25 October 2003

tonight we played stardust again. it was so lovely.
some of you know that this is maybe my favorite song. i made a recording of it that makes me tingle every time i listen to it (usually listening to my own music makes me swear out loud to my former self. "what the fuck...come on...stupid, imposter, stupid!"), and thessaly or parnell will tell you that i play it around the house an embarrassing amount of the time. those chords are just perfect, just perfect.

i didnt fall in love with the song until i worked on a cruise ship last time, from july-sept 2001. we played it during our big band sets from time to time, but it was still nothing special. then all hell broke loose and i found myself (i decided, i created) coming home early to a heartbreaking situation...my state of mind on the boat that last week was indescribable. never have i been more uncertain of everything, both the external world, the feelings and actions of others, and the internal, my own frenetic thoughts and feelings and pains and ideals. i walked around the ship in an emotionally sapped daze, which was fine for my coworkers because i had told the authorities that i was going home because my girlfriend had breast cancer, the incredibly poor taste and bad karma of which has been pointed out to me several times, thank you. anyway.

so one of our very last nights, were playing big band to a small crowd on the tenth deck late at night. it is the second set and i am drunk. very drunk, almost too drunk to be playing, the drink special that night beng tom collinses. who knew i had such a weakness. and im sad and crazy and really on the edge, just about to shatter into a million pieces, and the notes on the page in front of me are blinking and dancing in a liquor haze. i am swaying, but my hands are locked to the keys playing, playing, but i am not there.

and then stardust gets called. we start playing it, and im in a trance already and when the chorus hits suddenly im gone and and oh my god, the saxophones! the saxophones are playing counterpoint to the trumpets melody throughout, all voiced in velvet rich thirds. they hit these whole tone runs that ripple through my soul like electric wine, sounds like the ocean and the speed of light. the song is stardust, and i can see the stars inside of me. and every sound around me- the ride cymbal swinging in celebration, the bass landing on each note like it was a planet, the tinkling glasses in the crowd, the rocking of the boat on the blackblue sea, all this movement through time, sounds so wonderful, so holy, and i look at my hands and see them doing their familiar acrobatics and finesses, but i see them for the first time and see how amazing they are and realize that i am creating this moment, but im not thinking about it, it is just happening all around me and i seem to be everywhere at once. everything was synced. i am choosing the notes to play without being conscious of it, i am creating outside of my mind and have obtained somehow that zen moment of one taste, of nondual being, where subject and object become blurred and indistinct. this is what music is for, i remember, this is that place of emptiness and creation all at once...i am not there, only spirit is there, creation, and it is the most beautiful sound i have ever heard, because it was the world, the whole universe right there, moving through time, and i knew that everything was all right. everything was empty and full of beauty and light. everything was everything.

that was the night i understood time, tasted music as a oneness and became god, and was sure of it. its a moment i have forgotten far too many times in my life since. but tonight we played stardust again and i got to stop thinking again, and i felt love the love of the sea and sky love and creation all around me.