Survival, like loss, is something you can count in the simplest of terms.
As an example, today I decided to go downtown to Queen St., and Steve’s Music Shop. For years I’d been missing a little electronic keyboard I had—now, I never played it well, mind, but I liked at least making sounds I thought were interesting. Sometimes that enthusiasm carried over to the computer keyboard as well.
So—I found something. A Yamaha I could afford, not a toy but all the same it doesn’t cost three grand. Lisa would’ve been less than pleased, I think, if I’d done this while she was alive. Our/my place isn’t that large. She’d have had a right.
If only she knew what I’m thinking of doing to the blue room that had been her office….maybe this won’t happen, but electronic drumset prices are significantly down from past years, you see….
Fact is, though, I’m trying to find ways to occupy myself, make some sort of way forward. Trying to learn a little more about music represents one way; the Yamaha will rest near the computer, so this workstation will feel even more like “a fully operational death star.” Enough so for me, anyway. Or, rather, living star.
The point of course is the rediscovery of joy. You have to recover it when it’s lost. The alternatives are unworkable. It doesn’t much matter what that thing is: the great actor Peter Cushing threw himself into his acting after the death of his wife, and oh, by the way, that effort resulted in his being cast for a central role in the original Star Wars film. That must have felt like a completely Pyrrhic victory for Cushing; here he was, performing in a truly huge movie in box-office terms, but his beloved was not there to celebrate with him. That would’ve meant that any such occasion would come with a by-then familiar ache.
That ache, that loss. It’s like the way you’d feel if you’ve been run through like Frodo had been; forever after, you remember how deep the sword went.
You don’t need to justify yourself to a soul if you walk into a CD store and buy a knick-knack for a bookshelf, or hang a rude painting, or proudly display your collection of classic porn. All you need is to remember you are surviving one day after another. Then stitch those days together.