Saturday, May 10, 2008

And I in my bed again

Much as I love my family, I find myself trying to pull in to an interior space, so I can write.  It's very hard to be alone with a family rotating around you.  There are days I feel something like the Sun with all of these orbiting planets--some of them don't require light, like, say, household tasks or financial management, but this cluster of personalities closest to me surely does.  And my wanting to be alone is often like telling them not just that they must turn their faces away from me, but that the Sun itself is going to go away for a while.  Shrieks.  Of agony.

There are long stretches of time I enjoy being in the midst of things and people.  Long stretches I can endure of Things That Must Be Done.  But eventually I get to a point where I must be alone for longer than 5 minutes.  While I'm sinking into this mode, I do try to remind myself that at least my daughter does not desperately need to follow me into the bathroom any longer.

So I find myself listening to my iPod on the walk to the Metro and on the Metro on work days, rather than reading--I think because the iPod allows you to look through your surroundings as though you are looking through a two-way mirror: you can observe, but people aren't going to bother you or pay attention to you because they assume you aren't listening to them or paying attention to them anyway.  

I set the entire library on shuffle and have gotten about 350 songs through the 1000+ on the thing.  And turned up several songs I haven't listened to for a while that I like that I had forgotten about:

1. "Hey Mama," Black-Eyed Peas.  The lyrics are slightly pornographic, but the percussion that drives the music is intensely erotic.  The percussive elements move at least three different ways--one follows the basic 2/4 stanza structure, a beat on each quarter note.  Another strand that aligns itself with the vocals is following eighth notes, syncopated, and skipping a handful of beats.  A third is syncopated and following a sixteenth note pattern.  Each of these percussive strands has full stops at some point, but they don't all occur together for the most part.  But then the song will come to a full halt on a skipped quarter note, altogether, which is structurally true to itself.  So the song keeps disassembling and reassembling itself as it moves forward--dressing and undressing, I guess.

2. "One Less Set of Footsteps," Jim Croce.  My childhood memories of Jim Croce albums center on listening to "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown," and shouting along with friends as we sang to the lyrics: "The baddest man in the whole DAMN town":  we were 7 or 8, give us a break.  But "One Less Set of Footsteps" is a little under-appreciated among his other hits.

3.  "Tomorrow Is a Long Time," Nickel Creek.  This song seems the definition of wistfulness, and with its references to "if only if my own true love was waiting" the chorus recalls "Western Wind":

Western wind, when will thou blow
the small rain down can rain
christ that my love were in my arms
and I in my bed again.

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