At the Kimbell Art Museum, I saw Hals' painting "The Rommel Pot Player". The subject matter got me interested in the rommel pot--a curious musical instrument which emitted an unmelodious, low grunt not unlike that of a pig. I love the notion of "folk" instruments, and in particular the home-made and improvised. I would like to manufacture a whole band's worth of instruments--perhaps not so ambitious as a Partch orchestra, but every bit as enthusiastic. I also wish I had an ocean's harp, which sounds like a synthesizer, but is in fact a manipulation of sound, air and water, somewhat like whalesong.
My fire ant bites from yesterday, some eighteen or so in number, welted up nicely, achieving an almost scenic desert butte landscape look. If only I had a palo verde tree in bloom on my wrist--then I could be Tucson in February.
Last night I dreamed a friend (hitherto unknown to me) adopted a wild green snake (who, in turn, had a shameless propensity to rather gummy-wide non-poisonous biting). I awoke at 1:30, awash in the imagery of the dream. I am glad I slept again easily. I once hiked near the waterfalls in the Columbia gorge, where snakes with fluorescent-colored tails would disappear into the ferns regularly. I felt so privileged to see them.
Today Mr. Kerry announced that Mr. Edwards would be his running mate. I thought Edwards a good choice, but already I am worn hollow by the talking-heads commentary on both the left and the right. I do not think I will make a very able dug-out canoe, though, so I suppose I will vote anyway.
Lately I fantasize about driving out to that small town in west Texas where the creator of Conan the Barbarian lived. I am not a particular fan, but the story has such a pathos to it. But there are stories of intriguing eccentricity in every town and setting--and one merely has to look with a compassionate eye to find them. An uncompassionate eye misses them, as if passing in a hallway. A pinhole camera into the everyday is what is required.
It's my theory, by the way, that "I Walk the Line" shows that no recording studio needs more than four tracks, while the excess of "Ring of Fire" arguably shows that four tracks is two too many.