Saturday, March 22, 2014


The best thing to do when you play one note
is to play another. Close your eyes and put
your finger down. At first you might say
“That’s no good” because you are in a pickle 
with the note you chose. But even using the word 
‘pickle’ can be like that. Where do you go 
from the pickle

of an F# after a C natural? That is a pickle in music,
as ‘pickle’ is a pickle in literature because you say 
“Well now there is nowhere to go from here”–in words.

But just like you can follow ‘pickle’ with memories 
of the ballpark or a handsome pickle vendor, you can 
meander beautifully, handsomely, away from F# into all 
sorts of new places that start with letters that you didn’t 
expect:  G flat, for example, B natural, C sharp. One must 

be mindful at such times, but not in the Buddhaish way - 
it’s more like minding the store in an old fashioned way:

knowing your inventory, knowing when
to stack and what to stack and how not
to stack too high. Knowing how to sell–

Knowing when to open the door, and
knowing when to close it. Knowing 
the right words to say when a grieving 
widow walks into your establishment, 
and behind her, a thousand head of
raging cattle.

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