Body and soul...

We made the final payment on our sabbatical flat earlier this week: yikes, this thing is going to
end! So I continue to practice - and edit something I am trying to get published - and try to stay awake to the present moment. Tomorrow I need to really knuckle down and give two hours to this bass so that I stay on track. This evening I kept playing Monk's "Well You Needn't." Hmmm...For some reason I've been called back to the old versions of the Psalms. Not necessarily for clarity or understanding. Mostly for their poetry. I cherish the way the King James Version puts Psalm 90.

Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.
For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.
Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up.
In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.
For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled.
Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.
For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.
The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
As this sabbatical has ripened, I've had friends come and go. Some have moved, some have chosen new directions, some have reconnected after a long absence and others seem to be MIA. I have had expectations come and go, too and seen time drag and then race faster than I could ever imagine. Maybe that is why I find myself drifting back to this old prayer in the language I first heard it.

We watched the new documentary on Amy Winehouse yesterday and then ate Mexican on one of Montreal's ubiquitous terrasses. What a sad and truly tragic story of a great talent and those who encouraged her brokness and addiction so that they could bleed her dry. So she chose to kill herself wtih alcohol because she didn't know how to get beyond their control.

There is a tender scene in the film that really grabbed me. Winehouse is at a recording session with one of her idols:  Tony Bennett. And she is so anxious and giddy. She can't sing the way she wants to - and knows it - but doesn't want to quit trying either. And Tony Bennett is so gracious and chill. At one point her tells her: "It's ok. Each time is better. Listen to me and understand: life teaches you how to live it if you live long enough." Sadly, she never learned how to do it. In this clip he confesses that he never took the chance to tell her, "Slow down... and then she died. The secret is to live long - and enjoy your life." I can't help but think this encounter has something to do with the master's recent work with Lady Gaga.


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