April 15, 2003

April 15, 2003 01:14 AM

Recently, I have been a volunteer at several hospitals in the metro Atlanta area in the role of mildly entertaining and offering companionship to patients. One was a little boy about 8 years old who is very sick and is about to have surgery. I intentionally wore my red Nike Air Rift shoes and he told me in a quiet voice that they were “cool.” It made my heart miss a beat to watch him smile at them and them look upon my face. Is there any greater joy , I thought, than being someone who has brought a smile to this child’s face ? I know it is awkward at first but I encourage you to find out about volunteering at a nursing home or a children’s hospital or a mental hospital etc etc because it is important to stop thinking about yourself sometimes and to think about people who are hospitalized tonight who welcome a smiling face and a warm hand to hold. Please think about it. I thank you.

……………. People have emailed me about my impressions of the band, Zwan. Here is an excerpt from something I wrote : Billy Corgin. We talked about harmonic 12 tone singing and the way music/voices sound in cathedrals with all the overtones. He told me about a performance of Mozart he had seen in a cathedral in Paris and how all the tones of the voices had merged together so that you no longer heard the separate sections . He said he realized that Mozart had intended it to sound this way. He also said he wanted to write music for a project for voice only…I was pleasantly surprised by the Zwan show. It was all about the music and not about theatrics. It was uplifting to observe the audience being filled with this aspect. It gave me hope for performance and hope for the future of live music in a time when most shows are either pre-recorded or run as a computer program and “live” is an absurd contradiction. Some of the dual guitar parts reminded me of early Allman Brothers. I had preconceived notions about what this show would be like and admit that I had been tempted to dismiss it before the show as a potential MTV (therefore of little value) experience. Well, I was WRONG. They play like an ensemble and it was impressive. FUN: I got to park in the private lot next to the big P.A. trucks and tour bus . Never have I performed a more spectacular maneuvering job in my truck. Backed out inch by inch. Must have taken half an hour to do all those subtle moves. Thanks to the steady soldier V. and a crew member for the instruction! No dents as a result. ……………………

Tomorrow, think of doing something kind and helpful for someone OTHER than yourself. Preferably a stranger with whom you have no motive to get a “return”. If you are angry or fearful about someone or something inside yourself, go OUTSIDE of yourself and put yourself into that person’s world for a moment…. Compassion is a powerful powerful tool to ultimately bring only the purest joy. Find a balance between your self focus and self indulgence and neurotic dis-ease and stakes through the heart and brain and belly….and GIVING to a small child or elderly woman …..