Green IS a happy color. Some of my favorite things in life are green. There is green I generally have nothing to do with, green the day I never have to be bothered with it again I’ll be thrilled, and green I never want to see on the outside of my sandwich. The first two are up top of many lists of favorite greens and there’s no doubting the usefulness of other strains of the third. My favorites, however, are a bit different.
The green tinted cover of John Coltrane’s 1962 Coltrane album – at least the version on my CD of it – the man’s expression expressly expresses his expressions inside the music. In a supernatural catalog of sonic work, this is one of my favorites. Just incredible, alive, vibrant music being captured being created.
On that note, the woods. So much in the woods is green and shows its life that way and helps with other life where it is allowed to be and messed with as minimally as possible. To live rurally within such a garden with your sense and senses about you is connecting in ways difficult to describe. It’s a womb with a view. There are many places I’d like to see but nowhere I would rather be. Walden was the little book that introduced me to the concept and planted the seeds that took to make sure I never did live a live of quiet desperation. My favorite copy? A tiny green Shambala pocket edition that has been with me on some epic personal journeys.
And out in the woods is a little green workshop! Like any sanctuary or good vessel of freedom, it has a name – Wingfeather. Out of it and the companion building next to it come the Birdsongs and SD Curlees and other guitars & basses we are so blessed to manifest. The shop was raised by an intentional community circle in 2007 and is magical to work in with its huge windows and doors open, the breeze coming through and the sounds of birds outside (and occasionally inside as well). My spaces are my temples, so they all end up adorned with all manner of talisman; on the front of Wingfeather is a favorite sculpture from a friend and mentor Adideva Haydn Larson. It is also green.
Sarge is a ratty old ‘70s style street machine and my main driver. His fatigues are tattered and worn and I named him in honor of who he came from, and partly for those in fatigues of his era who never returned to drive the machines waiting in their garages or that they dreamed of buying when they came home. He is a 1974 Plymouth Road Runner. My cousin Jimmy had a red one that blew my mind as a kid, and my stepfather Jay briefly owned a ’70 that was dark green. I mostly remember cars of this era how they looked after 10 years of abuse and east coast winters – a lot like Sarge. Which is why he has been allowed to remain looking like he does; because it makes the kid in me SO happy. I rumble around strapped into this time machine, look at the goofy cartoon bird on the dashboard emblem, and can’t help but smile.
The Coleman camp stove is a brilliant piece of simplicity, a green metal box you can take anywhere and have a kitchen. A sturdy piece of gear. People ask what influences are in the Cortobass and they’re shocked when I don’t mention other brands or names until long after “…antique car wheel openings and the Coleman camp stove.” Buy one at the next yard sale and learn how to work it. I can almost “Before & after” my life to the point I was informed that it existed.
I’ll mention Claussen Kosher Dill halves, just a spectacular pickle experience, and that the earth laughs in peppers. There isn’t space or typing finger left to go into peppers. But I will tell you that Castelavetrano olives are bright green orbs of fragrant flavor and the absolute best green olives I’ve ever tasted. Brighter green than the regular old green olives one finds fake pimenti crammed into, they have layers of flavor much like a good wine does, enough to make one want to go to Sicily for a sample of a fresh one alone. I’m going to go to the fridge and have a few right now. It’s 9AM. That’s how good they are. Then I’m putting on Coltrane and in the shop I go! Have yourself a great weekend and do something fun with something green.
Listening to: John Coltrane, Coltrane; Sly & The Family Stone at the Isle of Wight festival 1970; RL Burnside, My Black Name a Ringin’.