Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

In the company of me

Decreased blogging due to an intense need for silence.

Sitting at the sidebar

A request from a Half Note reader, Let's Cool One, in memory of the late Johnny Griffin.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Love comes

Not through vows or attachment, not through promises or plans, but through a person you meet by chance, who gently holds up a mirror, reflecting the love you already have.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

You're invited!

Five years ago, color television celebrated it's 50th birthday, and five years from today, God willing, I will too.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hi Marta!


To please listen to the beautiful and inspiring song at the sidebar, by my beautiful and inspiring friend, Jon Fromer.

Click the music player top right.

In real time

As I wash my face and brush my teeth, I hear the rain and music--one sound. I am lonely and at peace, alone and loved.

Sitting at the sidebar

It's Gonna Take Us All to win the peace, and I'm so glad my friend Jon Fromer (pictured left) is out there on the front lines.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sitting at the sidebar

Something beautiful and Something Vida, by Gary Regina.

Color of love

Years ago at Norma's house (Annie's babysitter), a little boy was crying, asking why he was the only one in the group with black skin. Norma lovingly stroked his back, and in her thick Puerto Rican accent she replied, "Because when God was painting the children, he took extra time with you."

Good intentions

I meant to blog today, really I did.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sitting at the sidebar

I didn't know what it meant in 1972, but as I sat in my bedroom and played it over and over, this song rushed through me like a train. It opened my 9-year-old heart and lit a fire in my body-- my first walk though a love song, the first step toward the hopelessly romantic woman I would become.

Thirty-six years later I know what it means, and as I sit in my apartment and play it over and over, it rushes through me like a train. It opens my 45-year-old heart and lights a fire in my body--and though I've walked through countless love songs, it still feels like the first step toward the hopelessly romantic woman I am becoming. It still feels like the first time.

Click the music player to listen.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

In a moment of silence

The look on David's face when in the presence of his new love, fills my heart. My daughter stands surrounded by love, and it fills my heart. The thought of my mother and the remembrance of my father, fills my heart.

I look out the window, the sun hits the brick across the way, and a single yellow flower rests on the green leaf of a tree--and my heart is full. The room is filled with music and I am filled with love, and as I move closer to joy, I am both fearless and afraid.

I don't like spiders and snakes

But I like them a hell of a lot better than the giant-sized cockroaches that scurry past my open-toed sandals as I make my way home on a hot and humid New York City night.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

New day

Annie plays at a friend's house in Harlem, David spends the day with his new love in Queens, Honey gets her first haircut in the hood, and I get ready to hang in the village with Claudia the Mexican maiden.

Placing orders

Dear Universe,

Two years ago I asked you to send me a masculine man--fierce, determined and confident, powerful and sexy with the ability to make me laugh as well as swoon. I also asked that he have talent, depth and integrity, be free of attachments and ready to love only me.

I thank you for the prospects you've delivered so far, and hope I don't seem ungrateful. Each one has almost fit the bill, and I ask if next time, you would please consider making a few minor adjustments.

(You know what they are)


Katie Bowen

Missing you

I relate to this.

I have to say it!

It's hot!

Friday, July 18, 2008


It's my favorite song to dance to, and I sure hope they're playing it when I'm out dancing tonight.

Enjoy your Friday.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dream house

Sitting at the sidebar

It's peaceful, it's easy, and it 's an old favorite of mine.

Click on the music player to listen.

Atypical ten

I handed Annie a bowl of sliced apples and she inadvertently knocked the fork out of the bowl. I replaced the fork and gave her the bowl again, and while reaching for it, she almost knocked it out of my hand.

"What's up with you today, little sister?" I asked, to which Annie replied: "I guess I'm just having a junior-senior moment."


"Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes."

~Gloria Naylor

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Half Note will return

When the captain gets us back on course.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

True Love, by David Whyte

There's a faith in loving fiercely the one who is rightfully yours
especially if you have waited years and especially if part of you never
believed you could deserve this loved and beckoning hand held
out to you this way.

I am thinking of faith now and the testaments of loneliness
and what we feel we are worthy of in this world.
Years ago in the Hebrides I remember an old man
who would walk every morning on the gray stones
to the shore of baying seals, who would press his
hat to his chest in the blustering salt wind and say his
prayer to the turbulent Jesus hidden in the waters.

And I think of the story of the storm and the people
waking and seeing the distant, yet familiar figure,
far across the water calling to them.
And how we are all preparing for that abrupt waking
and that calling and that moment when we have to say yes!
Except it will not come so grandly, so biblically,
but more subtly, and intimately in the face
of the one you know you have to love.
So that when we finally step out of the boat
toward them we find, everything holds us,
and everything confirms our courage.

And if you wanted to drown, you could,
But you don't, because finally, after all
this struggle and all these years,
you don't want to anymore.
You've simply had enough of drowning
and you want to live, and you want to love.
And you'll walk across any territory,
and any darkness, however fluid,
and however dangerous to take the one
hand and the one life, you know belongs in yours.

Sitting at the sidebar

Beaver Patrol, by the Jaco Pastorius Big Band.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Divine appointments

Once in a great while I meet a person who, without knowing it, teaches me as many lessons about myself as the number of steps we walk together.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

In the mountains...

...I went into deep meditation. I saw the face of an ancient woman warrior. "You're so angry," I told her. Just then she smiled, and her face which was so hard, turned soft, radiant, and full of love.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

In the mountains...

...I lay beneath a tree. The sun burst through, the wind blew, and the leaves looked like ten thousand hands clapping.

In the mountains...

... I heard this poem:


I want to write about faith,
about the way the moon rises
over cold snow, night after night,

faithful even as it fades from fullness,
slowly becoming that last curving and impossible
sliver of light before the final darkness.

But I have no faith myself
I refuse it even the smallest entry.

Let this then, my small poem,
like a new moon, slender and barely open,
be the first prayer that opens me to faith.

~David Whyte

Sitting at the sidebar

Home from a week in Stockbridge Mass, and in the spirit of my solo trip which included hiking, kayaking, yoga and meditation, here's something pretty for the ears.

Click the music player, breathe in deep and listen to it long.


Thursday, July 03, 2008

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Sitting at the sidebar

I've played it before, but I've got it again. You know, that feeling.


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

When the smoke clears

I wasn't shocked today to hear that a thousand fires were burning in California, or when I learned of an old classmate who died in his sleep early last month. What shocked me today was my reaction when my child declared she'd rather spend the day alone at her dad's place, than with me at mine.

She wasn't angry, there was no fight, it was simple: I wanted her here but she wanted to be there, and suddenly without warning, a stream of missiles were unleashed and headed my way.

Rejection from above, boom! Abandonment from below, boom! Failure as a mother, boom! But the biggest explosion came when I realized the rejection I felt from my daughter was no different than the rejection I'd felt from my father, from my mother, my brothers, my friends and from lovers. It was all one big thing, my own creation, a manifestation of a lifetime of beliefs.

I've been accused of being so sensitive that I cry when the sun comes up, and although that's a gross exaggeration, I do have easy access to my feelings and to their tears. But today was out of the ordinary even for me, because after saying goodbye to Annie, I retired to my bedroom and proceeded to cry for hours--I couldn't stop.

I waited for answers, I waited for a sign, I waited for my period but it didn't come. I knew there was a lesson, because the intensity of emotion just didn't fit the crime.

I've never been wrapped up in my identity as a mother, I've never concerned myself with whether or not my child loves me--I only know I love her. I've never understood why people complain about their children's growing independence or the inevitable Empty Nest Syndrome when they finally go off to college. Surely these are good things--kids spreading their wings, parents reclaiming a bit of lost freedom. But I suppose they've just been concepts to me, until today.

Annie recently said, "I love you now Mom," implying that she might not love me later. And when I told her I accepted that, I thought I really did. But this morning, after finding myself curled up in a blubbering ball on the bed, maybe I need to question how much I don't accept.

What became the trigger on a loaded gun was actually something simple and benign. All Annie wanted was to be there when I wanted her to be here. My mother wanted to be at the theatre, my father wanted to write his books, a man I dated wanted to be alone, and a man I loved wanted to stay where he was.

"People have their lives," my mom sometimes reminds me. Her message being that when I don't get what I want, it's bigger than my perceived inadequacies and deficiencies. It's not about my lack of knowledge or because I'm a mediocre cook, it's not about what I don't possess or can't provide, and it's not about my thighs because it's not about me.

When Annie said she wanted to stay at her dad's, I made up stories and turned nothing into weapons. When Annie said she wanted to stay at her dad's, I saw the faces of everyone who ever hurt me. When Annie said she wanted to stay at her dad's, she gave me a gift--and I knew once the fire was out, it would be delivered.


Today was not the first time Annie has pulled away from me, but it's the first time it hurt.