Touching Reality

This ain't real, what's happenin'; you're havin' a dream.

Edward G. Robinson as Johnny Rocco in Key Largo

"Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about."

from "Strawberry Fields Forever" by John Lennon (Lennon/McCartney)

Is reality a condition created through the forces, combined but not concerted, of nature and all human beings?

If reality is a state of existence based in what is real and true, why are some people said to be "living a lie"?

Is reality a perception? Is it individualized ... or is my reality yours?

Is reality the outward circumstances, unanticipated and sometimes frightening, in which you find yourself? ... Or is it the inner world, calm and ordered, of your own devise?

Cybergod Knows What I Like (Sometimes)

Well, I don't usually do this – build a post around a link, that is – as when the link vanishes, what have you got? Ah, well ... except for the "our love" of the Bros. Gershwin's "Love is Here to Stay," it's all ephemera, is it not? Anyway, checking in, as is my wont, at youtube this evening, I discovered, among my "Recommended for You" videos (have to say that not infrequently Cybergod, interpreting my tastes rather loosely, comes up with some unendurable doozies) something heralded, accurately enough, as "Anita O'Day Live in Tokyo '63." Well, naturally, I clicked – I mean, I love Anita! Well, what should this clip turn out to be but the inimitable Ms O'Day doing her thing to one of my favorite songs, Sammy Fain and Lew Brown's "That Old Feeling" (extolled, in
Relative Esoterica, here) Well, what a combination – one of the finest jazz singers of all time and one of the most romantic songs ever written; for sure, Anita – even with her sassy and swinging air of irreverence – knew how to sing a love ballad. I dug everything about this video, including, as one might expect, the band and arrangement – except its premature ending; our chanteuse was barely into her second chorus when the screen faded to black. Enterprising lass that I am, I did a search for "Anita O'Day That Old Feeling" and got the entire performance – not much longer, as she does only two choruses (with no instrumental break between them), but satisfyingly complete. Comments for the abbreviated presentation led me to google "Anita O'Day Live in Tokyo '63"; it seems that the full concert in which she does the dreamy standard is available on DVD. In this appearance, the great O'Day is accompanied by an Japanese all-star orchestra, with Bob Corwin on piano, and the arrangements are provided by Buddy Bregman, whose bold, trombone-showcasing charts I have always highly fancied.

Read about it!

Dig Anita; experience "That Old Feeling":

The jazz vocalist had, of course, taken on this scorcher with Russ Garcia's orchestra in 1960, for her superb "Waiter, Make Mine Blues" album, but she can always be relied upon to bring a fresh interpretation, with her spontaneous feeling, to a previously visited tune.

A Strange Loneliness

Four large commercial fans and an imposing dehumidifier whirred noisily, drying the carpet, and the furniture was disarranged (a bit of a plumbing disaster having dispersed large quantities of water on part of the floor) in the lower level room in which I normally take my evening snack and visit my virtual haunts. Gloomy machine drone and disorder denying us our wont, Nelson and I took to the library (in which my beloved noir charcoal hangs and Nelson has posed fetchingly for a journal post). Nelson parked expectantly beside his filled water bowl, on the rug, and I deposited my coffee, a glass of milk and one of those huge and ridiculously over-frosted and sprinkle-adorned cupcakes that Costco sells on the small table next to the chair in which I planned to install myself, handed Nelson his Milkbone and selected, almost instinctively, from one of the bookshelves Margaret Forster's Daphne du Maurier: The Secret Life of the Renowned Storyteller. Since first reading the book a few years ago, I have returned to it, a few pages or a chapter at a time, often – not because Daphne du Maurier is my favorite author (as regular readers might know, Cornell Woolrich holds that distinction) but because I identify strongly with the Rebecca writer's violence of emotion, revealed in the Forster book through a sampling of du Maurier's correspondence with her close (and ever-unattainably distant) friend, Ellen Doubleday, wife of the English novelist's US publisher.

My scanning included, yet again, this passage, which I find especially resonant:

It was, she realized, a strange kind of loneliness from which she sometimes suffered—not the loneliness which comes from having 'loved but lost' but rather from 'feeling the loneliness of a loved one never known'. She felt there was an experience of loving and being loved that she had never attained, and it had nothing to do with sex. It was to do with being perfectly in tune with someone, which might involve the body, it was true, but was more to do with the fusing of mind and spirit.

(The above items in quotations come from a 2/22/50 letter from du Maurier to Doubleday.)

I, yet to know what I shall call a "conventional loneliness," one derived from either a temporary or consistent lack of what some might quaintly label "company," feel frequently this "strange" emotion, which Daphne du Maurier channeled so successfully into her work. ... In any encounter with Forster's description of Daphne's "strange kind of loneliness," (not strange but familiar to me), I am reminded of the similarly titled, melodically undistinguished and lyrically interesting ditty that the Bunny Berigan Orchestra waxed 10/7/37:

A Strange Loneliness

Music by Sammy Mysels, Words by Johnny Burke

A strange loneliness was in my heart
For someone I never knew.
A strange tenderness was in my heart –
And no one to show it to.

Then you came along with sunshine and roses to share.
Then you came along with kisses that taught me to care.

A strange loneliness has turned into
A strange happiness with you.

If only the condition could be so simply and pleasantly alleviated.