I'VE BEEN THINKING

I’ve been thinking a lot lately. More than usual is how it feels. Other months and even years pass almost without reflection in this busy part of my life, but recent days have teemed with unexpected and winding musings.

I was thinking today about Scott Weiland’s pants, for example. Which I realise isn’t the catchiest of lines. But there it is. Some lime green cords, I think they are. He wore them in the video for one of Stone Temple Pilots’ more ordinary songs. Here it is now. And he wore them well. Weiland, that band’s singer, died last year of a drug overdose. He was 48. I think a lot about that - about people dying younger than I am now. And listening to him tonight I realise just how seriously he took his singing and how the critics were crueler to him than they should have been. No need for you to think about that for even a second, I suppose (unless you are one of those critics), but I have, and it feels worth putting down here. And those years I spent listening to STP and Soundgarden and Pearl Jam were good ones, I think. I wasn’t listening all of a sudden to punk and new wave as much (though I’ve returned to those lately) and I felt more at home in North America. I was growing up, finally. Bedding in, and getting better.

I’ve been thinking as well about long wooden staircases that zig and zag in bewildering ways down steep cliffs from cottages both modest and splendid, to deep Ontario lakes. I’ve seen some awful set-ups and some beautiful, architectural creations too – supportive cedar limbs planted with concrete into miles of granite that glitters in the sun so it’s like a universe being born pretty much at my feet. Ways up and down, and of connecting water and sky. Which sounds more like Led Zeppelin and the 1970s in general than it does the me I recognise.

I’ve stood on docks at the bottom of those staircases and looked over the water at the great green splashes of forest and the smoke signals of cloud. And I’ve wanted to weep at the way a person’s shoulder can appear to merge importantly with hill and valley if they stand between me and the sun. I’ve followed clients up those stairs and tried to discern from the weight of their steps ascending – are they light or are they heavy? – how keen they are on the property up top.

I’ve thought about these glacial landscapes in general more than I have since I was a kid, and on how someday I’d like to build among those erratics and drumlins, drop most summer mornings into black and nearly bottomless waters and haul myself out again, shedding the water like it’s an old skin.

And I’ve thought about the fact that I haven’t called my parents in a couple of weeks and how I‘m disappointed with myself for that neglect.

How I am saddened by Donald Trump's popularity more than I am by the man himself. There are always going to be hateful people, complete assholes, in the world, I reckon. But my ardent hope is that we will evolve soonish to the point that they are nearly univerally shunned, not embraced by millions.

I've even lingered for a few idle moments on the shit football that England’s national team plays these days, and how fucking great it must be to live in Iceland right now, if you’re a football fan (or even if you’re not).

How I’d like to know more about wine, that comes up quite a bit. And drive a new car, one that might actually move through snow, or not get hung up on every boulder turtled just above the dirt. And about saying what's on my mind, and whether that's wise as much as it is irresistible. And wanting to live forever. There's that too. And finally I arrive at how that ain’t going to happen and so I should make the most of things, be more adventurous, more attentive to the moment etc etc.

So I’ve been thinking. Nothing deep, you could say, but I suppose it’s good, or at least a start.

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