Editorial License

Rob Hammerton, music educator etc.

Confession and (Re-)Connection -or- Where Ya Been?

Hi everyone.

I know. It’s been months.

This was not the plan.

There’s been plenty to write about.

And honestly, it’s not that my schedule, my life, has been that jammed full of every possible commitment and activity that I didn’t have time to sit and park a few thoughts on the Blogge.

I could have gone on and on about, say, current politics. Plenty of writers have done so, and very eloquently and movingly – not that this truth would have deflected me from writing on that topic, as well. I’m not that humble.

My musical life has careened onward at its standard pace. I could have scribbled (metaphorically) a few notes (ha) about all that.

Yes, I had a root canal recently. But it was my tooth that hurt, not my typin’ fingers.

Somehow, several months have gone by.

A friend of mine suggested that it would be a much bigger deal if this were a paid-subscription blog. In that case, then, yes, I would have to process a few refunds!

But still, there are people – not just automated bots, but actual people – who signed up to get eMail blasts every time I published something. They didn’t have to do that. No one was forcing them. They did it – I presume – because they enjoyed something I wrote, and were interested in reading the next one, and possibly even the next one. I need to respect that.

There are others who didn’t sign up, but let me know that they were reading faithfully anyway. I need to respect that, too.

Those are connections.

Connection – most especially these personal connections, with longtime friends and newer friends and friends I’ve never actually met in person! – is something that has become, to me, more important-seeming in the last three or four months of navigating current events. Not that you would know it from my blog activity … so what say we show a little evidence of that?

Write. Write write write.

Will do.

Stand by. Powering back up. Re-acquiring signal. Re-establishing connection. Resurrecting blog in 3… 2… 1…

May 19, 2017 Posted by | blogging, writing | , , , | Leave a comment

In the Bubble

Tiny update for those who have visited here since Tuesday’s election:

Regarding my thought, two posts ago, that “I think that in any case, I’m not in the right frame of mind, yet, to reach out and try to communicate with the People who will one day need to be reached” … yeah, two days isn’t enough time to get into that frame of mind.

A co-worker of mine said to me today, “good Lord, stay off Facebook for a week. It’s better that way.”

And, you will recall, on Wednesday morning, I completely failed at that avoidance. And I still am failing. But I think at least partly that’s because I have so many friends upon the Facebook machine who are hurting and angry and terrified, and are posting about it, and I don’t wish to ignore them or try to make myself feel better about the world by swerving away from friends.

There are people out there who don’t have that option because every time they step out into the world, now, they risk verbal and physical abuse, just for looking like who they are – or even for looking like who somebody else thinks they are.

So wouldn’t you think the exceptionally, extremely, very very least I can do would be to go and read what they have to say?

I imagine (with no malice whatever on my part, because he’s a fine feller) that my very well-meaning co-worker might say in response to that … you’re a glutton for what? Punishment?

No. I’m not the one who’s feeling the punishment.

And on Wednesday morning, I did step gingerly into the Facebook world, afraid of what I might find but somehow needing to.

And something that I found there in surprisingly great measure … yes, alongside the genuinely frightened and sometimes frightening status posts … was affecting in a different way, and caused me to post, myself, although in no way had I expected to be able to contribute anything.

There are times when it’s not productive to live in a bubble. There are times when it’s important to step out of your bubble, your comfort zone, and find out what the rest of the world is thinking – again, so you can engage them intelligently.

This wasn’t one of those.

My apologies to those of my set of Facebook compatriots who have already read this, but … in the spirit of clutching tightly to something, anything, remotely positive this week … and in the spirit of appreciating the moments in your life when it’s blindingly obvious that you’re surrounded by angels in the form of people who are well-spoken and thoughtful even when they ought to be panicking … who even seem to panic gracefully … who can prop other people up even as they’re needing propping-up themselves …

Here’s what I offered up to those angels inside my bubble, early Wednesday morning.

 

As it turns out, I have gone on Facebook this morning.

Didn’t want to.

Didn’t plan to.

My curiosity got the best of me.

As I was doing so, I forlornly hoped that it wouldn’t be the bad decision that I knew it would be.

Every instinct was telling me, no, no, no, don’t.

Because last night when I signed off, despair was coming off the screen in waves.

And today, the cold morning light was just that. The sky was flat and grey.

Every instinct was telling me, roll over, pull the blankets up over you, get a little more sleep.

But that wasn’t happening.

And my every waking thought about any earthly subject had been, for several hours now, considered through a new and distinctly not-very-rose-colored pair of glasses.

Every instinct was telling me, hunker down, protect yourself, go fetal, put on your crash helmet.

But something dragged me over to the computer and logged me in, here.

And I’m glad.

The despair, of course, is still there.

And I can only imagine what various segments of the population — among them some of my dear friends — are feeling this morning. Despair might be merely a starting point.

But the vast majority of the things I read this morning made me glad to have come here.

The things that I read … reinforced for me that I am privileged to be connected with remarkable people upon this little social media platform — whether we’ve been lifelong friends, or have never actually met in person!, or anywhere in between.

You wrote many things that I could not have written.

That I hope to write.

That I can’t yet.

And I’m not even gay, or Muslim, or Mexican, or African-American, or female, or a journalist. Or a parent who has to guide their kid in this moment.

So I have a certain amount of firewall that others don’t have.

But what was written here … what I’ve read here … will keep me from tipping over until the equilibrium returns.

I have gone on Facebook this morning.

Didn’t want to.

Didn’t plan to.

My curiosity got the best of me.

And I got the best of you all.

Onward ‘n’ upward.”

November 11, 2016 Posted by | blogging, current events, Facebook, friends, heroes, Internet, news, politics, social media, writing | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The 31-Day Blog Challenge, Day Thirty-One: Counter-Intuitive

Today’s writing prompt:

31 DAY BLOG CHALLENGE, DAY 31: “weird quirk of mine”.

 

Now what kind of a Big Finish is that, for thirty-one days of introspection and navel-gazing and self-absorption and all those things that make life worth living?

Having known for some time that I’m plenty weird to begin with (hello Star Trek, hello marching band) … aaaaaand loving it … I though that to identify an extra-special-weird quirk was going to take some time.

Having also set out in print here the conditions under which I managed to become an outright crier, the last two times, namely the sudden passing of a very important person in one’s life … I find that one particular truth about me kinda turns that on its head.

Yes, I get teary. But not during most of the memorial services I’ve gone to; not in many of the situations during which one might expect this. I didn’t even choke up when Han Solo, well, when he had a tough conversation with his son. (Spoiler alert.)

Instead … I tear up at the good stuff.

 

Por ejamplo:

[] A couple of Christmastimes ago, the manipulative sons of guns who create ads for Apple’s iPhone released one that choked me up good. You may remember the 90-second-long ad wherein a great rollicking wintertime family reunion is going on, and everyone seems to be having a blast, except for the teenager who seemingly only wants to look at his iPhone, and not any of his family members. He’s never shown interacting with anyone else at all. The assumption is: he’s sulking. He’s shy. He’s a teenager. He’s the one island of “harumph” in an ocean of revelry. And then the family gathers around the living room TV and they end up watching a video montage of footage from the family reunion, set to a stereotypical example of heartwarmingly-sentimental music, and it turns out that the kid has been assembling this creation all along. And his grandmother gets all teary. And that’s it for me too. Pass the Kleenex.

[] The last scene of the movie “Notting Hill.” Or of the movie “About Time”. Or of the movie “When Harry Met Sally”, or “You’ve Got Mail”, or any of the other eighteen-thousand romantic comedies that have been released in the last quarter-century. Awww! They got together in a quirky way. Pass the Kleenex. Dang it.

[] Toward the end of the 2013 Carolina Crown drum corps show, at Finals … you know … the one where the narration about halfway through includes things like, “Two lovers sat on a park bench…” … “There was silence between them … so profound was their love for each other, they needed no words to express it…” … Oh, just go watch the thing, particularly the last five minutes. … “’How much do you love me, John?’ she asked. He answered, ‘My love for you has no limits, no bounds. Everything must have an ending – except my love for you.’ Impossible, you say?” And that doesn’t even get me. It’s the entire last two minutes of the show, when the hornline was playing impossibly loudly and impossibly in-tune and impossibly together, fast rhythms and sustained chords, like no other drum corps brass group I’ve ever heard, before or since. Every single time I watch that show, that sound (set up well by the music that comes before it) gets me.

Pass … the … Kleenex.

 

Yeah. I tear up at the happy stuff.

 

P.S. And for those who know what I’m talking about, there are always the “Five for Fighting” and “Feels Like Home” moments that make me glad I’m sitting in the back of a darkened auditorium.

May 31, 2016 Posted by | blogging | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment