Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Me, in a music store and Last Night

Walk in. Stand in the doorway like some giant gap-mouthed obstacle and get my bearings. Then dive in. I float from sorter to sorter, gathering everything that looks good to me until my hands overflow, and I am forced to actually absorb the sheer fact of cds in my hand. I begin to weed them out, first putting back the clearly impulse selections. Next goes the ones I think will be one-album wonders. Eventually, I'm down to two types: the cds I need to fill crucial gaps in a collection or the ones I need to replace old, scratched cds. A couple of weeks ago with Erin at Louisville's Ear X-tacy, I followed the standard pattern, except for standing in the doorway. (Someone else was trying to get out.) I picked up some Gillian Welch, some My Morning Jacket, maybe a Wilco. They didn't have any new Lucinda Williams. And then my eye fell on Leonard Cohen.

Apparently I've been a fan of LC for sometime, mostly unawares. The first time I heard Jeff Buckley's version of "Hallelujah", I had to pull over to the side of the road. I could not speak. I remember staring at this same plant for quite some time until the song was over. I played it through once more and then got back on the road. Even now, whenever I hear this song, I have to stop what I'm doing, listen, process, before I can continue. I bought two incredible CDs that I've been listening to non-stop since, "The Future" and "the Best of Leonard Cohen."

2009 was tough, for some obvious and intensely personal reasons. And despite whatever changes 2010 brings about, the year will be different because I will be different. I will be less critical of myself, banishing "should" and "sorry" from my vocabulary. I will excuse myself from those relationships where tyranny has raised its head. I will be more in the moment with those around me, and foster relationships that are going to be incredible. I can see it now. I will say goodbye to past relationships I am sorry to see go, mostly because of how they ended. I will remove should and sorry from my vocabulary unless I really am sorry, about things that I should be sorry about. (And these resolves don't fit that distinction.) I will succumb to the ebb and flow of the universe with a little more grace than I have heretofore exhibited, with a little less of a sense of personal wrong. I'm going to stop now.

Of course, it all comes with a prayer...