Earlier this afternoon I walked a little over a mile in the cold. I was wearing my scuffed leather jacket, ripped jeans and a cap that my youngest daughter knitted for me a couple of years ago. It was good to be out and moving. Moving briskly against a brisk wind.
I'm almost finished reading Neil Young's memoir Waging Serious Peace. It's a loopy book. I mean that in the best sense. It meanders as conversation does, as anecdotes and memories do. I like that Neil actually wrote it himself, that it wasn't ghosted (though it is obviously haunted). It has all the perfections and imperfections of an intimate conversation with a friend.
As I am writing this I am listening to Young sing 4 Dead in Ohio. It is, of course, a song about events that happened in the town I've lived in for the last 40 years. Watching Neil Young's Journeys, Jonathan Demme's documentary about Young's solo concert in Ontario, I sob like a baby when he does this song--especially in the parts paired with May 4th footage.
I haven't been able to make progress with Appearances for weeks. Finally today I had an insight that allowed me to go back and make some changes and also to begin a new section. My plan at the beginning of the year had been to have a rough draft by the end of the year. If I'm lucky I'll have at least half of a rough draft by the end of the year. If I'm lucky.
James Joyce spent twenty years working on Finnegan's Wake. I need to think about that level of commitment. Except that I don't think I'm going to live that long. And except that I know I'm no James Joyce.
Who and what am I? Too late to ask 8 months away from 60?