It shows that I haven’t added anything to this column since the end of May. I must admit I’ve been a bit of a recluse as of late. Maintaining a house with a large (12,000 gallon) above ground swimming pool coupled with my natural tendency towards ennui, my increased depression over the state of our once great, now widely disparaged, nation, my preoccupation with my wonderfully loveable, extremely handsome, funny, doggie-dog Blaze, plus my growing disconcertion with social media as a rule, among other matters, I just haven’t had the will to express my thoughts; notwithstanding, I continually wish to do so.
It’s interesting; I haven’t had to mow a lawn since my high school days back in Pitman, NJ. Then there’s the pool: skimming, vacuuming, treating the water, backwashing, it’s been a bit of an effort but one well worth it; on a hot day (yes, we do get them up here in New England) there’s nothing like diving into that pool. I still “pinch myself” realising that I own the bloody thing.
Then there’s Blaze. What can I say. He’s not only one of the most beautiful dogs (I’m almost embarrassed by the number of time people tell how pretty he is) I’ve seen, but he’s a total baby. He has the most even temperament, loving disposition anybody would ever imagine. When Rosemary comes home from work he’s so excited he wags his tail AND his head! He has the physique of a runner, and he proves it. He is the fastest dog I’ve seen and it is (to coin a cliché) poetry in motion to seen him run. There is a very large dog park in Hingham, MA (about 15 minutes away); it’s the size of any other state park (they call them reservations up here), but it’s primarily an off-lease park for doggies. I can’t tell you how much Blaze loves this place. First, it’s on Weymouth Bay so dogs get to swim if they so desire, it’s big with lots of open space to play and run, which are two of Blaze’s favourite things to do (the others are sleep and eat — surprise, surprise). One of the traits I love about Blaze is he so, so friendly. He thinks every other dog he meets is his new BFF — big, medium, tiny it doesn’t matter; all he wants to do is play. As to his speed, he has yet to encounter a dog that’s as fast (much less faster) than him. He is truly amazing to watch. And LOVES to run. So yeah, I spoil Blaze something terrible; but, what am I supposed to do? He’s such a loveable baby. And he behaves (for the most part).
Okay, so what’t the problem? Well, two things: First is me, I must admit I’ve been having difficulty with motivation: more importantly prioritisation. I can’t get my butt in gear until later in the day. Unfortunately, it’s usually the time I need to think about getting dinner together. If I could get my “chores” (including walking Blaze) done before noon I’d have at least four hours to what I used to think was important to me — music and art. ADD and low level depression (what used be call Dysthymia) have been, I must admit, an hinderance to my focus. The problem is I know that I still have much to offer (not that anyone would take me seriously, since I don’t have s PhD or am not an internationally recognised performer).
Then there’s the organ/church thing. I approached a nearby Congregational church (about two blocks away) about permission to practise on their organ. It’s not much, a two manual Allen from probably the 80’s; but, it was something on which I felt I could start playing the organ again. I even offered my services as a substitute — gratis — for the privilege of practising. So, here were the church’s criteria:
Notwithstanding my resume, etc. they don’t give out keys to the church, so I could only practise there when some one else or other activity was at the church: in this case it the Boy Scouts, who met in the basement on Monday night (right about our dinner time, but, eh, I figured): i.e., once a week for about 1½ -2 hrs.
If that wasn’t restrictive enough, since I was compelled to only be there (mind you I was up in the sanctuary, the scouts were down in the basement; i.e., I had no [nor did I want any] contact with them; but, since I was in the same building as them, even though they had more than enough adult supervision, they requested that I fill a CORI (Criminal Offence Record Investigation) form!!
Just so I could have access to lousy electronic organ on which to practise at a most inconvenient time for me. I wanted nothing to do with those kids — or anybody — all I wanted to do was practise the organ; in exchange, I was willing to offer my services as a substitute organ (and as a scripture reader) for free. Needless to say, after being gratuitously insulted, I’m on the prowl for another organ on which to practise.
Why is it that my first major disappointment with my new home involves a church? What is it about suburban churches, especially non-liturgical protestant churches, that often manifest those paranoic tendencies which are so contradictory to their so called “Christian Message” of openness and love? Those signs of “All Are Welcome” outside the doors are such a prevarication of who they really are It’s such a sham. I’m sick of it. It’s come to the point I wish, I really do wish at times, that I never, NEVER, became an organist, almost to the point of despising the instrument.
Thank God for ragtime.