Sunday, December 31, 2023

Old Year's Day.


 Selene Santucci.

Dear Time,

What a drag you can be, with your damn thresholds between the day and the night, the month, the year.  I am tired of you, even as I try to mark and honor you.  Well, what have you done for me, eh?  Yes, let's not and say we did, this New Year's.  There's not enough champagne in the world to make it a party anyway.

I think, what I will say, in truth, and with a minimum of resentment, is so long, it's been good to know you.

I learned everything I know about saying The Long Goodbye from singers and songwriters.  You can learn it too, in easy, online lessons.  Here are your course materials for Goodbye 101.













Thursday, December 28, 2023

think about direction


Dear World,

It's time, I think, the time that I said would come, when the string of pearls first broke.  The time I said would be looked back on, would be seen from a far distance forwards, but looking back.  (Stand in the place where you are).  

What is here, now?  I feel it, the presence of the huge impact of the Pandemic, but, I look around, standing in the place where I live, and I see that we don't talk about it.  (We have turned away?)  The emptiness, the slowness, the worry and the fear, the honesty.  I don't think they have exactly gone away.  I think they may be there, here, like huge thundercloud ghosts, ready, (raw, open, bleeding) to break open on some little party, some small hope.

I proceed now, cautiously.  Not only because of fear, that's the thing I wanted to tell you:  It's also because I liked the pure sharp edges of those days.  The rarefied air of loss and longing was like the thin atmosphere of a high peak- like, a smallness within a bigness, like an exposure to the elements and suffering and hope, too, that was so immediate.  It was just so much 'less' of everything.  

I believe that is why I have wanted to empty my living spaces; cupboards, drawers, closets, boxes, chests.  I want some empty space made for that high-pitched purity of purpose.  Very little of "You Should" crossed my mind then.  It was a vacation away from You Should, I think, because You Couldn't and maybe that is what I miss.

Monday, December 18, 2023

all that


Jason Moran on Broadway Boogie Woogie, by Piet Mondrian.

Dear Listeners,

I have been wanting to talk to you about jazz.  As in music.  I don't know about jazz, but I know what I like, and it often isn't jazz.  But, that isn't talking about jazz at all.  What I wanted to write you about is about what I do like about jazz.  Trying to keep to the parts I like is really what the Dodo is all about.

Here are three, really stellar jazz songs that I love:  

La Llorona, Charles Lloyd and the Marvels

Pedal Up, Rahsaan Roland Kirk

Waltz for Hal Willner, Bill Frisell

Great, you say, but, let's have some detail, some specificity, some something!  Why do I like these three jazz songs?  It came to me when listening to a jazz recording like this one; what I love about jazz is the moment, the light, the flash of recognition, and the perquisite ambiguity.  It comes out of a (clear blue) fog: Aha!  I know this!

It can be more indistinct even than that; it's the recognition of something, some note, some strain, of familiarity.  A memory, a shape, a ghost, a form, a dried leaf skeleton.  That's what I like about jazz music, the shadows and wisps.


If you are like me, it might be a little tricky to love these songs on the first listen.  Maybe come back to them again, a second and third time, and see if they don't grow on you a little.

Thursday, December 14, 2023

food talk


Still Life with Fruits and VegetablesJuan Sánchez Cotán, circa 1600.

Dear Kitchen,

Maybe you could make a little space, about a foot by a foot, to hold, without too much splatter, a screen, to show this.  You know, while we are chopping and peeling?  Or cracking and toasting.  Or stirring and simmering.  

Think about it, and while you do, there is this, from Valerie Gordon, and she gives, some ways down, a recipe for a carrot dish that might affect you deeply.  It did me; and I kind of (and I hate to admit this) repudiate the poor pretty carrot.

Ah, yes, and you should also know, that Three Ingredients came to me from Cherry Bombe; a limitless source of screenable treats.

Lastly, your song for today is also Valerie.

Monday, December 11, 2023

a little blue, for you


First Woman on the Moon, Aleksandra Mir, 1999.

Dear Moon & Sorrows,

Come on over!  We are having a party, and you are invited, dear sorrows!  I got this idea to throw you a party from Ross Gay- he's loaded with great ideas.  I thought we'd play some sad songs, like this beautiful one, right here; it's your song for today.

Monday, December 4, 2023

Your holiday shopping list!

Dear Season of Gift Giving,

The first step in acknowledging people successfully with material goods, is to figure out who needs a gift.  

I've got your recipient right here;  I have your gift, too.  You go to the bookshop, or your bookshelf, and you get yourself a book... which you love, it must be one you love, and then you give it to a young person.

The future, kid, is kids. 

PS  About the wrapping; better read about this study, and check out this, too.