Meri Walker ~ You Gave Me Strength When I Was Weak

Meri Walker ~ You Gave Me Strength When I Was Weak

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

—St. Augustine’s prayer

Happy Sunday.

Winter Blue by Knox Bronson—unmastered new mix from the album the seasons (composer’s mix). Another low-key world premier.

Twelve years ago or so, I was hiding out in Hollywood, the story of why will be told on another day, and the jig was up. I was apartment-sitting a friend’s place. Whenever she came back to town, I went back to sleeping in my car.

I was in a near-suicidal state of depression. Nothing was going according to plan. All the Hollywood bullshit had become painfully apparent. I was broke, living off a pittance of freelance work and borrowed money.

So I did what I have done so many times: I went down below to where the music is. Whatever storms rage above the surface cannot touch me down there.

I can only assume other artists know of which I speak, or anyone who has perhaps submerged him/herself in meditation, or prayer, or focused labor, which, now that I think about it, seem to be the main components of my creative process.

In the time that followed, about three weeks, I composed four songs. When I came out, these were the songs that had flowed through, each about fifteen minutes long, the seasons: I’ve always considered winter blue to be my bridge back to the world.

I wrote this letter (below) to friends sometime after I had finished the first iteration of the seasons: I was sleeping in my car again, and my dear friend Greg had recently committed suicide. You may consider this an excerpt from my planned memoir on this time, The Gentlemanly Art of Spanking, of which I have written about thirty thousand words. One of these days, when I get the magazine running smoothly, and my next three  albums released, I hope to get back and finish the book.

Herewith:

Sept. 21 2004

Friends—

Sitting in car, listening to Richard Strauss’ Death and Transfiguration, Chicago Symphony recorded live radio broadcast 1947. Reading James Lee Burke’s latest book in paperback, Last Car to Elysian Fields. It’s funny, because this is how I used to live life when I had a place. Read a book, classical music. Mars the cat-creature on the couch next to me.

It is hard to fathom the strange existence in which I now find myself. Segmented life: work 5 hrs., cafe to work on book, gym for reading doing cardio, then weights, then vocaleses in the yoga room. Shave and shower, clean clothes. Go to Von’s parking lot at 3rd and Vermont, park on side by church, read for a bit, sleep ’til morning. Coffee. Go to office. Voice has never been in better shape. Can’t wait to redo vocal demo, get some bookings.

A couple sleeps in their car nearby. I don’t like it when they park next to me. Homeless people make me uncomfortable. But I am homeless.

And while Wily Coyote is drifting back to cliff’s edge, he is still hanging over the precipice.

The funny thing: I have never felt so confident about the future. Greg’s death burned through a lot of shit I was carrying around.  Like the HoneyBun joke: I would make a spanking kit, have a laugh, throw a pie in the face of political correctness, and make money all at once, easy!

Also gone: Fear of failure and success. A lifetime supply of sadness I’ve held close like a security blanket. Couldn’t carry any more. Greg’s suicide was truly the straw that broke the camel’s back.

When I get on the other side of this, nothing is going to stop me. Thanks, Greg, my dear friend.

Funny thing: when I told Blaire about Greg’s death, she said,”Now you have another angel watching out for you.”

My first thought: “Christ, I need that many?”

Asked Blaire a while later if she could talk to dead people. She said yes. But I didn’t ask her to contact Greg. Gabriele agrees this is the right thing. Let him go.

So glad I have the registration sticker for the car – it was worth the $50 I paid Bill. It was so much work pushing police cars away as I drove, but i couldn’t risk getting pulled over. not sure of license status at the moment. No I can focus more on pulling in the money. Which will fix these trifles.

Strauss’s piece over. Now Schumann’s fourth. Not bad. He obviously listened to Louie (von B) a lot – jeez, this part sounds lifted straight out of Louie’s Seventh. Who didn’t? Wagner maybe. Screw Wagner.

O my droogies, 11:27: time for gym, vocaleses, shower.