26 October 2023

A Glance Backward

“. . . this one corner of ornamental untidiness . . . .”
Awesome Ostrogoths of Oz
Witch Ballerinas of the Berkshires
Zorro’s sorrow
Porridger’s Almanack (Breakfast of Ganglions)

Geo. Harrison
It’s not always gonna be this grey.

— Geo. Harrison

So, seven years ago today I finished the first movement of the “Henning First.” Opus 143. One benefit I draw from revisiting old blog posts is, I get glimpses of a past life. By now, I’ve physically forgotten that distanced life of getting up so early so as to get into Boston to be a working schmo, and when I might actually do some composing at 5AM before needing to walk to the town centre to get on a bus. “Workaholism?” Yes, and I suppose I feel ashamed. Not of the resulting music, but of giving myself to the Rodent Grand Prix. The fact that financially, I had little choice only partly mitigates the shame. I was apparently so very foolish an optimist, thinking that at some point, I should see some monetary reward. I don’t mean for my music, I almost don’t even dream of that anymore. I mean for working so long and so hard as a jerk for The Man. What did playing along in The Game get me? My stroke, probably. The arc of this post seems to suggest (my Opus 143, for instance, not yet having gotten anywhere) that I might lapse again into the funk of non-creative inertia which somehow overtook me after the fleeting glimmer of success with The Lowell of Orpheus, but in fact (the dour reflections of this post notwithstanding) I feel reasonably positive. I defy that dead husk of my “gainfully employed” days, defy the illusion that I gained anything material in that epoch. After my stroke, I felt pretty much like a newborn cast upon the shore. I may possibly succeed still. The only lasting failure would be to cease making music. Even more: I feel that I have been given this new life after my stroke, to the end that I should keep composing.

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