Don Quixote and Christmas carols

I have written a lot of blog posts since I got back to CoMo, but I’ve been throwing them away instead of posting them.  Tedium was the offense I found common to all.  They all reflected the ups and downs of my internal life more than they provided worthwhile or insightful observation of any new experience or encounter.  That’s not to say that the return to CoMo and the experience of once again finding myself unemployed and living in my mother’s house lacked the merit of reportage.  It’s just that, so far, I have not been equal to the task.  My attempts have reeked of self-pity and stale emotion: insipid and lifeless explications and justifications of trivialities.  Nothing worth relating.  Nothing worth being related to.

So, what have I been up to since I got back?

I have been looking for a job, which is largely a mean and dehumanizing endeaver, but offers some valuable opportunities for reflection and self-discovery.  More on that in a later posting…

I have been bonding with my pets.  I take the dogs for walks.  I play fetch with Posdnous.  I’ve been putting drops in Isis’s left eye three times a day because it got a nasty infection from a scratch just before I came back.  It’s just about healed up now, though.  I usually go to bed spooning Posdnous.

I’ve been teaching myself to play Christmas carols on the piano.  I really, really like Christmas music, and I have a book with simplified versions of traditional carols.  I started working on it the day after I got back and I’m pretty satisfied with my renditions of the 10 or so carols in the book now.  There’s still a lot of time until Christmas, so I’m thinking I’ll seek out some more complicated arrangements next.

I’ve been listening to a lot of Joni Mitchell.  It started as an obsession with Joanna Newsom’s Ys album that somehow transfered to Joni and blossomed to a full scale reappraisal of her catalogue.  But I’m particularly infatuated with Hejira and I’m carrying around in my head a working sketch of a study comparing and contrasting that album with Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks.

And I’ve been reading.  I just finished the first half of Don Quixote yesterday.  This after carrying all 1,050 pages of it along with me from CoMo to DC and back again.  I had it, the Journals of Lewis and Clark, Leaves of Grass, and the Dhammapada with me for the whole of the journey.  I also carried Alfred Jarry’s Supermale for the stretch between CoMo and Berea, where I delivered it to Nick as a gift.  In retrospect, it seems pretty nutty that I was carrying that much book with me on the trip.  I mostly read the Journals of Lewis and Clark while I was traveling, and Leaves of Grass while I was in DC.  But I like that my copy of Don Quixote was along for the journey.  It imbues my reading of Quixote’s travels with an extra measure of sympathy.  I think I may have more in common with Quixote than I care to admit.

And along those same lines…  My mother, my sister, and I put up our Christmas tree and decorations on Friday and it snowed for the first time on Saturday.  I don’t believe there’s any real causality involved in that, but I like the experience of it.  We performed our little decorative ritual and nature responded. 

It’s a new season.  Good tidings to you and yours,

Knight of the Rueful Figure



One Response to “Don Quixote and Christmas carols”

  1. Rachel Smith Says:

    Hi Derrick!!! You’re back! I’m excited you’ve been working on playing some christmas carols!! I think you should take a trip to St.L again and hang out on my couch & make some crazy one pot meal with ingredients that you carried with you. No complaints about money, you can ride your bike (you’ve got the gear already), and you will be my guest once you’re here. Oh, and bring your piano…. I wanna hear some carols. I like Christmas music too!

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