The Groanbox Blog

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Like Two Quijotes

Red Ooh La La boxer shorts donned for swimming in Sarah and Harry's idyllic pool of soothing water in Philly a strange juxtaposition of toilet humor and spiritual awakening like two competing thorns jutting precariously out of the groanbox id with luminescent purple rays of eery, prescient interconnectedness woven together in a seemingly random fashion with music by John Hartford and visions of steamships along the Mississsippi River hacked into and poisoned by the commercial radio and salacious billboards and cacophonous TV in the bars we play or as Michael would say "it's all part of the plan, it all has a purpose" only for some reason i can't seem to discern the larger significance of the sticky ooze on the floor of the Burren and the frat boys calling for free bird and the pathetic pack mentality and the loud overproduced music smashing down the doors of my inner sanctum and we wonder why this culture is degrading when all around us everywhere we go our senses are constantly on the defensive but the night on Martha's Vineyard seeing Misha and feeding off a terrific energy in the crowd rejuvenates the songs and casts away the demons and the exuberant Isa and her friends danced up a storm and Amandine smiled like an angel and wrote a neat article on us while Bill put Snowy the owl on the Boot he put Snowy on the boot declaring that he was famous Michael asked why and with a dry matter-of-fact tone replied in his deep tenor "because he's on the Boot!" and the Chinalai's home a beauteous treasure of eastern antiques Buddhist statues and scrolls and jewelry paintings and heavenly flowers and palad-khik and persian rugs Bahraini teapots my mother's painting a fish pond and everything feels so comfortable and well-placed a general sense of well-being of Zen that there is joy in all things and life is meant to be lived in the now with respect for yesterday and hope for tomorrow and we left the accordion on the side of the road in DC I thought Michael had left it at the Molly Pitcher rest stop in Jersey when I went to empty my bladder but it was when we stopped to change on Embassy Row near a host of important embassies so as to spruce up our image to look more professional that the accordion all ominous looking in its raggedy black soft case was callously disregarded as we sped off to the Alliance on Wyoming Ave for an evening of French music where of all places we needed the !&%$# squeezebox I sped back there after Michael asked me "where's the accordion?" and promptly turned red as a beet while remaining remarkably composed and saw it there waiting like a forgotten child except for the fact that it was a large black bag sitting right in front of a host of embassies yet surprisingly the bomb squad was not out in full force despite the fact that at least fifteen minutes had ensued and Gene Shay the radio host who interviewed us knew John Hartford and was an incredibly warm, laid back guy, totally unassuming and humble despite his amazing track record why aren't there more folks like him out there Reunited with friends and family being on the road emblazons us with visions of the future while bringing us closer to our past with Michael's surprise family reunion in Port Jefferson parents, cousins, close relatives and friends all emerging from the dusty woodwork of his memory from places as distant as Oregon and a drive through both of our hometowns Medford, NY and Old Greenwich, CT and seeing old family and friends in almost every place we've performed at ties us to the world around us grounding us and preventing us from flying forever off deep into the humid mist of a moonlit summer night I'm staying with John-William Carroll on Beacon Hill in Boston after seeing him in London he's wearing a "ski Iraq" shirt today it was great to see his pops Billy Carroll at Toad and stay in his aunt and uncle's historic home to temporarily recover from the whirlwind and catch up on sleep while dreaming strange dreams about my house in CT forever unchanged in my mind despite the quite different reality I beheld the Chickanis house our neighbors next door was to be razed guess another McMansion is going up We have chosen to embark on these adventures and let our guards down and open ourselves up to who we are and hope that others appreciate it and sometimes it's great and sometimes it ain't and I have to learn to develop a thicker skin but it's hard to play for the vapid numbness of New America where the cloned model is based on security and safety and the world is being bought up and run by private equity firms whose motive is to make everything more "profitable" with everything looking alike everywhere you go drive for a day and see a days inn you know what you're getting it's safe no risk so shit we're different that's what everyone says and it takes some getting used to for a lot of people The Boot sees through irony, disingenuousness, obsequiousness, overconfidence, self-righteous moralizing, masquerades of all kinds It's tough to let down your guard but who are we to talk we are just two kindred spirits ambling through this dangling skein of existence, like two Quijotes nobly and naively braving the elements wielding a voodoo sword and exporting our skewed version of the gospel to four people on eastern Long Island to retirees at the Queen's Library to well-to-do francophiles in a French restaurant and cultural center to a huge crowd of rural new yorkers in a gigantic red barn in the middle of nowhere to random and sundry interlocutors of all kinds thrust into the Groanbox orbit like JP Tremblay in the back of our truck on the way to Sonny's in Red Hook who knows how or why, two more gigs to go with a long drive from Vermont to Maryland ahead of us and there is an uncanny feeling of connectedness of coherence in everything we do or maybe we view this as a tightly knit patchwork of experience so as to cope with the larger disparate weirdness of it all and i pine for the fam and the farm and a glass of lemonade and a swim in the creek with the dogs