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Tue Jan 28th, 2014


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12:09 pm - Musicians and intimations of mortality
Pete Seeger was thirty years older than me, meaning he was that generation's definition of middle-aged when I first became aware of him. (Once upon a time 45 was middle-aged. How intensely strange.) And just hitting a new stride, which is more than a lot of the 60s generation of musicians can say. Back in the 70s and 80s, the idea of major musicians still being *alive* at 45 seemed uncertain.

Oddly, I didn't know him as a singer the way a lot of younger people did. Maybe it's the nationality? He was evidently a Living National Treasure in the US, very close to its history. I learned him from the next generation down-- Baez, Dylan, Peter Paul and Mary, the Kingston Trio, Judy Collins, even The Byrds: I'd have been surprised to learn as a teenager that Turn Turn Turn was his, and The Bells of Rhymney, which is half his.

So I'm not devastated by his death: 'he lived a good life and he had a good end'. More, good-bye and thanks for all the songs.

Occurred to me that the current sense of timelessness owes also to the cold sunny weather, like many remembered or dateless Januaries. 2003, say, writing the first dragon stories: exactly like that. Of course, I didn't feel this way three weeks back in the first Polar Vortex, climbing over the ice floes in my grippers and cane and double-bagged all over; so maybe it's more the sunny cold weather I don't have to go out in? Oh yes: 2003 off work with an extracted tooth and high level painkillers- truly the worst pain I've been in, including post-car accident. A legitimate reason to stay home, a legitimate disincentive to go out (-25 wind chill, yes) and the disappearance of work from the mental radar = instant time travel.

But since one must work-- and I could have, every day this week, if I said yes to all the people who've called me so far-- I need to discover some mental trick that will allow me to basically not bring work concerns home with me. A hobby and a social life might do it, but mental discipline is probably more come-at-able than either of those.

In semi-TMI, evidently one of the body's Neat Tricks is to dispose of fluid without mh ejecting fluid. This makes more sense when you're, lettussay, bicycling in Spain in an 80-years-record heat wave: litres of water just disappear into nowhere. It's odder when you're merely virus-struck and knocking back water and being informed, by dry mouth and day-glo yellow pee, that you're still dehydrated. However. When the body reverts to natural programming, the result is a broken night of zombie-shuffles to the bathroom a morning weight loss of two kilos. This is gratifying, like the recent bull market which saw my portfolio appreciate nicely through 2013; like the bull market it will not last- the correction is already underway- but it's nice to know it can happen.

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