Tag Archives: DLKeur

An Epic Session Despite Residual Effects

Nothing Else Matters

Residual effects from recording our video tribute to Chris Cornell still plaguing me, namely an ear-worm that’s been playing itself over and over in my head for a solid week, we set up for recording again, this time to record Forrest’s arrangement of Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters.

Nothing Else Matters has special significance for Forrest and I. It’s our love song, describing in music and words, how we feel about one another and, truly, about life with each other …and life in general, too. The music evokes the kindled essence of who and what we are to each other, to life, and to ourselves. The lyrics express our attitude, feelings, and perspective about life, others, society, and, yes, even the core of our love to and for one another. It’s our song in a lot of ways, far beyond normal significance.

Enough of all that stuff, though. Back to the session.

Because it’s rock, we keep it strictly in time to its intended tempo, recording under headphones to a click track …which makes it a bit of a trick, because intonation (staying on pitch) on the flute requires subtle adjustments, note by note on the fly …which requires both ears listening. To complicate things, the flute has delay (sometimes called echo) on it in places, and, later, both the guitar and the flute are under heavy distortion, the guitar chunky, the flute gritty and reedy. For me, this makes performing it a careful thing, because I must compensate accordingly for the signal lag that happens to the flute under distortion patches.

Add to that, in this session, my red light fright made my back and neck rigid with tension. Halfway through, it felt like I had knives or, maybe, ice picks, stuck, both, in the back of my neck and in my lumbar region — nasty, piercing, metallic sensations that worsened with the most subtle movement. By the end of the session, I was greedily, needily eyeing a bottle of pain killers, something I rarely ever take, no matter what. I managed to finish the session without resorting to chemical numbing, but just.

A few stretches, bends, and deep breathing techniques cleared the problem within minutes once I fled the studio, escaping outside into the night, there to assuage my taut nerves with gentle darkness and kind evening breezes. Then came the sound.

Session done, Forrest had opened up the studio windows and was playing the recording. It filtered out into the night and, listening, I felt awed. That was us!  From a distance, It sounded epic, and that’s saying something for a flute and guitar duo of a song that brings me, a woman who doesn’t cry, to the brink of tears.

“Nothing Else Matters”

So close no matter how far
Couldn’t be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
And nothing else matters

Never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don’t just say
And nothing else matters

Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us something new
Open mind for a different view
And nothing else matters

Never cared for what they do
Never cared for what they know
But I know

So close no matter how far
Couldn’t be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
And nothing else matters

Never cared for what they do
Never cared for what they know
But I know

I never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don’t just say
And nothing else matters

Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us something new
Open mind for a different view
And nothing else matters

Never cared for what they say
Never cared for games they play
Never cared for what they do
Never cared for what they know
And I know

So close no matter how far
Couldn’t be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
No nothing else matters

 

A Forced Abandon

The Internet went down. Soggy cables of a crumbling infrastructure will do that when a melt happens. Of course, it happens other times, too, but that’s usually either rodents chewing through the lines…or somebody’s highway construction project severing the main trunk. Gleefully, I took advantage of the hiatus granted me from the Net–from having to deal with servers, email, and everything cyber. It let me concentrate…or should have, on working on my projects.

First day down and, yes, me without any withdrawal symptoms (I never suffer withdrawal from losing connection. The opposite, in fact.), I worked on my audio project…until the cyberzombies who were suffering withdrawal descended, wondering if I had Internet access some way. (They know me too well, I think…and, uh-huh, I did have a way to connect, but I didn’t tell them that, because, for me, it’s only for emergencies. Using it is hyper-expensive.) Second day down, and it’s Mom’s birthday, which means everybody and their puppy either calls or shows up–no appreciable work done.

And, then, the DSL came back up…earlier than predicted. (Grumble.) There is something to be said for having no connection to the world at large, except for what’s outside your door. Life is cleaner, less cluttered, less stressful, less concerned. I prefer it that way, but the reality is that, without connectivity, I become insulated from the reality in which most people live, experiencing only the reality of localized here and now. I would have no idea if nuclear war broke out…until I became a shadow burned into the ground–no terror possible.

I remember when I lived as a recluse for long years, only coming out maybe once a month if I needed some fencing material or food staples. And to get the mail. Back then, I had an early form of Internet, too–all black screen or telnet white screen, delivered via braided copper cable that I paid a substantial amount to have run to the property from miles away. Communication was limited to text, used by few, and completely devoid of trolls, advertising, and, mostly, malevolence from black box intruders. It also was devoid of inanity, breakfast bagels, and surf-by spammers. I was reminded of that time today when, coming back online, Nathan Lowell poked his head out long enough to type of few conversant lines with Anita Lewis and me. It was refreshing to commune with people you know are intelligent and of sound character.

The point? I don’t know if there is one. Yet, I know that the Net as it stands today is completely unfulfilling as a communication and connection medium. At least, for me.

 

February 16, 2017 – Changing Weather, Virtual & Real

This morning’s chores included spreading traction sand on treacherous, water-slicked ice, because it’s so darned slippery, even with traction gear on feet and wheels, there’s just no way not to fall on butt or wind up in the snow bank. It’s raining…and, of course, flooding in some places where ice dams prevent drainage. (Not here. The water drains downhill from here. But, yes, out there.) Little cars wind up in trouble where water crests the road to levels where even jacked-up pickups roll through very slowly, carefully.

Another thaw has hit us, stripping all the remnant ice and snow from roofs and ledges. squashing down the giant snow berms and making icy slides of the mountains scraped and shoveled off the roofs. Nobody will be sledding down the garage roof, anymore, a favorite winter game for some. (Not me.)

I’m done with any labor, now, for at least an hour. Checking stats, I fill in my Excel spreadsheets with copy/paste, then nod as pre-set formulas churn out results, broadcasting them to a selected handful who will, in their turn, pass them on to others in the group. Miles away–thousands of them–my cohorts chatter on my live feed. We launched our latest project right on time in January, and, yes, our suspicions prove themselves already, though it’s only February.  Six-and-a-half weeks of tracking for specific patterns already shows the trends. I’m glad I’ve made my plans. I’m glad I’m already prepping for the changes that we suspect are happening.

February 15, 2017 – Diamonds in Experience

Frozen diamonds greeted my bare feet this morning. Refreshing to the toes and soles, I delighted in the sensation of those crisp, frozen water nodules crackling underfoot. It sleeted sometime in the night–just a little–and it coated the truck, the drive, the ground with glowing shimmers.

Experiencing what we, in zentao, call ‘moment’ keeps me vital and life enraptured. For me, that’s important for my writing, my artwork, and, yes, even for playing my husband’s music. It keeps me enthused and refreshed. Without those experiences, what would life become? Just drudgery and duty? I don’t know.

I do know that I’m never bored, never lacking passion. There’s always something fresh and new to me. For me, experiencing compounds a desire to learn more, and, then, to express anew in word, in sound, in imagery, through my art, my novel writing, my musical performances.  So, no, never lonely, never bored.

Life is full and sweet, full of delight. It’s also, of course, filled with hardship, toil, and danger, but, even inside the frenetic and the frantic, there lives ‘moment’–the play of light and shadow, the scent of soil, of wood, of sweat or blood or mud, yes, even muck, the sound of snapping wood and of the storm wind’s turbulence, the sting of frozen fingers thawing, the taste of terror fading on the tongue as panic eases. There’s always something to stimulate an awe in me.

I guess that’s why I’m flummoxed when acquaintances arrive, bemoaning loneliness and boredom. Even when I worked at a job requiring me to perform repetitively like some machine, I never experienced what they suffer, so I never know quite what to do or say. It’s not a shared experience.

Inspired Because of a Conversation

Reality_5-23-2016DLKeur_zentao.com_webStrip

I had an interesting experience today. A lonely friend arrived to perch in my dining room for several hours. Luckily, I had pretty much finished what I had on my ‘must-do’ list for the day, and two computers were engaged in rendering their assigned duties, so, while I wasn’t thrilled to be held captive by his needs, it didn’t hurt the day’s productivity. And, in fact, I guess it spurred me to break out Apophysis and set up some parameters, then render them out on my new machine. The results were satisfying, and I may use it as a cover for one of my books.

What I found interesting was realizing just how prone to cognitive dissonance are we as a species, how pervasive that condition, and how much we deny it in ourselves while criticizing others for exhibiting its symptoms. And, all the while, reality, at its absolute expression, simply is.

So, here, as the result of, both, that conversation, and the lack of time to apply myself to the one ‘wanted-to-do’ project planned for the day, is this image, which I call Reality 5/23/2016. 

The book for which I may utilize this has to do with my lifeway, zentao. There are seven non-fiction ones in the works. There may well be a couple of related novels, though writing zentao into a novel is…er…proving to be a novel experience in its difficulty. zentao likes truth, honestly, unvarnished perspectives. Anyway, so, here’s the result of all that.

Reality_5-23-2016DLKeur_zentao.com_web

The Problem with Conservatives/Libertarians/TPers and Liberals/Progressives

I’m an outlier. I believe in compassionate treatment for those who demonstrate a sense of responsibility for self and to others, but tend toward skepticism in aiding and abetting those who repeatedly demonstrate a complete lack thereof. And that’s why I just can’t and won’t embrace either of the attitudes exhibited by the Conservatives/Libertarians/TPers or the Liberals/Progressives.

As I see it, Conservatives/Libertarians/TPers measure worth of an individual by outward appearances, blithely ignoring factors that may contribute to an individual’s failure to achieve despite their hard work and best efforts, namely luck and opportunity (which is tied to luck).

Likewise, the Liberals/Progressives are equally remiss because they turn a blind eye to the fact that there are people who do NOT want to put forth any effort whatsoever to become responsible members of society. Liberals/Progressives seem to think that everyone, if given a chance, will, sooner or later, come around and give up their choice of addictive behavior, whether that’s violence against others, indolence, or feeding some personal craving.

Both camps ignore reality, the Right condemning anyone as indolent who can’t make it, despite best efforts, the Left embracing everyone (except those who don’t embrace their ideological platform) as inherently and potentially model citizens if just given enough incentive and opportunity.

Can we have some balanced approach that acknowledges reality?

 

 

Brain Silence

AboveTheClouds1Strip_web2016reSave

“The brain never sleeps.” That’s what one neurologist said to me during a break at an event I attended several years ago. I listened, nodding and smiling when appropriate, but, all the while, I was thinking, “This is news?”

It’s too obvious to me that my brain never sleeps. But it does go silent on occasion. I’m having one of those ‘occasions’, right now–brain silence.

It may be because I finally am going to get a verdict on something that’s been hanging over my head since December, something that could completely change my life. It could be that it’s just a ‘time-out’ after months upon months of often frenetically-paced ‘doing’.

It could be that I’m fed up, too–fed up with fellow-citizens, national and global, who seem bent on self-destruction, a self-destruction that was completely foreseeable as a consequence since I was in high school.

I’m not sure why my brain has gone silent, but it’s an interesting experience. I’ve had this happen a few times, mostly just before I’ve had huge perception shifts, not when some life-changing event occurred. During those times in the past, I was more robot than human, I think…just doing by rote the day-to-day ‘have-to’s, not-thinking. And I’m good–very good–at not-thinking. But this feels different. Not ominous. Rather, it feels like what is to follow is inevitable…immutable.

It’s strange.

AboveTheClouds1_web2016reSave

It’s the Possibilities

DLKeur_Contour2000_960_96dpi_web_1140Strip

One of the questions I’ve asked most in my life, from the time I could first form the word, is ‘why’? Drove my mom nuts. Drove my bad teachers nuts. Gave my good teachers a thrill, and they delighted in spurring on my curiosity. I was reading adult newspapers at three years of age…and comprehending them. I was doing algebra before third grade, quadratic equations and calculus by fourth. I read the Encyclopedia Britannica from Vol 1 through the addenda the company sent each and every year. I explored…and I’m still exploring. I’m still asking ‘why’.

For me, it’s not the answer that’s most important. It’s the question and where that question leads…to other questions. It’s the potential possibilities inherent in those questions that most intrigue me.

DLKeur_Contour2000_960_96dpi_web

Experiential Distortion

by D. L. Keur writing as herself and/or one of her numerous pen names

02142016ExDistortSqStepping into the shower, she listens to the giggling in the walls, watches light refracting in the streaming spray, smells the fragrance of freshness. Tastes it, too. She closes eyes, lessening visual stimulation. While spatially disorienting, this decreases distraction.

Narrowing focus, she concentrates upon sensation. Sound and odors fade; touch, the lesser skill, can now dominate attention. She revels in sensation: tingling, stinging, punctuated hot; dripping, streaming flow sweeping all around, swirling at her feet. Immersed in movement of the stream, her mind explores vectors and trajectories.

“Raynie, did you take the garbage out?”

The sound explodes around her. The world spins, threatening to topple her.

She extends a hand, but can’t find ‘solid’.

Concentrating, she manages to still herself enough to hold stability, despite the violent buffeting of tidal swirls that threaten to upend her. She trues to that hold, but the effort is immense. Still, she knows it’s necessary. Doing less will bring unending queries and more violent disturbances.

With a will, she splits attending from single- to multi-dedicated focus. She seeks and finds ‘speech’, the least of her capabilities, but the one most critical to maintaining comfort levels within those with whom she shares experience.

The effort makes her breathless. She coheres the necessary communication from conceptual instance into distributed linear stream, making sure the energy within that stream congeals into: meaningful, simple, concise.

Once sure, she finds, then engages mouth and tongue, that finding and engagement also requiring of her immense concentration.

“Raynie?”

“No, Mom. I’ll do it when I’m finished showering.”

“Well, hurry up. The bus will be here.”

Dedicated concentration fractured, she struggles to stabilize herself as every sense goes overload. She struggles and, with a breath, just manages appropriate response—“Okay”—then she hopes that Mom will go away so she can regain control.

Silence answers, and, as the metasphere around her calms, the skirls and buffeting exponentially diminish until they become mere ripples dissolving into echoes as they fade off down the here-now’s timeline.

02142016ExDistortSq

Getting the New Computer, Me, & Space Sorted

This week has been spent getting the new computer sorted–installing and setting up programs and the like. And, of course, I’m not even done by half. (Last week was a wash with all the connection problems…which, for the moment, seem to have settled down some). And, of course, most set-ups I’m doing require or have to do with connecting to remote locations and my websites and server…which requires a stable (what’s that?) connection. Email has proven to be the most fitful to get settled, especially with using a local client rather than some big box in the Cloud. (Never, no, uh-uh, not and compromise my clients’ correspondence, never mind my own correspondence with friends, which, admittedly, is sparse).

I’ve also been doing a lot of thinking…which has proven somewhat sobering, a little depressing, but may mean greater productivity with more satisfying outcomes.

Oh, and we got the recording studio and its dedicated computer set-up almost done, too (That required Forrest’s expertise.) That means that I will begin recording TIAM soon, along with A Gathering of Rebels (well, re-recording them).  I’ll start with short stories, first, though, to get back in practice.

Last, I set up my practice areas, which is good.  For too long things have been half-baked in the music practice department.

Next week, I’ll get back to working on some art for Marva that I started on the other computer, only to have to transfer everything to this station since I’ll be vacationing that one. (It’s tired and in desperate need of some TLC.)