Spring cleaning

I’m in the middle of packing for a move. It’s not a particularly happy move, nor is it a particularly unhappy move. It’s just time for change.

When I came to this beautiful community a few years ago, I knew it was temporary. The plan was to be here for a year. A year became two and two is closing in on three. I love being near the water. Watching the sun rise over the bay has been the highlight of every morning. Riding my bike along the shore in an even more beautiful community a couple of miles away has been the highlight of many weekends.

It’s the lowlights that are forcing the change, before I’m ready but long overdue.

Not long after I settled  in, I met a group of nice people who gather every Friday night in the warm months for a community barbecue. This very happy welcoming soon turned ugly when one of them turned out to be too “nice”. When I tried to politely decline his interest, he persisted in what eventually led to a police report and my need to sell my car and buy something less distinguishable, which I then parked in various locations to keep it from being the target of his vandalism. Nothing says “I want to be your boyfriend” like urinating on a person’s windshield, putting nails in her tires, and surrounding the car with a trail of Marlboro cigarette butts as a calling card.

Although I’m tired of checking the perimeter of my car every morning, even if it weren’t for this troubled soul, it would still be time for me to move on. I’m not meant to share walls. My downstairs neighbors are steeped in dysfunction that I can’t avoid overhearing, to the point that in recent months I’ve worried it might come to something serious enough that I’d have to call authorities . . . again. I am tired of sneaking in and out of my home to avoid the drama. The teenagers next door are almost finished raising themselves, so they don’t need me anymore.

I came here for a year of solitude and I am leaving nearly three years later exhausted from the melodrama of other people’s lives.

The Hipstermobile was an easy target. She has been replaced with a more easily camouflaged would-be urinal.

The Hipstermobile was an easy target. She has been replaced with a more easily camouflaged would-be urinal.

But I will miss the sunrises.

And I have a new car.

So it’s not all bad.

The clearing of the clutter has carried over to my desktop, from which I’ve been deleting old files, mainly silly pictures from some of the blog posts I’ve written in the past few years. This morning I came across a half-written post from who-knows-when about creativity and change. I do have a vague memory of transcribing Joni Mitchell’s words about Jimi Hendrix and his need to evolve as an artist without disappointing his fans.

The post likely went unwritten, ironically enough, because it didn’t seem in keeping with what would be of interest to readers of Le Cahier.

Since it’s March and most everyone is or will soon be engaged in some sort of spring cleaning, instead of deleting the file altogether, I thought I’d share her words  in case they might find whoever might stumble across this at just the moment they need to hear them.

Whether your March will find you welcoming a season of change or just a good clearing out of the sock drawers, I hope it’s a good one.

It’s very difficult for an artist to survive especially his first change, which is inevitable. I mean, you can go on being the same as you started but you’ll die inside. And the time that you make your first change, like when Dylan went electric at Forest Lawn, you have the wrath of your fans . . .they don’t know that if you don’t change, they’ll get tired of you. . . .

He was tired of playing the guitar with his teeth. . . . he wanted to do big band arrangements and stand still…and cut the theatrics, but every time he would try to do it, they would boo him and say, “Jimi’s not himself.”

So I always thought in a way it was a shame that he never made the change because he’s one of the great innovators and geniuses in this business.