Next on my ‘pop’ shelf is African Guitar Summit. Clearly not pop fodder but my world music is mashed into pop – too many subdivision for me to want start making more categories than I ready had: pop; electronica; jazz; classical.
I bought this at HMV – can’t remember the last time I went into a cd store looking for anything. I sort of miss flipping through those racks, the click of plastic protective armour so one could steal a cd. I miss more flipping through lp covers though. But not enough to even bother going into a second store on a hunt.
I think Summit won some awards & I bought it a year or so later when it was on sale. The music is bouncy, appealing and fun to write to. A one off, I was hoping more interplay amongst the various guitarists involved. Its on the CBC label so I got to support our recording industry at the same time as actually enjoying the music.
I enjoy music that takes me out of the lock step of our culture. Not sure where this goes back to – If with African Sanctus ; or maybe it was Osibisa? (more about them as they come up in the alpabet.) So my collection ranges from Jacques Brel to Merecedes Soca. From one hit wonders Music Machine to never heard of (in North America) wonders Vox Dei.
It was as if I was throwing away my past, discarding memories of people, places and things. Yet I knew I couldn’t continue to carry all this stuff – material things – possessions that no longer served a useful purpose expect for what they reminded me of – and did I need all those reminders?
That t-shirt X gave me when I directed the show he was in. Too bad his memory was so bad the other actors were always afraid to be on stage with him. They never knew where he would jump to or which of their cues he would drop.
That t-shirt gone to Goodwill. X had hoped somehow the t-shirt might make it possible for him to do more work with me but that once was enough for me. But not for him. He was pretty pissed to find I had decided not to use him as lead in a later show even though I had mentioned he might be considered. I lied.
Now that t-shirt is gone, the memory hasn’t, yet. But when I don’t come cross it in the piles of clothes over the next few years I expect the memory is holds will fade, to make room for something more positive.
Moving memories out – the past being unencumbered by the objects that hold me to it – old photographs I haven’t looked at in over ten years, people in photos whose names I don’t remember. Books I enjoyed, but now after thirty years it doesn’t look as if I’ll be getting back to reading them again.
Gone. Making space, Empty shelves. Making me wonder why I held on to the them. The dust they collect isn’t the interest that pays the bills.
Funny, that once the first book, t-shirt, photograph, Lp, has been culled the others become easier. Then it becomes a sudden flash flood that washes clean & takes the debris away with it to leave a sadly empty space.
The challenge becomes to leave it empty. To see the emptiness as a positive, as room to breath, as opposed to empty and worthless. The objects seem to have held a value beyond memory, a weight of fact. The weight of them, the smell of them and without that, it’s as if I have nothing.
The empty shelf becomes an emptiness of spirit. I know that it isn’t, but for the first few lingering seconds it feels like that. Like the sudden shock of a totally new hair cut – is that me? Where is the old me – where is that familiar face – it’s there all right, but takes a few glances in the mirror to get use to.
Shaking out the dust of years, looking in boxes not opened since they were sealed before the dawn of time, or so it seems. Small surprises but mostly, oh now I can let go. I’ve seen it one last time. I’ve heard it one last time and it’s now ready to become a part of someone else’s life.
To seed new memories for someone else.
So farewell to you old t-shirts, old photographs. Thanks for the time we’ve had and enjoy your new homes.