Hitting Ground While Listening To Bach

I never thought Bach would sadden me. I have no doubt if I listened to a live performance of the Brandenburg Concertos, those would bring me to tears, simply because they are so heavenly, and that’s where I go when I listen to them… heaven on earth. 

But this morning, while listening to the Orchestral Suite #3 – Air On The G String – I was overcome by sadness, as I looked out my window.

There is a narrow midway dividing either side of the street I live on. I can see people throughout the day who have severe addiction health issues. Sometimes it’s terrifying to witness the extent of the toll addiction takes on the mind and the body. But the centers follow a specific protocol (as does the Police department) before they can intervene.

Once the center has closed, for example, Powell provides security 24hrs, but not because why you may think so. They are there to protect those who travel along the street, throughout the night, those whose behaviors show symptoms of distress. However, they cannot force those persons to go to the hospital, unless they have their consent. They cannot intervene unless the person is on the ground, immobilized. That’s when they can administer the medication they carry in their vests at all times. 

Once a police officer arrives at the scene, that officer determines whether the person is coherent by their answers to several specific questions. This assessment determines whether the person can be forcibly taken to the hospital. If their answers are coherent, even within a narrow window of time, five minutes, for example, then no further action can be taken.  

But one cannot ignore the irony and cruelty of others, the strangers who take their evening stroll, the mist they protect themselves with. They do not see what is happening around them. Those persons, the undesirable ones, have been cast with a special role in their minds. They are the invisible ones. And so they keep walking. Best to keep walking away from them.

Throughout the day, however, when the recovery center is active, if a person exhibits troubling symptoms, they can call an ambulance, but the person, however far away, barely coherent, must still consent to be taken to the hospital. That’s when the paramedics show up. There are exceptions, of course, like violence does not require consent. 

Persuasion is a skill based on patience and empathy and exercised jointly between Powell staff and paramedics. In all fairness, though, one cannot deny rare moments that cannot be ignored. There is sometimes a certain level of humor present. Within that mass of confusion and distorted thinking swirling in the air, so spontaneous and uninhibited, renders others unable to resist a smile.

Traffic is brisk throughout the day, from early morning until night. And there is never a dull moment on my street. When I hear sirens, I already know their destination. Someone is in distress next door.

But back to this morning.

Early this morning, I caught a glimpse of a man pacing back and forth who was wearing headphones. I have no idea what he was listening to, if anything.

But that’s not what captivated my attention. It was his posture, his body in motion, that I could not resist watching. His head was stooped and so were his shoulders and no matter how many times he paced his posture never changed. And I wondered if this was how he experienced life. And the tension between him and Bach connected in a way I had never imagined. 

Swimming

There is a place you must go, and though you cannot see where it is, you know it is, know the distance you must travel is vast and unknown, and there is no sun to serve you as a guide, nor any guarantee that you will make it there, and instead be condemned to dwell in the darkness of infinity, and while there, you ask yourself: “How much more must one endure? How long can one endure?” 

But these questions do not suffice, for you know the answer is obscured by the shadows of uncertainty, and so you grasp what you can, to guide you through the night, and hope you will return to see the sun again.

And so you turn to the memory of the notes that still exist within you, for darkness has no power over them, for these notes reside far above the clouds, above the sky, above the heavens, where the shadows of light are bred and born and transformed, from the greater darkness within the universe, which we will never reach or fully know, but still know it well, for those notes, though born in darkness, are overcome by the power of light that breaks apart from the darkness from which they were issued, and sheds.

And with this light, you know darkness will never win the war, for light is far greater than the birth of night, and so you arm yourself with those notes as your guide – The Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G, which stirs in you the will to live and swim towards the light.   

 

THE ODYSSEY OF INVISIBILITY: Smoking in Virginia

I thought I was seeing a shot from the Past. I had 2 things to do before I left and headed to Chicago:
My worst Substitue assignment was long term  – ideally.  But I went nuts. I was passing kids who were failing and couldn’t fail and forced them to repay me by making-up a dish assignment – Greek Rice Pudding. 
Greek Rice Pudding uses a few simple ingredients – heavy cream, sugar, eggs, and the most divine spice of all – fresh vanilla – but it’s easy to mess it up. Not sure what the secret formula that is so essential to its success is, but it’s the best!
As soon as you pour it into cups or dishes, you sprinkle cinnamon on the top – that may be a “divine” ingredient – and it’s aroma and taste is irresistible. 
But I didn’t expect him to know that. 
I wanted him to demonstrate his commitment and integrity – as well as have a kinesthetic experience, which also required math, and a finished product in 45 minutes. 


I HATED teaching that class
It was a nightmare. 


Imagine now. 


You have between 28 and 32 (the max) in a class and you teach the identical lesson 5 times that day – well, how many pizzas is it?
(Answer here, please.)
The Chairman of the Department, clustered under ART, knew she had to get me out of there. 
I refused to go to the grocery store st 5:45 AM, so she had to do that. I would, however, get to school by then, to prepare for classes, which I did, all the time. 
Well, anyway.  
Despite my catastrophic performance, I have many students who befriended me after that on Facebook, and I’ve been friends with them ever since. 
Nick is a musician and was also one of my students then. Sweetest and most talented of them all. They all gave me a hard time, especially the guys. Not Nick. So he’s been in an ensemble (not sure what else to call it, since the one guy plays several instruments). LITZ is the name of the group. Simply outstanding. 
Nick is a keen observer too 
One day I was chastising the guy who sat next to him (they always sat together.)
And I said to him:
Do you realize your eyes are totally blood shocked?  Couldn’t you wait to smoke?




And they would laugh at me. 
After that I could head to Chicago.