Friday, July 6, 2018

famous in the right way...

Last night we practiced as a band: Famous Before We're Dead. It was a good albeit complicated time. We hadn't all played together in a few weeks given full lives and day jobs. That meant the groove didn't come easily. Naturally. It showed up from time to time, but there were clunky and awkward intervals, too. Like Chief Dan George says in the film, Little Big Man: Sometimes the magic works, sometimes it doesn't.

I don't like it when the magic doesn't work, but I know it is important. Healing even - if I pay attention. There's wood shedding I need to do; scales, riffs and experimentation so that I know each song with my eyes closed and heart open. There's encouragement I need to share, as well, with my other "famous brothers" in the band. And there is patience we all need to honor each in our own way. Life is complex. Demanding. And the heat wave didn't help. Chief Dan was so right: sometimes the magic works, sometimes it doesn't.

This afternoon, as part of my hyper- thorough house cleaning jag for July (a room each day from top to bottom), I found myself thinking/feeling/reliving last night's rehearsal. I was able to get clear what I need to practice. I also got some clues about where sharing encouragement and practicing patience might be a blessing. After my study was finished, I came across this poem at the Gratefulness Network. It is by one of my favorite writers, Naoimi Shihab Nye, which she calls "Famous." Like going to Famous Nathan's in Coney Island for hot dogs last week in Brooklyn, this too was a sign:  


The river is famous to the fish.

The loud voice is famous to silence,
which knew it would inherit the earth
before anybody said so.

The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds
watching him from the birdhouse.

The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.

The idea you carry close to your bosom
is famous to your bosom.

The boot is famous to the earth,
more famous than the dress shoe,
which is famous only to floors.

The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it
and not at all famous to the one who is pictured.

I want to be famous to shuffling men
who smile while crossing streets,
sticky children in grocery lines,
famous as the one who smiled back.

I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do
.

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