Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year and some resolutions...

It is a delicious irony that I am blogging my resolution to read a poem, every morning from a book of Rumi poetry my daughter gave me for Xmas. I want to do this every day and write in my journal BEFORE opening email. I like irony - it suits me. I am no stranger to hypocrisy and since I believe with all my heart that consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds etc etc, I have so many ironies I could set up an online boutique. But, irony aside, I also have resolved to play music more often and to take a dance class.

Enough of that.

On a different subject below is a short video on what I did today ooopsy - we are 14 minutes into tomorrow. So, here is what I did on New Years. Am I crazy or what? Perhaps, both. Thanks to Gina Cobin who came out to film me and Vernon and Bonnie who came down to listen. This si what I was doing... A Brother Blues "Christmas" THE NEED: The passing of Brother Blue leaves a hole in our lives. That hole, though painful, also creates a space to be filled with good work.
OUR IDEA: In the spirit of Brother Blue, storytellers will take to the "streets." From Chanukah through Christmas Eve, New Years Eve and beyond, until the last day of Kwanza or Dia de Los Tres Reyes and tell stories where people need it the most. Through this work we will form a living tribute to Brother Blue, who, for much of his life told stories on the streets, in prisons, and shelters for years.

More about Brother Blue at and A Living Tribute to Brother Blue on Facebook

Playing in the subway was a fall back plan for my contribution to A Living Tribute to Brother Blue after all my other plans fell through. I did tell a short story at my brother's "house" where he lives with 7 other severely mentally ill folk. But that was so short. Getting this MBTA thing together wasn't easy and I would have liked to have others join me but the rules of the MBTA are strict - one person per permit. And I had my ID checked quite a few times while I was out there from 1:30 to 5:30PM.

I had to apply for a license to play, as a musician, in the subway and then wait for a CORI check to go through. There was so much red tape I decided not to broach the subject of "spoken word artist" or "storyteller" as a category. The realty department of the MBTA is called TRA and that is where one gets this all done: making an appointment, bringing a money order, ( no checks or credit cards) signing forms, producing two forms of ID and getting a picture taken too. The TRA has a new office at a new address. And their new address was printed on the first page of their 12 pages of application, contract, rules and instructions and the 12th page of this document had directions from nearly every quarter of the compass rose, except all these directions were to the old address. I think the young woman took pity on me because I wandered in the rain for about 30 minutes calling her by cell phone trying to find her office. She processed my permit in one day!

This was not an easy gig but it was exhilarating to do it and when it was over I was psyched to try again.

Write me to tell me what you are doing as a Tribute to Brother Blue? Or post it here
please e-mail your text and pictures to:

Oh, and I collected $16.52 in my violin case, for NABS with my first efforts.

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