of ‘What’s New, Pussycat?’ from my latest album, no doubt! No no no!” And in my outrage to verify this, I even clicked on some window telling me I needed to download something, and – frozen computer, meltdown, viral attack. For some minutes I forgot that the computer was not my body, and that I was not being personally attacked by an evil virus, that it was the machine (okay, and my life stored thereon) that was under attack. The nerve. Anyway, I had done somewhat recent firewire backup, so may it actually work. I’m typing on an old computer right now, but a new one is soon to arrive. All’s well that will end well.

The year soon ends. The solstice is upon us. Holy day, shortest day, longest night, take me away. Let me recall the year and re-set myself.

In that spirit have been dusting my piano and my music books and my CDs and folders of songs in progress and notebooks of song ideas and looking at folders of my musical charts for all the songs on all my CDs. I feel proud and eager to go forward with the next.
Listening all the while to quite a bunch: Chick Corea with Anthony Braxton and Dave Holland! (a far cry from his Elektric band, thankfully), Charles Mingus (who was just too energetic and complicated for my solstice-y sorting mood), the incomparable “Compared to What” by Les McCann and Eddie Harris, a soulful jazzy David “Fathead” Newman track with Ray Charles on it, a few moments of Carmen McRae (but I couldn’t tolerate hearing her, because she’s so incisive and compelling she distracted from the task at hand), an annoying Keith Jarrett keening and humming so loudly with his wonderful standards trio that I couldn’t stand it….are you getting the picture that I’m a bit oversensitive?

But my favorite was the old-timey gospel-blues-folk singer Rosetta Tharpe from the 1930s, whom I’d never listened to before. Wow. That woman was so reassuring. I felt that I must save the box set of her music in case of some kind of disaster. I imagined myself stranded in the house after an earthquake listening to her utter truthfulness and groundedness as she sang and played guitar, and feeling okay. She sang a lot about God and Jesus, but even this Jew/goddess-communicator dug it. Rosetta seemed to have her feet on the earth, her body and voice so warmed and real, her knowledge of God and the path to heaven so sound, so sung, so matter of fact – it was like eating oatmeal for the first time (which I love), or being in a sauna, or standing on a hillside in Greece feeling the ancient truths– the “itness” of life revealed without the usual fog around it, I was there in time with it, hearing it, body and soul.

copyright 2007 Lisa Bernstein