The day after Thanksgiving I had a little to smoke and sat down at the piano to fiddle about. This song came out. In the instinctive way that mothers look out for their children, it wasn’t long before the mother of us all, nature, provided a nice visual backdrop to the piece.
I might develop this further and add more instrumentation, possibly even lyrics, but I wanted to put a sketch together while the snow is still falling. Snowfall is one of Mother Nature’s greatest displays of her beauty.
This one’s for you, Ma…
Today marks my 43rd anniversary as a vegetarian. Turkey Day was the perfect day to reject an idea that had literally been spoon-fed to me but had worn out its welcome in my conscience: it is OK (delicious even) to kill animals.
My nickname in college was “Veggie” because there were so few of us around that I was a bit of a novelty. I was the only one in our dorm. If it seems like we are less of a rarity these days, there is some data to back it up. According to a Gallup poll taken last year only 2% of Americans over 55 (that’s my group) are vegetarians. Among those aged 35-54, the figure is 7%, and for 18-34 year olds it’s up to 8%.
Vegetarianism has brought many benefits into my life. I believe I am healthier than I would be if I had been eating meat all these years. Although my health played zero part in my decision to stop eating animals it is a nice unintended consequence. I never found meat tempting once I stopped seeing animals as food.
The greatest benefit though was this important lesson that I was fortunate to learn at such an impressionable age: People don’t need to see things the way I do for me to like, love, or even admire them. It is a lesson that we need sorely to learn in these polarized times. Virtually all of my dearest friends and family – then and now – are carnivores. Even though I believe that eating meat is immoral, I don’t believe that people who eat meat are behaving immorally. Their morality is different from mine, neither superior nor inferior.
Today I give thanks for that piece of wisdom.
I think that at some point in the future, probably a few centuries from now, people will look at eating the flesh and wearing the skin of animals the way we look at slavery now and the way we are finally starting to look at white supremacy and patriarchy.
Happy Turkey Day everyone!
Happy to have my poem “Drawing” included along with so many other great writers from the Empire State in New York’s Best Emerging Poets 2019 Anthology.
For the poetry lovers on your holiday shopping list you can pick up a copy from the good people at Z Publishing.
If my little blog was human she would be in the first grade now. They grow up so fast.
Bob Dylan said, “he not busy being born is busy dying,” but my experience of life is a little different. I think we start dying at the moment of conception and even as we draw our last breath we are being born. Life and death are not opposites but inextricable parts of the same eternal force.
There aren’t many forces like the one that makes up life and death. I have only found two others on that level: love and music. As much as I enjoy and am intrigued by the possibilities of writing fiction and poetry, it is not as much fun, even in the moment of inspiration, as making music.
Virtually every writer I know would rather be a musician
Two months ago, I played my first show in over six years and the only one I ever played made up entirely of my own music. It is an experience I am still digesting.
As the end of the year comes creeping up behind us it is a good time to think of what lies ahead in 2020 and beyond. I hope to be spending more time on those eternal forces of love and music and will keep posting the results of my inspiration here and anywhere else that will have me. Thanks for coming along for the ride…
If you want me to disappear…
If you want me to dry your tears
I will do that for you
If you want me to disappear
I will do that too
If you wanted to fly
I would tell you to try
I would give you my wings
And give gravity the day off
If you wanted to hide
I would take you inside
My faraway place
Nobody can find
If you wanted to dance
In your leopard skin pants
I would find a club
Where they play your favorite song
If you wanted to sleep
A hundred miles deep
I’d make the world still
And sing you a lullabye
If you want the rest of my years
I will give them to you
If you want me to disappear