Tuesday, July 23, 2019


Let’s talk about shoelaces. I went directly from teaching one course with 45 folks digging into the sorrowful soil and joyful flowering of jazz into another with 45 folks traveling without passports to the many beautiful musical cultures that feed our ever-emerging mix of cultures. Deep issues, deep discussions, reaching for enlarged understanding, for ways of organizing sound that unlock another faculty of soul, for hard discussions about power and privilege and those who would push away all but their own narrow slice of human potential. Worthy work, healing work, difficult work. But I want to talk about shoelaces.

Because I bought a perfect pair of light sneakers for my Swedish bike-ride. Perfect except the shoelaces were way too long. Returned to San Francisco with my go-to Brooks Brothers black shoes, but here the shoelaces are too short. And in both cases, they keep coming untied. Mysteriously so. Have my kindergarten tying shoes declined as I approach five days before my 68thbirthday? What’s going on? What to do? 

Seems to me there’s four choices:

1)   Buy new shoes. 
2)   Wear sandals. 
3)   Do nothing and keep complaining. 
4)   Get new shoelaces. 

Somewhere in here is a deep metaphor about the way we refuse to solve the problems of the racial divide, the gender divide, the economic divide and so on. But no time to look into it now—I have to put my shoes on to get to class. Maybe I’ll tie a double-knot. 


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