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Quick Sunday morning jottings

Sunday 12/12/21

It's early. I've been working for a couple hours on this Louis Armstrong Christmas piece I should have turned in at least a week ago. Ran 3000 stairs yesterday. The wind has been howling this morning. Sounds fairly violent out. I'll run stairs in a bit. I want to get enough done so that I can get over to Old North Church this morning for A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, and then out to Brighton later in the day for Boston Baroque's Messiah. They're in a new venue now so I have to find it. I looked up how to get there by public transportation, and my options were bus lines, but I don't like to take buses and I don't know where to get the bus or how they work. I'm lacking in bus experience. I'll leave more time for the walk. I also don't know how to work the directions app on my phone.


Today marks 1988 days, or 284 weeks, without a drink of alcohol. I didn't enter that last week, but I just did a quick check of where I am at. I was reading about strokes yesterday and how being upset triggers them more than anything else. Clearly not good for me with how my life is, so I have to at least control these other things I can control.


I came up with a new major story this weekend. I can tell that I'm changing again as an artist. I can always tells. It's an internal molting. One might read that to think I'm writing a new way. No. I'm always writing a new way. That's not what I mean. Each work I create is a new way. I mean that my means is changing. How I go about the making. How I'm seeing. The angle--angles, really--from which I am viewing. The rate. The speed. The methods. What I hold in my head. My process is always changing. Aspects of it. I think of twenty years ago when it was hard to think of a story and then how that story would be the only one I did for months, maybe years, and how if I had been told that in two decades' time I'd have more than 100 stories going in my head at once, on top of everything else, and working on all of them simultaneously. That's what I mean by okay, you can be born with more talent than anyone has ever had. I was. I came into the world with that. But if I didn't work to develop that talent, what I do now--who I am now--wouldn't have been possible. It's not just sitting there and writing. You have to do that, but that's not even really the big part. The big part is always working in your head. That's where you make the big strides. Your mental methodology. It takes intense mental discipline and control. But the mind is the craftsman's shop.


I invited Howard to the Revels with me.


A meathead strode into the building at three this morning. Where are you coming from at 3? And then he's walking through the hall, having a casual meathead conversation with another meathead on the phone. Who does that? A lot of people, actually. It's only at about four when you stop hearing people outside or coming home. Things aren't open that late in Boston. What time do you get up if you come home at three? There are quite a few meatheads in this building now. There used to be none, but there are at least four, I think. Meatheads are super neighborly, but only with other meatheads. They won't have known each other prior to moving in, but the meathead recognizes a meathead, and soon they fall into back-and-forth like it's a person in their dorm hallway. They won't crossover into friendship and hanging out, but they will recount a few things from the weekends with each other--"I saw you with that smoking chick, bro, how was that?"--and wish each other this kind of meatheads-y good luck, which always sounds to me like "happy hunting," both in terms of women and, I suppose, inebrious states.


I was back at the MFA on Friday for the first time 2020. Took in the Millet exhibit and wandered the hallways listening to Vivaldi, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and Gene Autry, and checked to see that my favorite paintings were where they had been previously. Some had moved around a little but was able to see them again. I have to get back to the essay now.