Monasterio Nuestra Senora De Los Angeles (Monjas Dominicas),
Sant Cugat, Spain.
Rising at 06.10.
A busy night’s activities: with my Wife, celebrating our wedding; with my Father in hospital, helping him screw an overmantel mirror to the wall; paying for a ‘bus ride in NYC to my hotel on 45th. Street and being dropped off on 44th; with Tony and Ade: Tony’s winter coat is shorter in the arms, but that’s better for his outside gigs in Woodstock when it’s very cold. So, very much a night spent with people close to me over most of my life, revisited in various strange and fantastical ways.
Rising on the first day of the rest of my life: out of The Great Divide, subjectively a long-time-coming, with a sense of some matters that need to be addressed on the last day of this course.
10.43 Morning Sitting at 07.15 - 07.30.
Breakfast at 08.00 with very little coffee, no hot milk, and comments invited on the performance/s yesterday evening.
One young Italian man felt that the audience had been disrespectful to the performers. Many of the other comments, from performers and audients, expressed contrary views. The consensus was that these were both good events, and co-operation was a word used frequently.
Meeting immediately afterwards with Hernan and Martin d’Ag, on various suggestions for the Performance Team; and the aim of bringing-into-being the new generation LCG in Europe.
A meeting immediately after that meeting, with Hernan and Tom. Discussing the generational shift in GC, with changing accompanying functional-characteristics; and the personal and family responsibilities which accompany adulthood.
Meeting with the Beginners at 10.15. The Taking Something Home With Us Exercise, sometimes introduced as The Exercise Of Qualitative Endeavour.
Followed by three personal meetings.
A gift delivered from Argentina I…
17.45 After the personal meetings, organizing material for Mariana of the GC Office for the OCG site.
Lunch at 13.00. One of the Kitchen Team offered seconds for those that wish. Much intake of breath around the tables as this young man declared an am in life of becoming macaroni cheese.
The young Italian man who felt the audience were not respectful yesterday evening, who has been sitting on the seat next to the top table gazing at the staff for every meal of this course, was asked: What is the question that you have been trying to ask all week? He didn’t quite understand this. What is the question that you would like to ask? He didn’t have a question.
Many people ask me questions, or would like to ask me questions. Few ask the question they would like to ask, and this was a rare opportunity to do just that. And if not Robert, then Hernan, or anyone else on the top table; which is not just a place to go for larger portions of food. Those on the top table are available to questions, whether they like it or not: this is part of Top Table Responsibilities. So, an opportunity was lost.
Meeting immediately afterwards with Mariana. Material for the OCG site was passed over.
Reflecting on the Morning Sitting exercise and preparing for it to be presented to the Kitchen Team at 15.30. One of those in the Circle did not have an established sitting practice. They were encouraged to make the sitting part of their life and return, when they will find their chair waiting for them.
Introducing morning exercises is, for me, something like playing The Eye Of The Needle for 30-45 minutes. It is impossible to do.
To tea: brownies with whipped cream.
At 16.45 the Beginners who had prepared their One Little Thing To Take Home presented their work.
The first: to sit on a chair, a constant part of their life. They discharged this well, once, and were asked to do this three times. Once may be Beginners’ Luck. If discharged successfully three times, it is more likely that they/we know what we’re doing. If discharged successfully seven times, probably we do know what we’re doing.
Several participants had set themselves to take home a Right Hand holding-the-pick. The hands were not ideal, not the most perfectest of Right Hands in a perfect world, but because work was honourably undertaken, we were able to have a conversation.
One returning-Beginner opted to tune the guitar. Some assistance was given them by further un-tuning their instrument.
The young man - who had begun a when ready, please begin with a lacking-in-utility, limp, strumalong-a-feeble riff; who was disrespected by the audience at the performance; who had no question to ask - declared that he had not prepared something/anything to take away with him. Instead, he would take many things with him. More important was what he was leaving behind. Eventually, there was a question, directed to Robert: Are you my teacher? The answer was shortly given.
The final piece of work presented was an intentional action: moving through a door. The importance of an intentional act is that the experience of it remains, and continues: we may return to it and re-enter it at later moments in our life, even to interrogate it.
Q: What does that mean?
We can ask the experience questions. Perhaps, when the experience occurred, we were young. Now, as mature characters, we may return to the intentional-experience and find it waiting – provide we were there. Otherwise, it has blown away in the wind. But perhaps we might return to an experience of thirty-five years ago, and find it continues to educate us, able to answer questions we were unable to ask when younger.
This meeting completed at 17’37 and eight seconds.
T’ai Chi at 18.30.
20.12 Dinner at 19.00. Very tasty freshly-baked hot bread was delivered during the meal, which had the sense of an after-show supper. Silence visiting, then dessert: a yogurty concoction with fresh fruit. Very tasty.
A story was told of a magnificent feast presented at Locorotondo in March 1991 for RF & The LCG and the townspeople. The meal followed our live performance, given as a grateful acknowledgement to the community for providing us a facility (the agricultural college) to hold a GC course. The story also illustrated the point: however bad you feel tonight, in the morning you will feel worse. So pack tonight.
Words also presented on:
Semi-pro: the new standard of professional success.
House Recitals; a network of alternative performance-spaces, outside the framework of commerce; albeit some will become more businesslike.
Increasingly, releases of various kinds will come as apps.
Final Meeting at 21.00.
22.01 A Circle with 26 seated + RF + 1 open seat for The Absent Crafty. It was suggested that all the AAD Team were sitting on it. Plus various participants seated on the floor within the Circle. Thanks were given to those who have made the course possible, a few not physically present.
Soon, this course will be over. It will never return. Some of us will never see each other again. For some, this will be because our work together has been a success. Otherwise, where something that needed to be done, that might have been done and has not, there will be loss. But, while the course is ongoing, for perhaps the next hour, the moment may be redeemed. There is hope in this.
Comments, reports and observations presented for c. 40 minutes with some very good comments, direct and experiential. Various characters at a distance were spoken for.
Followed by an overall presentation of the transition currently underway, and future courses planned for this and next year. Three Orchestra of Crafty Guitarists’ projects are anticipated on three continents, acknowledging that currently very few people travel to courses on continents other than their own.
Thunder and lightning roared out at two moments during this presentation of the overview. Both were clearly signs. A meeting to address practical concerns, such as cleaning and tidying the house, is to immediately follow this…
However bad you feel tonight, in the morning you will feel worse. So, we’ll clean and tidy tonight.
The Beginners’ Course was declared completed at 21’53’ and 15 seconds. Ten minutes for fresh air, then to return for the Cleaning House meeting.
23.34 Hernan and Luciano have come by, to find me in fashion-pajamas-for-the-post-mature-English-(former)-working-player. Luciano is off to join his family, and bade farewell. A quick catching-up with Hernan of latest- and future-arisings.
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