you’ve got to carry your load down the long winding road…

It’s my birthday soon. As usual as I creep closer to sixty my mind retreats to the past as the future seems to be a place with a finiteness to it. I’m not necessarily avoiding the thought of my mortality it’s something that since the death of my father and the aging of my mother has been in my mind. Not necessarily for myself but for others.

Damn this aging thing can get to you. As I drove around today I was thinking about my formative years, involvement in protests, strikes, campaigns, sit ins, walk outs, festivals, concerts, hitchhiking, hiking, carousing, art, poetry, books and music, graffiti and civil unrest and a huge dose of thinking I was the center of any relationship I happened to fall into, love and lust and pain.

So based upon common thought after all of that I should be settled down in the suburbs comfortable in my conservative life after my radical years. The middle class settled life should be my domain and I should be looking with disdain on those less fortunate than me.

Instead I’m sat here helping plan a leadership retreat based on the need for mindfulness for non-reactive decision making and restorative practices for the non profit I help run. Valuing clients and partners and the idea that we are supposed to be doing more positive in the world than negative.

I’m also simultaneously considering crop rotation in the garden, having weeded and cleaned up the greenhouse putting a new cover over the old frame as the old one had started cracking and become fragile, as well as considering starting to collect windows to build a new greenhouse from recycled materials.

This morning as I sat with my young team at the residential program I run I was being encouraged to grow a skullet as David Crosby had passed and somebody needed to carry on that venerable haircut. We eventually got to the real business of figuring a way to help one young man be successful at the work experience job he had taken on clearing trails in the forest, he was struggling with safety using a Pulaski axe around others, at times getting lost in his own world, we had to take some time to remind his employer what it was like to be 14 again. He needs a mentor not a monitor one therapist stated and this struck home.

This afternoon I spent time with a different group of idealists as they strategized how to find recovery housing for an undocumented mother so she could be reunited with her children. Negotiating what can, cannot and should not be disclosed to various agencies. Translating federal and state rules. Soon her kids will be with her and the real work starts.

Then I realized that on my 14th year alive I bought this record. I can’t say that I am still comfortable with all the lyrical content present on it but it is a glorious sounding record and actually heralded the start of the 80s for me when I started choosing my own music to listen to and that itself was a strange trip. I also started writing my first novel and poems and decided to become a rock star.

Not sure how much of that I completed.

then into your life there comes a darkness…

I belong to two Facebook groups, one the local community group so I can keep track of what the wackos I’m my neighborhood are up to. The other is a vinyl group where all you do is post what your playing add some words and click like on what other people are playing. It’s a friendly, pleasant group with very little hassle.

Every other week there’s a theme to vote on and this weeks theme is your favorite album released by a band. Should be easy to chose! Unless you get into your head and start to over analyze things. Which band should I chose? Now which album is the favored one? Oh can it be a solo artist? The prompt says band! Oh no what should I chose?

I sat here for twenty minutes in my head overthinking things, maybe… or perhaps…!

On and on, what band? Solo artist, oh no has to be band, which album?

In the end I had to randomize it somehow I asked my wife to randomly chose a band. This is the way I ended up with Moon Shaped Pool, which is my favorite Radiohead album, now why is it a favorite? Damn I’m not sure?

Listening to it I can vividly remember when the first time I heard it?

I’d just finished removing disabled aids in the bathroom of our house from my father in law who had been part time living with us when he went in for cancer treatments. I’d sat down with earphones and was streaming the album. The denseness of the music envelopes me, guitars and piano and the whole soundscape dragged me in, it was the first time I had liked a Radiohead album all the way through and was perhaps my entry to other albums.

My father in law had been dead for several years when I played this album and we had only just removed the handles and things that had helped him. Each day I had seen them and been reminded of that larger than life man that had been diminished by a disease. About once a week we would head out to the store for ice cream, over time those trips became longer and his stride less assured as we went, until one day he just asked for it to be picked up.

Those stupid handles reminded me of him and now we’d unscrewed them, filled the holes and painted. Probably because we were selling that house finally, it had become a burden and we had finally found a way to off load it move on and get out. And now it seems we would be unburdening ourselves in other ways. Every so often as I rummage in the shed I come across those handles etc and wonder why I kept them, was it some sort of foreshadowing?

Now his wife lives with us, gripped by a different diminishing disease and here I am contemplating putting those handles in a different bathroom on day.

Well I’ve got the first out of the way and now the whole process is beginning again, which band, what album is my favorite?

Decisions, what pain or joy will it bring?

lost am I in this world…

You have to love a good compilation. Let’s face it Hawkwind have so many compilations out there that it’s hard to find a good one some days, there’s Roadhawks, Masters of the Universe and this one Stasis. All of which cover the same period in Hawkwind’s history, all of which are completely different and all of them are worth owning.

Not much to say apart from it’s a great compilation, concentrating on the single releases of most songs and ending with a blast of live Hawkwind, what more could you want?

Well you probably could want a lot more but this will do for now, EMI pulled all the stops out with this in 1990. A gatefold sleeve, decent artwork, and semi coherent sleeve notes.

It serves as a nice distraction of an evening as well.