Blue Angel of the Main Station
by Reza Ganjavi
A letter about nature of thought & music by the lake
Thanks for the note.
> he and Diane have separated after nearly 21 years of marriage.... It is all very sad in many ways...
Somehow I am not surprised to hear about John's divorce - a 50% divorce rate is not unusual - I don't know about UK statistics... makes you wonder about the institution of marriage-as-we-know-it.
If you go to the root of it, division, separation, is the way of the human culture, because of the self-centered mode of our behavior. The self, is made from thinking, and thought is limited, and that which is limited is divisive. Thought has a place in scientific, practical things, but when it enters relationship it divides! And human culture has over-emphasized thought, given it all importance; therefore, it has become the dominant and driving process in our minds.
When thought learns about its own limitation, in the mirror of its daily relationships, how it gives birth and sustains the self., the "me", as an entity separate from "you", then it can quiet down "naturally" (vs. by force of control or repetition which is silly). The divisive self-centered activity extends itself beyond the house to the neighborhood and eventually to the world and becomes the conflict in the Middle East! The "me" in this case is my tribe, my nation, my religion vs. yours. So the root of division is in the human head, and body, depending on how unhealthily one lives. :-)
> How is the new CD coming on? I hope that all your projects bring you satisfaction and fulfillment.
I am preparing to just go in and do it! The more prepared I am the less time it will take.
But of course it takes a many hours and days - alone - to prepare. But also, part of the preparation is to play for people, and this brings in money which is necessary too. Yesterday had a special day - well, every time I play for people it is special! We had rain in the morning, but in the afternoon, after my cousin's (Dr. Mehrkhast) visit, too the gear to the lake. The rain had stopped and there were many people there. Had a "blast"! The first tip came from a Persian guy who stayed for a long time. The best part of these engagements are the children - they so freely run to one, and move to the music.
Often their parents have to drag them away. The Swiss - specially the German speaking whom I am very familiar with and have high regards for - are particularly keen on exposing their kids to music and musicians. They help the child get over his shyness and teach him how to give a coin to the musician. This child grows up and does the same to her kids. This is part of how this culture is amazingly appreciative for arts. I have not yet met a Swiss German kid who has not played one form of another of an instrument - the most common one being a recorder (Blockflöte).
I went over all my… performance-grade tunes, another round of polishing and refinement. After eating, played the next CD's repertoire at the main station. It was late at night and the children were sleeping, but now the grown-up children were around – the older ladies and gentlemen who delighted at the music and listened carefully. A lady stopped by whom I knew from the lake last year - she had bought my CD, and once even called me the second Elvis!!
An older, bigger lady with a very big heart. She said the (hunchbacked) blue-angel-of-main-station likes my music and was wondering where I was from. She told me about her: "She stands behind her wheelchair from morning till night at the station - she prays for the tourists". Many people know her and stop by and give her things and flowers. I talked to her for the first time last night.
The nice thing about playing out like this is that you are your own boss – no one is
paying you a salary so you can do what you want. You can stop a song in the middle to say in Farsi, "Lady, are you Iranian?", or to tell a passerby smoker: "What's your excuse for smoking?", conduct an interview with another smoker, tell a child to tell her mom and dad not to smoke, or play a Bandari song per request!