I Guess It's Winter Already

Here in the Midwest, autumn lasted about 2 weeks. We were just settling down to some pleasantly chilly temperatures after the summer heat, and then overnight, 6 inches of snow in mid October. The earliest snow in 104 years.

Now I’m sitting here in our half-finished kitchen, and bright wintery sunlight is flickering in the doorway, through the leaves of the hackberry outside.

Recently we’ve started watching the TV show “Alone”. It’s pretty captivating. Ten people get put in a remote, uninhabited location far away from each other. They have their choice of ten survival items (sleeping bag, tarp, fishing line, axe, saw etc.), plus some personal items like clothing, and they have to survive there as long as they can. At any point they can use their radio to tap out and be picked up, ending their time there. Apart from a monthly medical check-up, they’re totally alone. If they’re the last one there, they win half a million dollars.

The people who tap out early are the ones who go there thinking that they just want to win. Usually they are men who have watched the show and thought to themselves “I could do that for half a million bucks”. They often do well at the start, but then there comes a point where they get bored. They have no interest in the land, in being alone, in creating anything, admiring anything, or doing anything other than catching food and building their shelter.

The ones who stay a long time are the ones who actually enjoy being out there. Some of them have such love and affinity for the world around them. It’s funny how much more there is to surviving than just eating and getting things done.
I fell deeply in love with a piece of music a week or so ago, and am just coming out the other side of listening to it over and over again, in my head or otherwise. It’s the piece “Cavatina” by Stanley Myers. I came across this recording of the guitarist John Williams playing it, and it just took me over. Everything about it. It reminded me of when I was 14 and I saw Craig Ogden perform at my school, and I bought his CD “Guitar Meditations” afterwards from him. It was the only classical guitar I had ever really heard. It is full of crazy guitar tunings, chords that come out of nowhere and seem to defy imagination. It was unlike anything else I listened to, then and for a long time afterward. It was just singular. I felt almost ashamed at how unusual it was and how much I loved it. Like, why does no one else listen to this or know about it?

For some reason I was listening to a piece from that CD recently, which I had named on my iTunes “Incantation No. III”. I looked it up online and discovered that the full title is “Incantation No. III, “Homage to Stanley Myers””. Thus began the search for Stanley Myers, and my discovery of his piece “Cavatina”. Here’s the video of John Williams playing it. Enjoy :)