Church of the Subtle

Some time ago my husband Dave Myers and I were discussing, again, what we should name our band. We’d been singing together for at least a year when we settled on Church of the Subtle. We both loved John Coltrane and were taken by the fact that devotees of Coltrane founded a church around his music, and gathered every Sunday in a Christian fashion to play his songs.

Dave and I both appreciated subtlety,  particularly with respect to music. We were both radio people, so understood the power of invisible forces. We wanted our life together to represent subtlety, and we wanted our work to testify to the marriage of our vibrations.

The Earth and Her subtle agencies garlanded us with rewards, leading to overconsumption, poor judgment, predation. Art lost. The children paid, and paid.

Defeated, casting my eyes heavenward, I discovered goodness, and sipped it through a straw.

I heard a voice and hummed what I heard. It was Aloysius Proud, who wrapped himself in a summer’s day and explained himself away. I took notes, unfortunately.

My service dog, Lucky, was attacked while I was away, burying the dead, the long dead, the castaway. He was bitten in the neck by the same shark who took his master’s voice. It circled for seven years, and went for the juggler, but the juggler took him and cast him in the sea. She was not a sailor, but was driven.

I must bring him back piece by piece, and remind myself he was subtle, he worshipped the subtle, he was a child of rock and roll and therefore must never grow old.

The obituary mentions me as one of the “other relatives.” Church of the Subtle isn’t mentioned, though we made two albums together and sang together for 14 years, mostly Dave’s compositions, and him doing most of the playing and singing. I had the babies and massaged his body and worshipped at his feet and assumed he deserved all the credit.

We gave each other nothing for Christmas, after giving everything we had to others. Those were our happiest times.

When you love someone and kids are involved, you have to put your love first and remember why you had kids together. It’s not up for debate. I married an artist. I married in a realm above it all, and invited others to witness. Whoever made it to Sutro Park in San Francisco on the first day of spring in 1997 heard me say I would love him even when he was tormented and needed understanding.

Perhaps only the sea heard me.

Now the underworld is overhead and the ocean’s harbor is my bed.

 

 

 

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