Well, on the personal good news ledger, I have been working on my novel every day since January 2 as part of an at-home writing retreat, which I plan to continue until the draft is done or the money runs out, whichever comes first.
I was fortunate enough to welcome in the New Year meditating with three wonderful people, friends Russell and Sharon, and my beloved John. We spoke about the year from about 11pm until 11:50pm and meditated through to 12:10 am. When all hell broke loose at midnight outside the building: fireworks, salsa, Sinatra, sirens...we were silent. Russell said afterwards he could feel the stillness between us and in the building all the way to the ground. We spoke after the meditation about our hopes for 2015. That whole experience was magic, and up there with best New Year's Eves ever. A new ritual has been born.
The next day John and I volunteered at the St. Mark's Poetry Marathon on New Year's Day, where we saw lots of wonderful poets, new and old, including the venerable Jonas Mekas - still at it after all these years. I posted that video on Facebook. The link posted here is of a wonderful poetry, singing, saxophone, double bass quartet dedicated to Amiri Baraka.
The artists are:
Margaret Morris, Vocalist
Michael Bisio, Bass
Thomas Sayers Ellis, Poet
James Brandon Lewis, Saxophone
This was recorded on a phone and there is shake to the image consequently. I may be able to clean that up at some point, but wanted to post it now, because it was a great performance and to me embodied the spirit of the Marathon - edgy, political, smart, angry, funny, experimental, multi-disciplinary, multi-ethnic and just a damn good time.
So in the midst of the chaos and horror, take a moment to experience some artists rocking out in a jazz-poetry kinda way...(Remember kids, if you don't, you let the terrorists win...)
"It is no surprise that danger and suffering surround us. What astonishes is the singing." --Jack Gilbert"
Here's the link to YouTube, because file to big for here: Amiri Baraka tribute.