Friday, February 20, 2009


JAMBALAYA


I'd just gotten off the evening train and was gingering my way along the snow-covered platform out here in the boonies of the most different country in the world - the nation of sushi, sashimi, ramen, gagaku, minyo, enka and various other food and musical forms - when into my ears from out of my iPod (filled for me by brother Mick, back in Santa Barbara) came the time-tripping voice of country-and-western deity songwriter Hank Williams, singing Jambalaya, crawfish pie and-a fillet gumbo...

What a chronic surprise it was to suddenly be so far away from then and there! The peerless tune and lyrics evoked their own jambalaya of memories -- that lakeside cabin way back in the New York 50’s where they played Hank Williams all the summer days long on the phonograph... and those shimmering highways winding along the red earth of the south, those ancient trees draped with Spanish moss fading into distances ahead... images immediate yet so remote here in the cold and dark on the other side of world and time-- what a psychodistance I traveled in those moments, living back along life while making my way toward the stairs to the foot of the mountain...

5 comments:

Maltese_Falcon said...

I've just found your blog by chance and skimmed through some of the entries. I really think that you are very talented at expressing yourself in writing. Very natural, fresh, imagistic and wittily insightful. I'm impressed at how even though your entries are personal, they seem free of any authorial centrality and self-absorption.
Really great stuff.

Bob Brady said...

Why thank you, kind and insightful person whose name is one of my favorite movies...

Mick Brady said...

Good to know that Hank and I were able to brush aside over half a century and a good part of a planet to conjure up that golden summer in the Adirondacks; I return there from time to time myself. :)

Amen, brother Falcon.

Maltese_Falcon said...

Oh I should have told you my name right away. Sorry about that. I'm Adrian, and unluckily I'm nowhere to being half as insightful as the name of the classic movie might infer!
This April I will be moving to Kyoto. A kind of fulfillment of a dream after 4 years of living in cities peripheral to it interspersed with a couple of returns back home. Regardless of the fact that for all its worth, Kyoto is now not much more than a tourist trap, I still believe that one can tap into traditional Japanese culture to a certain extent. Anyway, I'll be able to verify that soon hopefully.
This brings me to the reason why I enjoy your blogs so much. Whereas many online blogs I tend to encounter are not more than self-absorbed rants or superficial representations of the place, yours stand in start contrast. Most of your entries, in my opinion, are more like ruminations about the parts of it that have by and large gone hidden in pure sight. It all seems to reflect in turn something about ourselves that has suffered the same fate. I think you pointed this out clearly in last part of your entry entitled: Walking with a Child. It's a lot like what Rousseau said I guess: Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains.
I also really enjoy how you juxtapose it all with observations, and lots of times critique (I think) of urban life, with a sense of nostalgia mixed in. WHile I was reading your entry 'Real Streets', it kind of felt like a few hundreds of years were being encapsulated in a nutshell.
And funnily enough, I was sitting on the bus reading a book today while the person next to me was rummaging agitatedly through a magazine, while another person across the aisle from me was fidgeting with his mobile phone. Immediately I recalled your entry Newspaper Longevity Ramble. I fortuitously read that a few days ago. Must be the reason why I'm writing the comment here now.

Bob Brady said...

Thanks for that, Adrian. Insightful nourishment to a mountainside scribbler. Hope your Kyoto experience is positively profound.