a joy these last few weeks has been rebuilding an old piano. its good to be with the hands again, creating with solid objects, practical, working, not this ethereal creative crap of my day to day. here is sound with elmers carpenter glue and particular screwdrivers and *parts* ordered from a special website (ips, go and feel the back of a scifi pulp glee of a boy in the fifties), parts that come special delivery, oh mailday bliss oh, and such beautiful names: backcheck, jack, flange, punchings, bushings, action felt. the action: the entire inside of the piano, the wriggly wood combo that connects key to string, times 88, is all called the action, the action. action felt, yes it is. and i repairing, regulating, soon to tune and voice as well, these small meticulous tasks tingle from fingertip to lip to slip deep within and counter the wild leaf blown world on the surface, where all is blown into a delirious and borderless leaving me reeling, groundless skyless heartless clueless. thank you these simple moving parts who ground me with their physical logic.
today while placing a screw small in a place smaller i saw my grandfather grin back at me from the within the row of hammer shanks that are the pillars of the piano actions architecture; there his face roaming the single alleys of doweled wood, his head floating through and smiling at my clumsy fingers, fingers supple to ease the art out of this instrument but nevertheless too fat when dealing with the small crevices between damper spoons and flanges. i think he gets it, i think he really does; that all this above the wood is whirl and curl and just so much wind...my heart may pound furiously in the midst, but all that passion and stress in the end is over air, timeshadows though an ever moving sunbeam gone so soon...rn reminded me after our understudy crisis in 'cabaret' that our profession, the theater, is so bizarre in its hyperbole; its a fucking play. its a fucking play, its a fucking song - - and then: its a fucking feeling, its a fucking heart. its not the ground beneath my feet, the wood and felt and brass and strings wound tight held together with screws too small and elmers carpenter glue too rich.
the actions that i perform are truth; they are what i do, and what i do is who i am. the action is the inside of the piano, its the diamond not the box. action, act; ive been acting, so strange; its causing me to lose my sense of truth. which is dangerous for an artist, where the subjective truth is the only objective ground one can count on; so much truer to me always has been "this song is right" than anything else true untrue. yesterday i was on the phone with a lady/wall trying to get a credit card charge reversed (the free trial for "entertainment rewards" coming back to haunt me. though i did get a free ticketmaster ticket out of it) and i decided to act kind of crazy. ive done that before. but if im acting crazy, im crazy. if im conscious of my actions, am i acting? is that all it is? is it only acting if its not true, or only not true if its acting? but now leaves blowing detour whirlwind are a bit much sometimes, there is something in my eyes, i cant see myself,
science math and physics, elmersglue, thats true, its true. so just hold on to that, and let the rest fall where it may. i think ive learned in my old age (the third decade has caused many changes in me, amongst them purchase of health insurance and a vacuum cleaner) to stop trying to force truth; if its there it will and if not it will not. on the surface just simple wood felt brass glue hold it together hold it hold it together. layers of three a red onion gossamer peel around my egg hard boiled.
my heart is only so much, under the action a subsurface secret truth that even i am not allowed to know.