|| Thursday, 30th March 2000
The Seattle team flying here have got stuck in Chicago for a day. They now arrive tomorrow.
If we remember from the Alfeldt course the comment that A Good Loony Is Hard To Find - But Not For Us, our Good Loony has already arrived in Argentina. He follows a pesterance of e-mails to the Registrar expressing his interest but has not yet paid for the course.
Meanwhile, I have collected a pocketful of fresh walnuts from outside the seminary. Fernando Kabusacki & Martin Schwutke have been eating then over afternoon tea. I had one: very fresh & tasty.
The 30 foot radio mast on top of this building has enabled us to be communicado. On earlier courses it has been almost impossible for me to stay in touch with Toyah. Today, she called at 14.45 and we spoke. I believe this is a first. Hooray!
The Kitchen Team continue to prepare the space, practise & get in shape. We had a meeting this morning to address practical matters. In the kitchen on the first course in this facility, kerosene dripped regularly by the stove and was used to disinfect the floor. Tom Redmond remembers this course very well. Apart from a reasonable fear that he would disappear in a conflagration while on kitchen duty, in the Hellton dormitory (a large room shared only by Tom and Bill Forth) The Beast visited Bill in the night. The Beast was non-corporeal and gave Bill rather a shock. Tom had set up a field of protection around his bed before retiring and slept rather well.
So I have been told, when sites of devotion & prayer are left dormant denizens looking for a home tend to move in. But what do I know of this? Only that there have been wild & unsettling dreams on Guitar Craft courses over the years, and I have dreamt some of them. It is almost commonplace by now that some dreams are shared by a number of people. But that is another story.
Well, that was an adventure: online at 9K. I managed to send out several e-letters & the Diary, noticed there were 72 e-mails waiting for me but was unable to retrieve them: transmission was so slow the Compuserve programme seized & I had to re-boot.
Silence came to visit during dinner. It arrived around 19.10 and stayed until 20.00. The visit of silence is a high spot in Guitar Craft courses. For some students, it is unbearable. Sometimes they leave the room. On one course in Japan, the course loony shouted "Stop it!". Normally, we are able to bear silence for around 30 minutes. This is a Kitchen Team, Crafties with some experience and a developing practice. So, we were able to bear 50 minutes.
Quiet is the absence of sound. Silence is the presence of silence: rich, vibrant, potent, available.
I have read the view that silence is an approach of the Spirit. What am I to make of that? But I am of the view that applied, intentional work attracts the attention of benevolent intelligence; as if light is concentrated & functions as a beacon. The musical analogy might be that musical work of a certain quality and intensity attracts the attention of the Muse. It's a great idea, but the experience is something else.
At the end of a tour by The League of Crafty Guitarists, the famous Bogo Tour & their first tour without me, they put on a performance in the Claymont Octagon (1989). About one third of the way into the show, a powerful presence arrived. Someone came by to visit what was going on, sat above the stage and filled the Octagon's space. I asked one of the League how the show was for them.
A. Something happened.
A. About a third of the way into the show. I couldn't look up.
That was also my experience.
Fifteen years ago today the first Guitar Craft Course was in its fifth full day. Several of the Level One team have been working with Curt Golden, who was on that first course.
It is probably not able to convey, certainly not to basement logicians, cynics & those knowing of my fallen nature, the power of the current which enables Guitar Craft to come to life. As with Crimson, this has nothing to do with Robert. It's something like the Crimson "Good Fairy". If anyone has ever felt music come to life in Crimson, been touched by the sheer otherness of it, the experience is something like that. Intimate but utterly impersonal. The "Good Fairy" is not a person, but an enabling current which allows Crimson to be Crimson. I have been in its presence, unmistakably. In that sense the Good Fairy it is tangible, recognizable, experiential. Guitar Craft's benevolent presence is similar but the experience is richer, more available & direct.
I respect Fripp for having the good sense not to mistake himself as the force which makes Crimson Crimson. It's also to his credit that he doesn't mistake Guitar Craft as coming from him. There is, in Guitar Craft, something at work which goes far beyond the people involved. Guitar Craft could not happen if it were dependent upon the people involved.
The role Fripp plays, as instructor, requires a level of "being" (for want of a better word) which is not naturally available to me. I don't have enough "money in the bank". But if a course requires more currency than I have available, then for the course to function properly there has to be a "loan", if not a gift. Loans have to be repaid, if not in life then on leaving it, and a gift cannot be held: it remains in motion. On occasion, I am aware that funds are being transferred to my account.
After 26 years of sitting on the floor, and the privilege of working with people skilled in subtle energetics, one recognizes certain visceral characteristics when "the flow of funds" is taking place. At the beginning of the first course in Japan, I was in bad shape. This was during the early period of the EG collapse, dispute & litigation: terror, suffering, horror, misery & living death. Clearly, Fripp was not in a good place to discharge his role. And then, sitting at a dining table, it began: a transfer of funds, beginning in the soles of my feet and moving upwards to the top of my head.
There was a different quality to this transfer than courses held in the West. My subjective interpretation of this: a call had been made to the local representative, who sent someone round to deliver the cash. The unknowable action of grace? The transmission of baraka? These are words, and what do they mean? Guitar Craft is a gift and a blessing.
A full team meeting to consider the questions: "What do you do when you are in despair?" and "What do you notice when you have noticed something?". The answer to both is superbly practical. The question - "What is the primary function of a Guitar Craft Level One?" - has the same answer.
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