Jessica Williams, jazz pianist, composer


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Nothing rattles you. You see the idiots play their idiot games. You watch the parade.

You watch, rather than experience.

You'd rather not experience any of this because that implies that you file it away and make sense of it . . . experiencing gives something experienced a certain validity, a certain gravity.

Watching gives nothing. You can watch and then walk away clean.

And you never ever participate.

That's a given. If you participate, you don't understand a word of this.

Always walk away clean.

You watch as grown men and women act like perfect lunatics and you don't file that away.

You watch it. You aren't involved.

You watch TV and see Greenspan and his bubbles.

He has lots of bubbles. Local bubbles, urban bubbles, bear bubbles, bull bubbles, nebulous bubbles.

There are no real bubbles.

The bubbles are in his head.

You don't write that down. You might chuckle. You watch, that's all.

Always try to walk away clean.

You're not here to change this.

Want to do something?

Play piano at the old folks homes for free.

Go down to the soup kitchen.

Give away some of the clothes you don't need.

Give away some of the stuff you won't ever use.

Lighten the load.

Then walk away.

Don't try to explain yourself and don't try to be popular.

You'll wind up misunderstood and despised.

Want to leave something?

Help somebody.

Do something for somebody besides you.

You get to this age, and not very much matters except love and little dogs and kitties and friends and family and memories and good work.

All kinds of tricks will be played on you, all kinds of names will be hurled at you, all kinds of rumors will swirl around you, and sometimes, some one will think they've scored a hit.

Adjust the shades and smile.

One of those half-smiles that's a secret between you and yourself.

Then just walk clean away.

Then just walk away clean.



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