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The Left Hand of God Marian McPartland, Silent Pool


It was almost dark, and with the closing of the day - off to the right, to the west - scattered clouds were starting to close the blinds over the light of the sun. It was another one of those days that can only be described as "succulent-and-luscious." A day when the Universe gives us a tiny taste of life's "possibilities"; a good day to be alive. Actually, it was an exquisite day to be alive.


I find myself having more and more of those days, those feelings, as I grow older; as I mature. Maybe it is just that I am just noticing them more. Maybe more days give me that feeling than I used to allow myself the awareness to notice. I suppose that is one of the purposes of developing the intention and attention of feeling grateful for this gift; this gift of being alive; this gift of choosing to "see."


I was taking another one of those many rides in the car that I like to take; wandering aimlessly outside of the city, along those back roads where fewer people live, and there are no buildings to vie with the sky in competition for your attention. Sometimes - while driving like this - a scene hits you hard, while at other times it just sorta' sneaks up on you; that "eyes wide shut" kind of thing.


This was a sneaker.


One moment you're just sort of looking ahead - looking at nothing really, just looking - and then with the next blink of the eyes, there's this. Some words come from mouth, or maybe, just some kind of sound comes from your throat (although you'd be hard pressed, later, to recall what they were) and there it is: one of the many reasons one gets to appreciate being human, being alive.


You look around; you want to tell somebody, anybody, to "look, lookit that! Oh...My...God! Lookit!" But there's no one else there. Just you, and the Universe at that moment. And you can't recall ever having felt more connected - to every damn thing.


So what do you do? Well, you can try to remember the feeling of your first long, deep, heated kiss and savor this as you savored that. (Try not to close your eyes, tilt your head and open your mouth as I have done on - yeah - more than one ocassion of remembering a savored kiss. It is embarrassing.)


There is song by a musician – a premier jazz bassist and composer named Charlie Haden, called “The Left Hand of God.” It’s a very nice song, but it has a much nicer title.


So I’m driving along one of those back roads; heading south. (If gas gets to $10 a gallon, I’ll simply have to take out loans against the house – I gotta’ drive out here). The sun was setting to my right – and to the left, was this. “The Left Hand of God,” I muttered out loud as I thought of that title. I’m not sure why I did, but I have my suspicions. Charlie Haden’s music wasn’t playing, but the attached song – "Silent Pool" by Marian McPartland - was.


Music, driving, setting suns, skies, solitude.


One of these days I’ll learn to drive and cry at the same time. Then again - maybe not. Pulling over allows me to savor, to be present, to notice, and to snap an image or two.


Telephone Pole and Wires on a back road, near Deselm, Illinois, Kankakee County, 50 miles south of Chicago.


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Taken on October 12, 2010