[Journal Menu]

[Home Page]


[100 Books]

[Other Sites]

Here In Oakland

Art & Life


January 17, 2016

The Coffin

Sunday. To bed early and to sleep early, although I awoke around three and had trouble getting back to sleep for over an hour, a series of thoughts set off by a comment made by one of the underground cartoonists on Facebook about David Bowie and how much attention his passing has gotten. Had he been that major an artist?

The late sixties and early seventies, when he appeared, was a period when I was submerged in the music of the time and Bowie was an artist I listened to along with a number of others. The Ziggy Stardust persona and his later creations, the images, were of lesser interest, my submersion was in the songs, augmented in my case by a close English friend who could coherently translate the English music scene for my American noggin.

And that kept you awake last night?

It got me to thinking of what each individual takes from an artist: songs, voice, performance, image, behavior, political prognostications. Everyone filters them, selecting the elements that appeal depending on their interests, taste and circumstances. I was into his music and less so the drama. Bowie recorded many songs that made an impression, many uniquely linked to emotional events of that time and that place, just as so many others made similar both greater and lesser impressions during those late night, immersed in the music, evenings.

The music and the emotions it elicited were always at the core for me, but there are many other realities lived by other participants: the musicians, the hard core audience, the less intense audience, the people in the music business itself, each with their own set of differing passions.

Later. Football this afternoon. Oh, and having gone by the supermarket on the way home from breakfast, we'll undoubtedly consume the two single serving bottles of sake I brought back with me. When's the last time I've had any sake? Been a while.

Is that good or bad?

That's just the way the afternoon is going. Another holiday tomorrow, plenty of time to recover. As good an excuse as any on an El Niño day, drinking sake in a warm mid-Pacific squall.

Later still. Watched the game, watched the rain, remembered there was a Democratic debate this evening at six. Oh, and drank one of the bottles of sake. I'm thinking maybe I'll skip the second, the first just, I don't know, made me feel different, but not better. No loss. We're just checking on how our abstinence phase is holding up here, see if time and tide have permanently changed our old habits.

Evening. Watched the Democratic debate. Informative and interesting to see how NBC handled the management, questioning and balance between the three contenders. More serious attention to Sanders than in the past was the thought.

Anyway, we all have our hopes and doubts about this coming election. An advantage and disadvantage, perhaps, in having a retiree's time to follow this race more closely. But we do follow and we do hope, however this thing goes, whomever is elected, that it won't serve as an epitaph, a footnote, another nail in the coffin.

The photo up top was taken at the 2014 Oakland Run The Town half marathon with a Nikon D4s mounted with an 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR Nikkor lens.