Priorities/distractions

Of the two stories mentioned in my last update, I’ve been drawn to writing the folk tale. The quest narrative and father/son theme is especially relevant right now. Next step: summarise all of my notes into a one or two page overview.

However, I’m already getting sidetracked by the temptation of new musical projects. One idea is a kind of ambient & field recording affair. The other would be single instrument compositions and improvisations. I want to travel in more minimalistic, spontaneous directions and this would have the added appeal of cutting down on the labour-intensive processes of programming and mixing. Having said that, I should probably eliminate the labour of mixing entirely by focusing solely on writing.

Andy of Grande Valise asked if Uffmoor Woods Music Club would be on hold while I work on the novel. The answer is yes but there is another Uffmoor EP in the pipeline. Romances of the Djinn will be available as soon as the cover art and some final mixing is done. Then I’ll take a break until the time is right to record a new album.

You have to throw the book against the wall

I’ve just finished reading Margaret Craven’s I Heard the Owl Call My Name. For a novel that’s 133 pages it took me a long time to read. It’s about an Anglican priest who is unaware that he has only three years to live. The bishop is told this by the priest’s doctor and sends the young ordinand to Kingcome, British Columbia to live with First Nations Indians.

The book is resonant and so poetic that it reminds me of Cornel West in the film Examined Life saying that reading Ruskin, Twain or Melville:

“You almost have to throw the book against the wall because you are so intensely alive that you need a break.”

The following passage is Jim, one of the major characters, describing the lifecycle of salmon.

“Both the males and the females die. On the way up the river the swimmer will pass the fingerlings of his kind coming down to the sea. They want to go and are afraid to go. They still swim upstream, but gently, letting the river carry them downstream tail first, and the birds and the larger fish prey upon them to devour them, and pretty soon they turn to face their dangers.”

The richness of the work is too much, although intellectually absorbed it takes time to settle at the back of the mind and deeper in the heart. So I put the book down and go back to mundane things.