Coffee Log, Day 320

Hi.

Coffee: Cafe Pajaro Extra Dark, Trader Joe’s Brand

My roommate was cooking eg-vocados for dinner and she had two extra so I had eg-vocados for dinner. To those not in the know, an ‘eg-vocado’ is just an egg baked in half an avocado. They were quite good.

Later on, we’re listening to music, a song she likes, and she tells me it sounds like the way you look at Christmas lights. And I think that’s perfect and I tell her. Which gets me thinking about what I love best about humanity, and what makes want to be an artist: simple metaphors.

I think there’s a good chance no-one else will listen to that song and spontaneously imagine it to be like looking at Christmas lights. There’s nothing about the song or about the lights that necessarily imply a connection. And even if you stared at both a long time, both under microscope and from as far away as outer space, you wouldn’t find any bit of the two contained in each other.

So E created a new connection. A tiny word bridge between two previously unrelated things. And it was a beautiful bridge, and now that I’ve been down it I can’t imagine the world without it.

That’s powerful.

When you’re a little kid, you only know your home. Then you get older and your horizons expand. That’s easy. That’s natural. Each new place is another notch of understanding, more knowledge of this large but finite planet. And when you’re good and grown, there’s a lack of magic – for me and I imagine for most people. You’ve already answered the big questions. You know what’s coming around the corner. Nothing in the world can surprise you.

But take two things and push them together and there’s something new. A book, a song, that’s art in a nutshell. It keeps you living long after you’ve burned life out. And it might just be divine – generating completely new, authentic content in a world that once existed without it. Spontaneous creation. A self-caused cause, of sorts.

But anyway, the night was good food and good company. I’m happy and full.

Novel Count: 12,143

Currently Reading: Killing Commendatore, Haruki Murakami

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the Border – RAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

Everything you can imagine is real.

Pablo Picasso


Coffee Log, Day 146

Hi.

Coffee: India Extra Bold Roast, Cafe Crema

My hands hurt. I’ve been typing too much. Every time my hands hurt, I remember a big part of my life that’s not so big anymore: from 4th to 12th grade I played cello.

Music was something I wished I was better at from the minute I picked it up. That’s not to say I was bad. I took private lessons. In High School, I placed in All-State Orchestra twice, was first chair once. But the things I was good at didn’t excite me. I was technically sound. I could play what you put in front of me. More than that, I had a decent ear so I found good ways of expressing the songs. But every time I tried to come up with something original, I fell apart.

It’s something stuck in history, I guess. My mother was a musician. She’d never admit it, but she was good. I saw my hands in her hands. I saw the good parts, the way they could bring out a song, but also the bad: tension, stress, the need to be perfect; no wonder I gave myself tendonitis. I feel a similar drive when I’m writing, but there’s no performance with words: you cut, cut, cut the diamond, set it, give it away; you don’t have to deal with the wide-eyes in the concert hall.

The happiest thing I got from almost a decade playing cello was the people it brought me to. I met friends in middle school that saved me; I had a good teacher who truly believed in me; I found my first love, one-sided as it was, in a black-haired violinist at All-State. Music takes so much of you that it’s impossible not to stumble into what other people are spilling out. That part of the art is different than writing; these days, my happiest moments are home alone with Jack and a word doc.

Currently Reading: LaRose, Louise Erdrich

Support Relief for Family Suffering at the BorderRAICES DONATION CAMPAIGN

“May night continue to fall upon the orchestra.” – Andre Breton

IMG_1400