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Paul Desmond riffing on his alto saxophone. For All We Know.

Reflections on a stream that come and go with the intricacies of improvisation.
That can’t help but be what they are --  us in reverse.

That we never get to see as we are.
Never get to know as we are.
Haunted by beauty.
Drawn by scent and touch imagined.
By the taste of Memory heard and gone.
A here and now, place and time, that can never be.

Yet the Now that you will always be to me.

Shorty Baker riffing on his trumpet. I Didn’t Know What Time It Was.

A call for love from time out of time.
And I didn’t know.

Notes gently trailing a caress across the whorl of preoccupation
Lifting me out of cold blankness into the warmth of acceptance.
By the vulnerability of subject in a room full of objects.
Cause beyond effect that needs no intoxicant, no commotion
To excuse the brashness of its intrusion.

I’m not done with it.
Can never be done with it, your call for Love.

Alyosha bidding Dostoevsky’s farewell. The Brothers Karamazov.

“There is nothing more wholesome and good
Than sacred memory preserved from childhood.
Let us be kind, then honest

And then let us never forget each other.

“You are all dear to me.
From this day forth I have a place in my heart for you all,
And I beg you to keep a place in your hearts for me.”

Prayer from within that animates relationship
touched by Love
that flourishes in minds and hearts untouched by distraction without --
the Love we carry within.

Knows only this –
the light and the warmth of the sun
the sounds of innocents at play in the forest
the interplay of color in shades of beauty
the fragrance of happiness, freshness of the Now
fulfillment and peace in ecstasy.

The barrier without was always there
the separation that made it
and would seem to divide us, the difference now
its darkness has been brought to the light.

We pass through without judgment
as it passes through
unremarked and unlamented
for it is a thing of no real consequence.

In due time, in the light of Understanding
it will be gone.

And we will be here
as we were and always will be
at one with one another
at one with prayer, the Love we carry within.

It was just a polite request:
Make me understand, and you did
With definitions at first, words
That frame a thought and then
We moved on
To the thoughts themselves and where
They come from

Make up a story you said,
And so I did, a fable from out of nowhere
And then a poem
That made them wonder more

Questions I couldn’t leave alone
And what for? And so I moved on
Trailed by my retinue of words
Definitions, thoughts, questions
Skimming the surface unaware
Of what lay below

I thought to get at it that day
My friend and I, Royal Portable, but not now
Just the California sun to caress my soul
The wonder of it all, the life yet to be lived
With nothing yet to say, so the publisher
Was right

Blank again the page and silence its message
Staring back at me when next I tried
In earnest, not content to feel
I would meet you upon this honestly
But who are you? What is it that’s there?

[to be continued]