Thursday, January 19, 2012

I Am Here #2

The new Robert Frost's Banjo Central
Greetings from a rather soggy day in Portland.  I woke a bit late this morning to the sound of a garbage truck & big raindrops. In the right context, the latter sound can be almost inviting: asking you to stay in for a pleasant day of reading & music for instance—but the sad fact is, I need to get out & about on errands.  Timing is almost everything, & in this case, my timing is not spectacularly good!

It occurred to me that I haven’t posted a “personal” update for some time: we’ve been enjoying a lot of poetry & music here on Robert Frost’s Banjo, which is of course all to the good.  Yours truly has even started writing again, & that’s always a cause for some small celebration here at Robert Frost’s Banjo Central.

But as far as personal news goes: I’m settling in to my new place, which is a sweet little apartment & all in all, feeling much like home.  One of the most lovely thing about my place is that almost everywhere I look I see something that was a gift from a friend, & that’s something that makes my heart glad.  

Two such gifts-both very practical as well!
Still, truth be told, I deal a lot with loneliness—I state this as a fact, & given the circumstances, a rather obvious one, & not to elicit sympathy. But I am in a transition from being one person in a couple to being a person on his own, & I’m also doing that in unfamiliar surroundings. In addition, the move from southeast Portland, where I was staying the first few months, to north Portland where I now live is significant because the neighborhood is new & the connections I do have here are a bit further away—it’s about 45 minutes to an hour by bus to visit my friends in the Southeast. But on the plus side, I have found a music jamming pal over in my neck of the woods—a fine guitarist who goes by the name of Kentucky Bob—& spent most of yesterday jamming on tunes from “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out” to “Kodachrome.” Great fun.

There’s also a certain “finality” to the Portland move that comes from having my own place. While I’m convinced the move was the best thing for all concerned, I’m no longer in the “limbo” state I occupied from August thru November. This is also to the good, of course, but it does carry a concomitant stress & sadness.

In other news: I’m slowly building my teaching practice, now with two guitar students & two uke students. In addition, I explored some forms of assistance thru the state of Oregon, & these have actually made a significant improvement in my financial picture. So on a practical level, things are looking quite good.

As far as Robert Frost’s Banjo news goes: for the past while, Wednesdays have been an “off” day here. I’m going to be starting a new series, however, as of next Wednesday, which will explore an aspect of Portland each week—thanks to my good friend Scotty Houston for this suggestion! This will be fun writing for me, & it will also be motivation for me to explore—something that can be a bit difficult to muster in the rainy Northwestern winter. 

Hope you have a great Thursday, friends!

Rainy day-the view from my front door!


  1. I'm glad you are settling in. I can imagine it's tough but you are handling it so well. Nice to see some pictures of your place! :-)

  2. Hello, John, from a dry and sunny day in Texas, and thank you for the update. I'm delighted to hear that you've found someone with whom to jam. Your local connections will increase, especially once winter is over and everyone comes out of hiding.

    Your poem was full of winter's bleakness, John. It left me gasping.

  3. Hi Raquelle: Thanks so much. Your support has been so wonderful. Glad you liked the pix :-)

    Hi Sandra: Thank you! I wonder--which one of the Raintown poems left that winter bleakness? I guess any of them could. I do think that when the temperatures start to come up a bit in March & April--even tho as I understand there's still a good bit of rain--there will be more going on & as you say, my local connections will probably increase.

    Thank you both for your friendship & support!

  4. So good to hear that the place is beginning to feel like home, John. And, I'm delighted to hear that you have a new jamming pal in Kentucky Bob.

  5. The view from your place is nice, especially the picket fences. I hope you keep settling in nicely and finding new friendships and connections. It isn't easy, but you've also got a lot going for you, especially the poetry and music and just the overall way you look at the world, honestly and with an eye for detail that other people overlook. As a regular armchair traveler I also look forward to the weekly Portland feature.

  6. Hi Martin & HKatz

    Martin: Thanks so much. Yes, having someone to play with regularly is a very good thing. I admit that I feel a bit at sea as far as what direction my music is going, but I'm sure that will come in time. In the meantime, am glad I have the poetry outlet. As long as one is working well! Thanks again.

    HKatz: Oh, I love the picket fence too--sadly, I think they're going to take them out to save on maintenance costs. Thanks for all your kind words. I think the Portland feature will be good for me, & I'm happy to know you're looking forward to it too!


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