Caught by the River

Jeb's Jukebox

Jeb Loy Nichols | 16th October 2015

I’m Going Home
Arthur Adams
Blue Thumb

What I’ve done, these last few weeks of summer, is to wish myself elsewhere. Standing in a festival, surrounded by festival goers, by the thump of music, by the constant din and mumble, by the smells of disparate food and portaloos, by the sight of stalls and dogs and banners, I wished myself home. Even during those moments when things were good – sitting with friends, listening to a fire crackle, drinking tea and discussing some little, forgotten problem, I wished for home. I remember what Lao Tzu wrote: Be where you are. I try. I put Home from my thoughts. But a week later I’m standing in London where it’s over full and always loud; the hecticness unbearable. With the shouting and the motors and all the cramped bits that never lull. The diesel and the leaf blowers. It wearies me. Again I wish for home.

I wished for the fog drenched fields that surround my house. For the bracken and brambles. For the wind slapped trees. For the smell of mud. For the leaves going brown. For the animals that are, in the evening, heard but not seen. Mostly I wished for silence. For the quiet of sitting alone in my room.

On the way back from London, sitting on the train reading the collected writings of Sun Ra, I came upon this quote: What planet is this? Is this a planet of life or death?

I hurried home as quickly as I could. I sat for a day in exhausted silence. I watched the fields and crows. I watched the dogwood. I read Barry Gifford and Ryokan. I drowsed. Then, quietly, I listened to Arthur Adams sing I’m Going Home.

Jeb Loy Nichols
Jeb’s Jukebox archive