Saturday, May 09, 2009

Assam again

Amazing Beautiful Creatures Dancing Excites the Forest Glade, In my Heart how I do Jump like the Kudo Listening to the Music, so Nice the Organ Plays, Quietly Rests the Sleepy Tiger Under the Vine tree at the Water's side, and X marks the place 'neath the Yellow moon where the Zulu chief and I did hide.

Bobby McFerrin tells his students that the most important thing about improvisation is motion--just keep going. Start and then keep moving. That’s all.

And that means that anyone can do it. You don't need any theoretical knowledge.  Babies sing improve all the time. 

And entire dreams and universes are born and go and that’s just what they do.

The weather today was so fucking nice. I woke up to a warm, windy bedroom, next to two absolutely beautiful friends who slept over, and told myself that today I would paint, draw, and do the dishes. Instead I played with a 4 year old all afternoon, and then took my computer to Seattle’s Best to watch Bobby Mcferrin sing polyphonic with people blissed out of their minds on youtube.

As many of you know, I’m a singer. Been singing and dancing alone in my bedroom every since I was little--got the home videos to prove it. Thanks dad. It's one of my “gayest” sides:  singing and dancing and painting. And I’m not unique in this AT ALL.  Joyfully singing is universal, baby. When we sing and dance we get to express something, which is so satisfying for some reason, and it creates a kind explosion of bliss energy in our bodies.  Don't even get me started about harmony and collaboration and the nature of the We....this PLAY, this Lila, this Creativity and Music  and mixing of spontaneous improve is holy, holy, holy.

What’s really fun is to practice Mozart’s ABC song with the 13 year olds at 8:00 in the morning.  And sing it two times. First time you add a little, really simple harmony.  Then the second time ask the kids who know any harmony to sing it on top.  Some of these kids have been playing piano since they were in the womb, so trust me, they know a harmony, and are probably a little excited to get to try one out. Breaking away from unison is so exciting! 

Also, and this is very important. In order to copy my enlightened math teacher in high school (who made us rap the quadratic formula every morning) tell the kids to sing loud enough so that their friends all over the school can hear them. It’s fun.  And holy.

But seriously,  Bobby Mcferrin is a super-professor.  Imagine being a vocal student and having Bobby Mcferrin as you own, private teacher, who you can see whenever you want, and you can sing with whenever you want, and you can ask really difficult questions about the meaning of life and suffering and art.  That it what it was like having Robert Brawley as my painting teacher, my master. The last two years of collage were, artistically, enough miraculously good karma to justify at least the next twenty rebirths to be in the hell realms.  I am such a lucky asshole.  How did this happen?

That is also when I got to receive the bodhisattva vow from the Dalai Lama at his monastary in India, and when I got to make new love with my best friends.

It’s my mom’s fault.

The sad part of this story is that my last meeting with Robert Brawley was canceled because he had to go to the hospital, and soon after that, he died.  You may remember me crying in the rain. But also, one of the greatest days of my life was last year when I got to spend 6 hours with his wife, who then sold me the very first Robert Brawly painting I ever saw, the one with his self portrait right in the middle. That circular mirror. The symbolism of all this is very dreamy, yes?

Anyway, enough about me.  Let’s talk about my new niece and nephew!!!!!!!!!!!! My oldest sister is now a mommy!  It happened!!! And I am going to be the strangest, craziest, “gayest,” awesomest uncle in the world, I promise. When David and Margot turn 18, I'm taking them to Assam! 


leighbird said...

this painting springs force wind grey thunder clap. it reminds me of the stretch of green land and cloud stitched together between lawrence and the edge of the metro.
love love love.

Alicia Cox said...


i love to see and hear you dance and sing. i don't do either as much as i'd like, but i've been taking a hip hop dance class at ucr that is the most difficult thing i've ever tried. i'm learning tons about myself and human nature.
i cried for michael jackson, too.
congratulations on being an uncle! welcome to the gay uncles and aunts club. by the way, your friend Tasuku is super dreamy. his nose and chin remind me of eli--who, incredibly, will be in kansas the same time i will. life is beautiful.

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