The purge continues. Little by little, it continues in the right direction. Yesterday, (not so) small person (anymore) asked me why I was giving all my books away when - aside from my record player, a few albums and my guitars - it was almost all I had left. It was a question that deserved an even better answer.
I sealed her mouth shut by giving her my record player (hey, in for a penny and all that) and a few albums she might actually like. She took to it well, fell in love with the concept and this morning, disappeared to an inner city nightmare in search of her first slab of vinyl she could call her own… and came back with a Michael Jackson album.
It could have been worse and I’m good with that, though it would have been neat if she had discovered Mother Love Bone all by herself.
Anyway, I chewed her question over and I guess the real answer is that many years ago when I left home, I had very little to call my own - but a year or so later, when I left town to head for London, I had even less. A few clothes in a bag, a copy of an Ed McBain novel (See Them Die) I was dipping in and out of, a Walkman and two cassettes. One featured Rick Springfield’s Living In Oz with New Jersey from Bon Jovi on the other side and tape two had The Doors Morrison Hotel and Zodiac Mindwarp’s Tattooed Beat Messiah.
What more could a man possibly need on a shamanic quest to find himself?
I can’t recall ever feeling more like anything was possible than I did back then when I had nothing - and while this isn’t an attempt to reduce myself to the meagre possessions of Gandhi - it is certainly an attempt to get down to what’s either useful or beautiful… and the one thing I’ve discovered already is that very little truly belongs in either category.
Thus, my codex for the future is going to be something like:
Tread softly and leave a big fucking scar in the wind
...which I think is harsh enough not to be called a tree-hugging hippie. Hugging things ain't gonna fix jack. What the world needs is a warrior and warriors don't carry backpacks full of crap around with them.
Ummm... that might be taking it a little too far but the sentiment is there.
The wisdom of samurai is priceless.
As a footnote to this on the subject of music, I've done my time with vinyl. I have no regrets about handing the magic of it down a generation. I've spent more money on vinyl than I ever did on books for years on end. I've tried to resurrect what I felt for it but in the real world, jacking my iPhone into Creature Speakers has more power behind it than any record deck I've ever owned...
...and if MP3 is the worst format in the world, that's OK because my ears are so hammered after all those years, I honestly can't tell the difference any more.