You are looking at posts that were written in the month of September in the year 2007.
The Apples rocked hard at the AKA Lounge tonight. I was sorta disappointed that a city like Orlando couldn’t muster a better crowd for such an amazing band, but any chagrin quickly evaporated as I realized it meant I’d have plenty of room to dance on the front row. First off, I gotta give props to my friend Karen for introducing me to the happiest, catchiest band since Fleming & John. Second, kudos to Andropolis for keeping the flame alive with his recent mix CD that included the stand-out track from the Apples’ new album, New Magnetic Wonder.
After the show, Uncle Billy and I had the privilege of meeting the creative force behind the band, Robert Schneider. It’s not hard to see how such wonderful music comes from so effusive a personality. After thanking him profusely for creating such a positive influence through his mathematically- and astronomically-inspired, crazy-good music, I had but one quick question to ask: what was his inspiration for my favorite song, 7 Stars? I knew it had to be about the Pleiades, but I wanted to know more. I could not have imagined what came next.
Let’s just get this out of the way: Robert is as big a nerd as I am. Super smart and curious, he’s the kind of guy who, not satisfied with conventional tonal scales, invents his own harmonies through logarithmic divisions of the sequence of frequencies from 4 to 16. So he may be as nerdy as a rocket scientist, but considering he’s the lead singer in a rock band, he’s considerably cooler. Turns out the Seven Sisters make up his favorite constellation. He is huge into astronomy and mathematics, as you might have guessed from his music, but what you may not know is that he studies advanced math on his own. For fun. He’s an automath in, well, math.
In fact, Robert is slowly working towards a PhD (one can imagine touring might involve certain time commitments), with his dissertation undoubtedly piercing the veil of primes. But his geek cred rolls mad deeper: he wrote a computer program back in the eighties, when he was in middle school in Lousiana, that graphed out those same 7 stars.
Before we knew it, we’d shared a half-hour conversation on prime number sequences, space exploration, star systems and the underlying language of the universe. It wasn’t long until his wife tapped him on the shoulder to say, “Honey, there are others waiting for autographs.” So he graciously attended to his fans, then we picked right back up where we left off.
Unfortunately by now it was nearly 2am, so we had to part. We said our goodbyes, but not before he slipped us a couple of personalized 7″ LPs and told me he’ll soon be taking his son to Huntsville for father-son Space Camp.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have found a new friend. Robert, if you’re reading this, I can’t wait to escort you and the Apples to a Shuttle launch. Good luck with those primes. And stars. And frequencies. And the mathematical music that ties them all together.
At the opthamologist today, my pupils were dilated as part of the exam. Even with the complimentary Terminator shades, the late afternoon sun seemed as though it had discovered a new fusile element and was churning out radiation at a hundred fold its normal pace. I was amazed to discover how reliant I am upon my vision, from navigating the road to choosing ripe bananas. It’s another world when you can’t see the ingredient list at the grocery store or can’t bear the sight of oncoming headlights.
Becoming a Baha’i is a similar experience, except that the Sun is always shining brighter, and is only limited by the growth of your vision, not its infinite and inexhaustible light. Just the other day I mailed one of my two prayer books to New Zealand, in support of a Baha’i art project that seeks to change the way we view spirituality in art. It was an exercise in detachment, as life itself seems to be, to part with something associated with fond memories. This was the book I received upon joining my Brevard County community, the book from which I memorized the Tablet of Ahmad.
But the paper and glue themselves matter little; just as what’s more important than the words of a prayer is the spirit in which it is uttered. I shouldn’t be surprised, then, that today, within a week of giving up something that seemed so precious, I should receive what I can only characterize as a divine confirmation. When I opened my mail this evening, I discovered a crimson tome with gilt letters reading, “Prières Bahá’íes.” It took but a moment to discern that this was a gift from my dear friend Atoosa on my first rebirthday, the one-year anniversary of my declaration.
How amazing to read a prayer you know by heart in another tongue. I cannot fathom the doors this will unlock, the bonds of illumination it will forge, to simultaneously explore my love for the French language and my adoration of Baha’u'llah.
Thank you, Atoosa joon.
Also: did you know there’s a website called Mr. Breakfast? Sweet!
If there’s one thing I’m learning about writing it’s that when inspiration strikes, you must strike back, while the iron is hot. Some of you are probably wondering after the whereabouts of that potentially controversial essay I planned to write on Thursday, the day Lazi got into a car accident that left her and her friend upside down, hanging from their seatbelts. Don’t worry, she’s ok. But you see how easy it is to get distracted? Now it’s three a.m. after a life-changing weekend and my head is full of five pages that I can’t afford to sacrifice sleep to commit to words. God forgive me, but I feel I must resort to the dreaded bullet list. Behold: as many highlights from the weekend as I can remember. Rest assured there are hundreds more my poor brain is already forgetting as the cup overfloweth.
praise each dusty step
along this vast expanse
from scalloped ridge
to gnarled branch
from scorpions to ants
time is drawing nigh
a meeting soon at hand
our faces lit
eternal golden strands
bitter makes the sweet
distance draws us near
without this time
apart from you
love couldn’t be so dear
now the city lights
dance happily below
down this mountain
through the vale
our kindled hearts aglow