Please read the definition of “travesty,” and stop misusing it. This goes especially for the “journalists” on TV news shows. I try not to get too snooty about words, but this one is just annoying.

I have been writing a book, which is part of the reason I have not updated this blog in so long. My goal has been to write an average of a thousand words a day. I have not met this goal. I did, however, pass the ten-thousand-word mark this morning. That’s about 40 pages, which is enough material to say definitely, “Yes, I am writing a book.”

I also made another piece of music. It is months old at this point, but I thought I would put it up here. I like it, and I will probably work on it more in the future. It’s my experiment in “process music,” an appealing thing to my mathematical mind.

Percussion Phase 1 Take 2

I will write something worth reading soon.

Over the past year, I have spent a great deal of time trying to understand music – what a scale is, why certain tones sound good together and others don’t, etc. I’ll be writing about all that as soon as I get used to my new keyboard layout, but meanwhile, here is my first musical composition! I wrote this using Acoustica Mixcraft, a very good music program ala Garage Band.

Opus #1 for 2 Cellos in C Major

This morning an old black woman say in front of me on the train. She smelled wretched; she had what my friend Mark had once called “a geriatric smell.” I did not move from my seat, mostly because there was nowhere to move to. I felt short of breath, as I frequently do, but the woman’s cloying smell was overwhelming and I could not catch my breath. I tried to just read my book, in which Thomas Merton was describing his surroundings on Perry St. in Greenwich 1939:

The air outside my window is quiet, and light hangs among the leaves and is soft and blue and warm. In one of the next houses I could hear pots in a kitchen, and water running from a tap, and I can hear the voices of kids. … This sunlight, this warm air, the sounds of the kitchen, speak of God’s goodness and His mercy. I can sit here all day, now, and think of that, and ask God to show me everywhere more and more signs of His mercy, and His goodness, and to help me regain my liberty. Peace.

Merton would later take vows as a Trappist monk.

I was breathing only through my mouth now, something I am unaccustomed to doing as I am so often short of breath. I chose not to complain within my mind to an imaginary listener, but instead to begin writing down my experience. This too was a change. As the train pulled in to Glenside where I work, I considered remaining on the train, to extend my experience. I chose not to, however, and went to work.

Next Page »