Coltrane and daylight flights over crystal oceans


Was about to work on the keys but it looks as though I am not allowed. I went to straighten some name issues with SAG, which brings me to this atrium-like cafe on Wilshire and all I can think of is how I need to make it here more, for the sidewalks are as packed as it is inside, like some joyous academic cafeteria. These are some of the most glorious corners of Los Angeles, where the kids old and young gather to celebrate a Tuesday morning. I remain the casual bluebird secretly awestruck.

I think I hear John Coltrane and I hope the good man doesn’t become stuck in these places, limited to coffee shops, for I know that ‘A Love Supreme’ should be played in churches. For Sunday mass. Heard in temple. In the Holy City. IN the Arabian cities and out in Mecca. That’s where the music would be most well-suited.

My brother introduced me to John Coltrane, my elder brother whom I seldom see for he is a busy old scholar with a wife and kids that join him in his gypsy ways moving about the country. But it was a warm summer night down in Gainesville when he came to visit me. When he introduced me to John Coltrane. The moon was out (and why is it always out on these nights?) and it was a full moon and there were no stars. We sat drinking and smoking on the front porch as swamp life echoed from the soft Florida dark wilderness.

“I think you should give this guy a listen.”

“I’ve heard the name.”

“I’m going to give you this album, called Blue Train.’

‘Blue Train.’

“The title track is a beautiful thing.”

“Okay I will listen to it.”

And it was a beautiful thing Blue Train. A door appeared to me, unassuming save for the fact that it appeared out of nowhere. It was a worn, wooden door and I opened it and stepped inside. From there it was some endless dance. An ongoing, pulsating rhythm and triumphant human heartbeat.

With the opening sax riff come the first giant steps you make upon the rocky cliff overlooking the young ocean before the foundation of the cliff falls and you go spinning and gliding with the song and over the ocean like a drunk hummingbird migrating toward the brighter peaks of his own mind. But toward the end you find warm peace, and offer your gratitude for being alive and on this earth for as long as providence dictates. Such is the spirit of music.

I enjoy these places so much during moments that I don’t expect to. And yet when I return to them later, I find that it’s usually never the same. Time is the other great variable to place, after all. The most precious moments come when my time in them is so short, never quite long enough.

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