Jim Trainer

Going for the Road #3: The North Creek Blues

In blogging, Jim Trainer, travel, travel writing, Writing on July 21, 2015 at 4:07 pm

7/19/15, 10:29 AM
Minerva, NY

Ain’t much happening in North Creek. Smoking a Marlboro on the sun porch. The wind through the tops of the trees is a warm bliss hissing, something I forgot about living under the barren palms of Texas-trees offer a perfect example of how to be. Suddenly I am so very glad we came, and that’s what the trees are saying. 1,977 miles may not seem like much to an old road dog like me, but I slept in fits, was woke suddenly in the middle of the night remembering the Preacher’s daughter. Remembering that I forgot to wish her a happy birthday, rather, I was swept up by the road, geared and up on my haunches behind the wheel, geeked on Marlboro Reds and gas station salad. I had to get up several times last night to tend to the Boss which means he had even less sleep than I did. I can’t complain, what sleep I did get was deep, and total, and I was able to dream lucidly of her and it made me smile and it made me hard. I was woke by the screeching of the loon. There’s something beautiful and lonesome about her calls. Shrill yet deep, they resound off the lake and through the bowl of the mountains. Her call is able to communicate how vast and empty it is out there and the more you listen to it the more you discover it’s quite mad sounding, and unhinged. A far cry from that glorified pigeon of a mourning dove. The common loon makes the mourning dove sound like an ungrateful toddler. The loon she is old and lonesome and quite insane on a placid sheet of lake at dawn screaming her fucking head off. There’s Izzy.

Between me and the lake I can see the Boss’mother out there throwing a ball for Dakota her little buddy. I am always thrilled to see her and will constantly try to persuade her to smoke a Marlboro with me. She’s 83 with every bit of wry WASP sass she ever had. Makes me think that in her younger days she was a real badass. The kind of trouble you like. She’s a storm of a woman and wise. You can sense her years but would never guess her age. And so, it keeps coming back to the crone, for me. God knows I spent enough time worshipping the maiden, and the mother I never put enough time into, but always tried. The crone she knows about the end of all this. All this glory and impermanence, life’s roaring and fleeting parade. She knows about the masks on all the faces. She’s old enough to know that masks will go slack, and slide down your old bones, to reveal not a face but a presence. Which is all we can offer this life, and all this life can offer us-a moment, fully aware, is perfect. Moments labeled agony will seem to last forever, and we shut ourselves out, we steel ourselves to it and deny it to ourselves, deny ourselves to it. And moments of bliss, when labeled, are gone.
Sadness and mourning need us too, friend, and we must make ourselves available to them.

After leaving the cult of Christianity, the only thing, besides my father’s death to give me pause spiritually was Buddhism. It was as simple and profound as when Bass Player X offered it to me on a roaring autumn day in West Philly. He said he would pray for my dad. A queer thought for an admitted iconoclast and nihilist post punkrocker like me. The dead need us. The dead need our prayers. This spoke to me and quite specifically had me recognize the power of the living, the whole Herman Hesse deal. We live only in each other’s hearts. God is wherever 2 or more of you congregate. If we live only in each other’s hearts than we only die there as well. But we don’t have to. Love is stronger than death.
All you have is your work. And for me, my work is in your heart. And it’s out there in the ether which could explain my lifelong love affair with radio. And I’ve always been hip to the bluesman’s charge-get it out there, out of you, holler it high into the air, conjure and put the bad bitch down. The blues is just a good man feelin bad. And as I told the Boss on the final leg, those blues men of yore will smoke a thousand Dave Grohls and they’ll do it all by themself with a 12 string and a polyrythmnic blueprint of rock and roll and their father’s song. With a country twist. A little country never hurt anyone.

Jim Trainer
Minerva, NY

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  1. them words are a nice journey…drank in with my coffee

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