Spring Is Sprung 2015 ► Unpacking The Writer
Spring forward. Snark back.

I miss Spring. I also miss Fall. I don’t miss winter, but I do miss the change of the seasons.

For the most part Florida has no seasons other than Hurricane Season. My first Hurricane Season in Florida, I met Wilma face-to-face.

In other climates Spring stands for renewal, rebirth, growth. It means climbing out of a long, dark winter and crawling into the sunlight. Meanwhile, Fall contains the most gorgeous colours in nature, various shades of brown, orange and gold that light up the trees. Spring and Fall are just two of the things I gave up when I left Canada to take care of Pops in Florida after my mom died 9 years ago.

As I write these words, I have another problem working at the back of my mind. I’m trying to decide whether I want to go to tonight’s Tequesta Drum Circle Spring Equinox Celebration. I’ve written before about my love of banging 2 pieces of wood together. I’ve found some wonderful friends by playing my claves

Four times a year — on the change of the seasons — the Tequesta Drum Circle takes up a section of Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. which is on the spit of land between the ocean and the intercoastal. This is the largest local drumming event. It’s just under 13 miles due east of me as the crow flies, but it’s easier to drive along Sunrise Boulevard.

Claves, aka 2 pieces of wood

I wrote about going to my first and, so far, my only Tequesta Drum Circle in A Pagan Pastoral Letter. Long story short: That night I was desperately seeking spirituality (the irony is not lost on me). What I found instead was a crowded field with a fire at one end and tiny tent villages around the periphery. The field was teaming with people. No matter where I walked, or stood, or sat, I found myself jostled constantly.

It was impossible to relax, which is what I like to be doing when I am banging 2 pieces of wood together. Normally, during a drum circle I close my eyes, slip into a Zen groove, and see how many minutes I can lose to non-thought. I drift within the rhythm and add my little syncopated clicks to the boomba-boomba-boomba-boom of the drums — both big and small — all around me. When it all works, and I’m in the groove, I hear my part not as 2 pieces of wood, but more like those embellishments added by Scat singers or a horn section. My brain converts what is strictly a rhythm swirling around me into full band arrangements of tunes I’m writing in my head, on the fly, as I fall deeper into the groove.

While I didn’t go to the Tequesta Winter Solstice with a lot of expectations (other than finding peace and spirituality, of course), I didn’t quite figure it would be like going to a concert with festival seating and, when none of the bands showed up, the audience burned down the stage, howled at the moon, and made their own music by banging on anything handy. [Hoo boy, some of my drumming friends will hate that simile; others may not. Writers may marvel at that run-on sentence.]

I may not decide to go to the Tequesta Spring Solstice Drum Circle until I go. Or, I may not even decide. But, all this to say my attention is divided. That’s why this will be a shorter than usual Unpacking The Writer, a regular feature here in the Not Now Silly Newsroom.

In the last one, called Rakng Muck in the Big Miami, I was still doing a victory dance after getting an official apology from the City of Miami following my series The Coconut Grove Playhouse Trojan Horse. I’ve now expanded upon on that series by dragging Kevin Spacey into the controversy. However, nothing that’s happened has disabused me of the notion that it’s all about the parking garage and the theater is a sop to culture to get it done.

Like The Falafel King, I’m looking out for you.

Lately, my Coconut Grove research has zoomed out to look at the bigger picture. I’ve have been pulling at several seemingly unrelated threads that — it turns out — may be part of the same tapestry. Think of these threads as the potential warp and woof of The Bigger Picture.

As I continue to pull at these threads, one of two things will happen: I will either discover my sources were right, or the entire thing will unravel in my hands; either I will finally locate the smoking gun of Miami corruption we’ve all been looking for, or I’ve spent all this time chasing tips that turn out to be false and writing run-on sentences like this.

While I’m thinking of it I’m going to drop another plug for my weekly Friday Fox Follies at PoliticusUSA, which I have to start writing almost immediately if it’s to be finished on a Friday. Lately it’s been a Load o’Laffs writing about Loofah Lad again.

Don’t be deceived that the controversy has died down. The Falafel King only appears to have dodged that bullet. From this moment on, like it hasn’t been the case already, every word he utters will be compared to every word he’s ever uttered, or written, and any deviation will be the next Bill O’Reilly Headline Du Jour. I believe Bill O’Reilly’s been grievously wounded by his lies having finally caught up with him.

Consequently, I predict he will be announcing his retirement shortly. He’s rich enough. He doesn’t need the daily criticism, some of which I hear is coming from inside the walls of Foxtown. Believe it or not, some Foxites believe that Loofah Lad’s Lies are bringing down the whole operation. I know, right? But, there it is.

So, yes, you will be reading of Bill O’Reilly’s retirement soon. When it comes to tee vee prognostication, remember I famously predicted that The Five would not be long for this world in the gut-buster The Five Is Simply Bad Tee Vee — An Aunty Em Review.  While you’re there, you can read all my columns for NewsHounds, written under the nom de plume of Aunty Em Ericann.

While on the topic of Fox “News,” don’t forget the little corner of the interwebs which I have carved out for Fox Follies and Fallacies. And, if you’re really that desperate for fake friends you can reach out to me on the facebookery, or Twitter my timbers.

That’s all for this month. Tune in next month to see who I’ve insulted in the interim.

About Headly Westerfield

Calling himself “A liberally progressive, sarcastically cynical, iconoclastic polymath,” Headly Westerfield has been a professional writer all his adult life.