And the title of this Post is..... Nothing!

Had a great visit with my old friend Peter Strohm yesterday. It seemed to go on a long time but was over much too soon. It was kind of like picking up a conversation that paused 29 years ago. He plans to retire from government service at the beginning of next year and currently envisions working on musical writing and arranging. I think that's very exciting. I hope we can keep in closer touch and I look forward to hearing his compositions. Very exciting. I hope it works out for him. I suspect that there will be some difficult transition times for the first years after he ceases to work. He's been at it a lifetime.

So I didn't write much yesterday and I didn't paint at all. After visiting, I had no energy left to put into any of my projects. There is a lot to do.

I really want to paint today. I'm putting too much pressure on myself by posting the paintings I do. It's way too early to be asking people to pass judgment on my pieces. I need to spend more time painting to even understand what I need to work on. Before beginning a piece I need to warm myself up for it by watching things about technique or reading up on someone's ideas for painting. I'm not at the point where I can start cold into a piece. I need to warm up somehow.

For instance, last night I was really thinking hard about painting. It was too late to begin, at that point, but I went to bed thinking about it and they were comforting thoughts. It was just like the other times I was struggling to learn some new skill and my sleeping thoughts were consumed by the ideas of them. My mind practiced the movements while I slept. I did it with woodworking, and even shooting pool when I was young.

One of the first questions I asked Pete was, what are you listening to now? Without hesitation, he answered "Mahler" and then he went into detail describing the effect that Mahler has on him. The way it takes him by the hand to another place and consumes his attention for the duration. I told him about Vaughn Williams for me and it amazed me that we were more or less talking about the same feeling.

He spoke for a long time about how music and writing can demand our attention and emotion. The more we talked, the more I saw the difference between what music meant to him and what it meant to me. Music is a language to him and it's processed that way. I don't speak in music so I can only stand back and listen to it and connect with it emotionally. I form emotional scenes in my mind with music. It was a interesting but very large difference.

So about half way through the the writing of this piece so far, I put on Mahler on the Pandora station. I will listen to it in the background and see if I can recognize what he sees in it. It might take a while but I would love to have some new environments to listen to while I work in here.

I should add to the story pieces while I'm back here now. Let me see where I left off.

* * *

Solomon blinked over and over to clear his vision as he reached about him for his cart. Finally his hand fell on its corner and he felt the familiar wood and the covering of rags, burlap and some of yesterday's leftover newspapers that provided the padding and warmth that formed the nest he spent his day in. While the awakening had been abrupt and a bit shocking, Solomon recognized the voice of Twambley and was not overly afraid. He knew Twambley and knew he was an asshole, but he had also let him crash in the front of the basement storeroom instead of wetter, colder place.

Solomon was never without a knife near at hand. The one he carried in a little sheath in his coat pocket with very sharp and pointed and long enough to reach through heavy clothes and a winter coat and on into the soft center of where the giants around him kept their unused hearts. But Solomon knew instinctively that he didn't need it in this situation. He was among what passed for friends.

It was in his cart that he kept the little money and few valuables he carried with him, tucked beneath the layers of padding for safekeeping. Normally he would feel beneath the soft layers to make sure his bundle was still there, but with Twambley kicking and screaming at him, he would feel lucky to just gather his stuff and get out safely. He knew part of Twambley's abuse was a show he was putting on for the drivers and workmen lined up to offload supplies from the truck at street level, but that didn't mean he couldn't get hurt by the kicking and shoving that was going on, especially when he didn't have his mitts on.

Reaching blindly into his cart, Solomon grabbed the two leather mitts that covered his hands all day and slipped his hands into them. As he put the thick pads onto his hands, he felt better, able to handle anything that would come at him during the day. Besides that, he was already dressed because he rarely undressed, sleeping in his heavy coat and hat and scarf. Only in the summer did Solomon remove some of his clothes to sleep. And that, only when he was sleeping in a known safe place.

"Come on, Sally, you miserable rat. Move it." Twambley bellowed again.

Solomon did not speak but expertly planted his covered hands on the cold gritty concrete and swung his shortened body from the pile of burlap bag stack on the palette, which made up his bed last night, directly into his reinforced wooden fruit crate to which he'd attached heavy rolling and swivelling casters and quickly settling his stump of a body into the padding, used his hands to pull/push his box along the dark floor between the standing men towards the dim light of the old service elevator that would lift him to the sidewalk of the street above.

* * *

Enough for now. I want to finish my routine and get on with a combo of relaxing and getting a little done. On second thought, I might just goof off today. A day of rest.

This next week comes Thanksgiving and I'm looking forward to enforced family time and Holly-Jollity. I'm very Thankful for my life and all the good things in it.

More later,


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