Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Hospital Waits

Curve balls come our way every now and then.
We can all testify to that.
They come in various shapes and sizes but what all curve balls
have in common is that they catch us off guard.
It’s the throw the pitcher uses to bewilder us all.

The great pitcher of life threw me one this week.
A suspected heart attack at 36
Can you believe it? Me? Shit!
Well, thankfully it wasn’t – still scared the crap out of me though!
Turns out it was Pericarditis.

Anyhow, it has meant that I have had a lot of time on my hand this week
Hospital bed after hospital bed,
and lots of reading.
My favourite has been my second read of
‘Innocent When You Dream - Tom Waits: The Collected Interviews’

One particular paragraph has got me thinking
Waits is being interviewed after the release of his album
‘Real gone’, specifically regarding some of the
obscure references in the lyrics (not really an original observation if I am being picky).
One particular caught my eye and imagination though.

On the song ‘Sins of my Father’ he mentions a ‘Tyburn Jig’
When asked about its meaning Waits responds:
“When someone one was being hung,
the dance they would do at the end of the rope
was called the Tyburn Jig.

It was called ‘the dance upon nothing’;
That kind of explains itself.
The reasons theatres traditionally have no performances
on Monday night is because Monday night was Hanging Night,
and nobody could compete with Hanging Night.
To this day theatres are dark on Mondays.”

Journalist Jonathan Valencia then suggests that most people would be
surprised how recently there were public hangings in the U.S.
Waits response is adroit:
“Well, we still do it today. It’s just a little more civilised:
lethal injection.
How long after the discovery of electricity
do you think someone invented the electric chair?
Probably the next day.

How long do you think after they invented these picture phones
that someone put into their pants?
Less than a day.
Crime is always way ahead of technology,
waiting for it to catch up.”

Maybe when we do good things they get invested into some kind of divine bank account that we all draw from…sadly it might just work the other way round too….


Rainbow dreams said...

Must have been an incredibly scary time, for you and those around you ... am pleased it turned out ok - take care and let yourself be looked after

mister tumnus said...

hey paul. hope you're feeling better soon. that all sounds pretty frightening!

Mata H said...

Pray though the scary bits, and you'll find us there with you.

1 i z said...

Scared the crap out of me just reading that sentence, can't imagine how it must have been for you.

Take care mate.

Real good care.

Malcolm Chamberlain said...

Paul, so glad that your fears weren't fully realised. Thanks too for your constant honesty and openess on this blog. Hope all is well - are you at GB? Would be great to catch up there!!

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

Thank you for all your kind comments - it was and continues to be a little concerning, as am still not sure what happens next...

Malc, thanks for your comment, that means a lot to me from someone who has seen me journey for a good while now

will be at GB, will be good to catch up and hear more about what you are up to with the EC

Mata H said...

I don't know if I have mentioned this before, but I have surely meant to -- have you heard the recording that Tom Waits made with Gavin Bryars: Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet? This is breathtaking musical and spiritual stuff...if you have not heard it - please find it. Please.

The Harbour of Ourselves said...


I thought I had responded last time you mentioned Bryas collaboration with Waits - forgive me

I think it's an incredible intoxicating piece of genius. It often accompanies my meditative moments, which generally consist of watching an episode of the Simpsons, pouriing myself a large glass of wine with Bryars work playing as I search my heart....

It's must for any thinking Christian...

Mata H said...

My 23 yr old godson just told me this weekend that he has a ticket to see Tom Waits LIVE in Akron, hio next month. Apparently Waits has a tour set up of odd suits. I am very envious!

The Harbour of Ourselves said...

me too, lucky bugger!