Flavin's Corner
8-20-99

No Muse Is Bad News

     Several weeks ago I wrote a column about ogham, the ancient Irish script
(see 7-16-99 "Straight Lines"), and in the course of research I had occasion to
reread parts of Robert Graves' The White Goddess: A Poetical Grammar of
Historic Myth, as Graves argues that alphabetic ogham contains various secret
mnemonics and that all true poets worship the Goddess or Muse.  It's been a
long time since I've written any poetry and this is properly so because it's been
a long time since I've had a Goddess or Muse in my life.  The ogham column
turned out okay, I guess I'm a columnist and not currently a poet, but I sure do
wish things were a wee bit different.  No "Muse" is bad news!

     The failure of my most recent relationship took a lot out of me.  Oh, I've
been out on a few dates over the last year and a half, but they were more like
practice-runs than serious attempts at moving on.  My heart still aches often
and I now wonder if it will always be so.  Some pine for perfection, unrequited
in companionship, as reality rarely matches the fantasy, though many others
approach the act of love as a role to be performed, regardless of who they're
playing opposite.  I fear in my loneliness I have secretly begun to worship love
as the fount of all and have neglected the common sense approach which
regards love as the natural by-product of two souls deeply attracted to one
another.  I need to lose the mysticism and get out there and meet women...

     At 41 years of age I feel uneasy about hitting the bars in search of
companionship.  Yes, I know, ...a common complaint among The Lonely is a
general lack of suitable places to meet others.  To no avail I've tried the
"night-school" approach (and may again), the blind-date scene at the
suggestion of friends, and there was even that odd evening when I stood
alongside the Mass. Pike, outside of Boston, with a sign that read: "Will Work
For Love!"  [Note: the bit with the sign is fictional, though ...now that I think
about it, it doesn't sound like that bad of an idea!]  I'm not yet at the stage to
consider dating-services or placing an ad, and the generational advice about
meeting the perfect mate at church, personally, is akin to buying a mail-order
bride.  It's just ...not me.  I've been fortunate enough to have known love
before and I'm sure I will again.  But, when?

     It's not that I believe there's anything immoral about meeting others at bars,
mind you.  Boston, however, is a "student-town" and most of the bars that I'm
familiar with are deafening in their cacophony of techno-rap and kiddy squeals,
and I don't feel right ogling girls young enough to be my daughters.  I prefer to
stick with women in the 35 to 41 or so range.  If only a bar such as the one
portrayed on television's Ally McBeal actually existed in Beantown, perhaps I'd
give it a go.  Though some of the finer downtown hotels and office buildings
do indeed have nice bars, they're nowhere near as hip and happening as
depicted on television.  Still, all might not be lost in regards to my meeting
someone at a bar in Boston.

     One local radio-station, WFNX fm in Lynn, broadcasts the weekday
"Leftover Lunch" hosted by Julie Kramer.  The hour long program features
music from the late 1970's and the 1980's, an era of punk and techno-pop I feel
way comfortable with.  Many a lunch-time I've found myself bouncing around
the apartment to the sounds of The Clash and The English Beat, among others.
Lately, as fewer and fewer new rock-tunes hold my interest, I've come to
accept that this may very well be the era of music I'll always identify with.
...Not a problem!  The period includes U2, The Police, and Talking Heads, so
there's a modicum of respectability involved.  Unfortunately, a few minutes
after one o'clock in the afternoon, WFNX switches back to alternative
techno-rap and I usually put on classical music (Tchaikovsky or Lou Reed).
[Note: WFNX does have the honored distinction of being the most popular
alternative radio-station to broadcast live on the Internet.  Click  here  to listen.]

     Recently the folks at WFNX and the nightclub Axis, on Lansdowne Street
behind Fenway Park, have joined to host the "Leftover Lounge" every
Saturday night from 10 PM until closing.  They've chosen the smaller, upstairs
space at Axis, DJ Julie Kramer only shows up once a month, but the music is
from the same era as the weekday, lunch-time show.  So, I'm thinking, this
might be a place for me to relax, bounce up and down a lot, and maybe meet
someone near my own age.  Well, at least that's the plan...  I wonder if Julie is
seeing anyone?

     I've always believed that my end of proper worship is to love a good
woman.  Idols, icons, dogma, or superstitions, will always pale against the
wholeness of a meaningful relationship.  I long to adore and await the same in
return.  My religion is love, as countless others before me have chosen, and
with that statement I draw a tad closer to the ideals of a poet.  I'm not there
yet...  But, then again, I'm a columnist at this time.  I am concerned, though,
with the fact that I dance way weird.  Okay, so I'm looking for a woman with a
sense of humor...  Laughing is always a good thing.

     A babe on-the-arm or a casual date is relational sustenance.  We live for
more...  The elegant fit of inspired to inspiration is a working of nature we're
all programmed to accomplish.  Degrees of success are the stuff of silly
greeting-cards, ever near, but always failing to capture .  I aim for love...

     I'm reminded that Elvis Costello mentioned "aim" in one of his songs and
that our current expression "to sin" derives from an ancient Greek archery
designation for one who has "missed the mark."  Bows and arrows aside, for
the moment--I just want to dance and meet a woman with a sense of humor
...and maybe a slight knowledge of ogham.  Giggle, if you must, but we all
need to worship.  My Goddess and Muse awaits, somewhere, and I bet she's
pissed that I've taken this long...

hoping she'll understand,
Rick

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