Sunday, November 22, 2009


As I said before, my decision to leave California was prompted by having been 'backed in to a corner' financially. This came across my mail today, and perfectly addresses that corner...and, elevates it from a place of pain to a place of import.

"In a corner
Somewhere in the Austin Airport
Sept 19, 2007

They’re everywhere. They’re
important. They give us a landmark for when it’s time
to turn. They give us something to shoot for and make a change. They give us somewhere
to go and hide. Let’s go around the corner and smoke a cigarette.
Sometimes they are dark. Dirty. You can’t always get the dust out of the back
on the hutch. Don’t worry, no one will see.
But they are also full of life. Life that isn’t always right in front of us. The
subtle, the hidden, the discreet. Off the beaten path. Corners are their own little
world, sometimes in the middle of the rest of the world. But when you go into the
corner, you feel like you’ve left the rest of the world
It was funny, coming from Houston where there was nothing but Continental aircraft
everywhere you looked. Then you fly into Austin and they have a corner at one end
of the terminal. All the way at the end. Tucked away in a corner.
Down on that same
end of the concourse was a little place called Lefty’s On 6th
Street. If you’ve never been to 6th Street in Austin, make a day or three of it.
It’s a street just off the center of town. Music. Lot’s of it. One of those corners
just off the center of town where everything is not quite so obvious. But you can
find it if you want.

But here in the airport, inside security across from the gates, sits a little corner
in Lefty’s where a young man sat strumming his guitar. I was struck by his voice
at first. I could almost imagine I was listening to Eric Clapton singing Delta
Blues. Then the strumming on the strings
turned to a furious slash and pick that
seemed like a blur. The sound leapt from the instrument and floated across to me.
Here was a man that knew what he was doing. Then he shifted gears and I was imagining
I was listening to Michael Hedges, playing something on a guitar tuned in a way
only Michael could do.

Here was a little piece of magic, tucked away in a corner. Not necessarily the
magic of a prodigy, but surely something for this modest little location, tucked
in a corner of the Austin airport.

Corners are the great frontier of the eclectic soul. The kind of place where you
go to find things that get you funny stares when you talk about them, or a knowing
nod from someone who has been there. Long lines, waiting times and pop culture
familiarity are not found in corners. That’s what makes them so attractive. Treasures
are found in corners; treasures that are valuable, perhaps, only to the adventurer
that makes the find. But the more I go, the more I glance from the road
in front of me and turn corners and find corners and have a cold beer in a corner,
the more bounty I find for my treasure room."

Published by permission from the author, Randy Jeffers

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