Friday, September 18, 2020

The Beach House

For years my Grandmother drove out to the coast to work on her cabin. I remember the sound of her Ford Galaxy scraping her driveway (which was too steep) as she backed it up. She was a wild one. Grammy did her eye makeup in a way which reminded me of Catwoman from the TV series. She wore miniskirts and boots that were almost knee high. She peppered he speech with things such as, “I can dig it”, and “trippy”. A few blocks down from us was an unpaved road, which she later told me was paved because of her affair with some City Council member or another. Grammy used to drive me out to Rooster Rock, at the Columbia River. Once swimming there something brushed up against me, and I looked and saw my first eel.  On the way we passed a Corrections Center, and I always imagined guys in ankle irons breaking rocks, as they did in cartoons.

Anyway, over the years I would get to spend a weekend there with my Uncle, who was just two years older than me. We would sit on the unfinished floor, legs dangling from the support beams, smoking joints and listening to Pink Floyd, Peter Frampton and Led Zeppelin. The work was slow, but the cabin was eventually finished. It had a very strange layout. I think it was a sort five-sided affair with a deck going about halfway around it. My last time with her, she had advanced bone cancer. I asked her if she wanted to drive to the Vista House, high above the Columbia, overlooking Rooster Rock, where we had many nice memories. She had fallen asleep next to me as I drove, and after I had parked I went around, opened the passenger door, and helped her walk to the stone wall, and with the wind blowing fiercely, we admired the view in silence. On the drive to the coast we stopped at the hospital to pick up her meds. I remember it was taking forever for her to get her insurance card, but she was determined and wanted no help. 

At the cabin I helped her up the stairs and to the bedroom. She had taken up painting before she got ill, and the walls were covered with them. I pointed out my favorite, an owl with beams shooting from its eyes. Just like Grammy, she said, “Oh that one is a trip”. The wig she wore at this point was inconsistent with the woman I remembered, and she took it off before going to sleep. I said to her, “Grammy, you shouldn't wear that thing, without it you look like Annie Lennox” She giggled, most likely knowing it was a compliment, but probably did not know who Annie Lennox was. 

As I write this over ten million acres of forest has burned to the ground. The heavy rain last night has given respite from weeks of smoke so heavy at times I could not see down the block. The air is fresh again for a moment at least, but it did not save Grammy's beach house, which was engulfed in flame yesterday.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

New CD Gone Viral

Here is a new, double CD created in quarantine. Four tracks, each about twenty minutes. It was made with standard, rock instrumentation, Musique Concrete, home made instruments and broken analogue recorders.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

As Far As

Day 30

He was set down, more or less like the others, without having been asked. He considered how to spend his time. Long ago, he had wanted to make a movie. Indeed, he had done so, but being confronted with the natural grace and love packed in the frames of his once long lost home movies from his childhood, he became embarrassed by representation, and slowly the movies he made were depopulated. Here he was, at the first day of thirty, waiting to cross the bridge and into life again. This was pre-Islamic thinking of what happens in the thirty days after death. He wanted to make a movie again, here in this Valley of Death. Would it be documentary, would it be his long ago idea of a platonic dialogue between Shadows and Reflections. The ideas cascaded about him like wind, or spirits. He even thought to make a film about a town that was long abandoned, and an archaeologist discovers a stone upon which are the markings that make a detailed map of the ghost town. So....