Ida and a Summery November Sunday

Listening to one of the records I bought last night at the Ida show. This is so beautiful. A song called “Don’t Wreck it.” It’s on an EP called “My Fair, My Dark.”  The music of Ida (Daniel Littleton, Liz Mitchell and Karla Schickele, with lots of special guests) is deeply spiritual in the truest sense. It spreads time out, connects you to the past and future simultaneously with an aching appreciation. I’m getting up to replay “Don’t Wreck it” for the 4th time. Hang on.

Standing in the audience last night at Union Hall in Park Slope, they seduced me as they always have. First with gentle beauty, then with that ache, personal and deep. Finally with amazement at the subtlety and magnificence of their artistry. Liz’s voice alone would be enough, but it is rarely alone and the harmonies of their three voices are gorgeous. They invited me to come to Woodstock to record with them, which I’d love to do but wonder if I will. I know they were sincere and I would genuinely love to. Even to be an ahh in their wall of ahh’s I would love to go. But going is hard now. Getting anywhere. I don’t know why.

Friday, though, I decided it was time to start living again. I ran in the park and heard my father’s voice in my head saying “live your life.” Then I thought, that’s not my father’s voice because he  wouldn’t have said “live your life.” Or maybe after all he went through at the end, he would have. Who knows. But he’s gone now. And I’m trying to shift my focus back to living my own life. Sometimes I can’t remember what I’m supposed to be doing. But hearing Ida last night filled me with the knowledge that I’ve always known what to do. Sometimes, I take the permission away from myself as if I have no right to be the person I am. When my father said “Good girl” in his last weeks, I felt I was temporarily in his good graces. But my mother tells me I am mistaken in feeling he didn’t approve of me. It was only the financial insecurity he objected to. After he died, I could feel the argument still alive in my bones. I guess it will never go away. I thought of the perfect rebuttal. “Dad, I didn’t choose music. It chose me.” And I do believe this, with all my heart. But it wouldn’t have done any good to say it to him. The important thing is I was a good daughter when it counted. Now, I have to be true to myself and live my life as it makes sense to me.

My dreams are full of images that I know are about my father. I find a dead body in one and have to clear the bugs away from  it. In another my Grandmother falls and some of the bones in her face are crushed. I was very aware of the bones in my father’s face at the end. His cheekbones were sharp and high, as my Grandmother’s were and mine will be.

Today, Doe and I walked to Central Park where I threw a stick for her. It was like summer again. I held my coat over my arm. Most of the trees were still green. I’d like to run again later, too. I’m making a commitment to go every other day. I can’t explain the way I feel things are slowly starting to come around. I’ve got the windows open and can hear lots of birds and one plane in the distance.

I want to start being more disciplined about working on music again. I’ve let it slip along with the place it holds for me, but I know I can find it  again if I can get back into a routine.

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4 Responses to Ida and a Summery November Sunday

  1. PE says:

    There is nothing like losing a parent. Just remember that your father and your mother are in you. So the best you can do for your father is be there for your mother on her new journey, as well as just be the best you on your journey.

    Will check out Ida. Look forward to your new songs when they come.

  2. Michael Dorfman says:

    “But going is hard now. Getting anywhere. I don’t know why.”

    Sometimes, when going is hard, is the best time to go. What was that Vonnegut said about unexpected travel suggestions being dancing lessons from God?…

    Hang in there.

  3. petethepop says:

    Hi Lori,

    3am here, up early in this best time of the day, listening to the wind in the trees, catching up on the last 6 months of your blog. Sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. I remember that brief meeting in the restaurant in New Suffolk, the kindness in his face, the immediate liking I felt for him.

    Your writing really is special. Sometimes, when reading you, I think it is as much or more a gift as your music. Ever think of putting together a book?


  4. PE says:

    Ida’s music is wonderful, especially that EP and that song.

    Thanks again.

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