On High


One piece of music that is so deserving of being replayed, revisited and rediscovered, is “My Favorite Things” by John Coltrane--McCoy Tyner on piano, recorded October 21, 1960.

It’s on my car stereo as I drive through the city, the volume higher than it should be, but not high enough. It’s before sunset--the light makes its way over the buildings and lands forcefully across the architecture of Fifth Avenue.

The music reaches in and grabs at joy, brings it to the surface, and everything everywhere is just the way it should be. Faces smile on street corners, and I can’t help but laugh. At the absurdity of my sorrow, and at the understanding I am on a ride--in this moment, in this music, and I let it take me because I have no other choice.

That glorious New York sun climbs further still--over rooftops as if to say it hasn’t forgotten us, hidden in this city cocoon. The piano slams and my smile bursts. My hands on the wheel, I move forward but have no control. The music blends with the sunlight and the tears come.

The sadness, and the bliss, and the desire to touch it all at once. I want to swallow it, climb it, inside that horn--rough, smooth, raw, hollow, thick and screaming. Like silk and gravel in a space with no net, but with an abundance of faith.

The song and the city are the same--not a man, not a voice, not an expression or interpretation. It’s an awakening and a rest--a ferocious kiss and a gentle touch. It speaks like rain and like rocks, and it is a language I know, because I wrote it myself.
December 11, 2011