November 2013


I just had to replace the counter beads on my bead bag. For the non chanters reading this, devotees chat the Hare Krishna maha mantra both in kirtan and on mala,  beads,  privately.  This is called japa. A set of chanting beads consists of 108 beads. You chant one mantra

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare

on  a bead then move to the next one.  When you get to the head bead  (a larger bead you don’t chant on) at the end of the set you turn around and go back the other way. For each round completed you slide down a counter bead.  Counter beads are tied to the bead bag and come in a set of 16 or 20 so you slide down one bead until you reach the number of rounds you are going to chant, devotees typically chant 16 rounds. See japa set here.

Eventually the counter beads wear out the string they are on and start falling  down themselves because the string doesn’t provide enough tension to hold them up.  So you have to replace them which I just did. This happens every few years couldn’t say exactly as who keeps track of such things but often enough it is a regular feature of long term devotee life. At least for someone like me who buys cheap counter beads.

Given my current medical condition, which I hope to give an update on soon, this is probably the last set  of counter beads I will need so another complication of life fades away.

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Well the coal black sea waits for me me me
The coal black sea waits forever
The waves hit the shore
Crying more more more
But the coal black sea waits forever

The tornados come up the coast they run
Hurricanes rip the sky forever
Though the weathers change
the sea remains the same
The coal black sea waits forever

There are ashes spilt through collective guilt
People rest at sea forever
Since they burnt you up
Collect you in a cup
For you the coal black sea has no terror

Will your ashes float like some foreign boat
ot will they sink absorbed forever
Will the Atlantic Coast
have its final boast
Nothing else contained you ever

Now the coal black sea waits for me me me
The coal black sea waits forever
When I leave this joint
at some further point
The same coal black sea will it be waiting

I was a big fan of Lou Reed in the late 1960s for all the wrong reasons so news of his death from complications following a liver transplant (see the pattern?) was sad to hear.

Most people spent the 60s listening to R+B or San Fransisco sound and when I mention Lou Reed they give me a puzzled look until I mention his one venture into the Top 40 “Walk on the Wild Side.”

Another song of his that got a lot of covers was “Sweet Jane” most notably by the Cowboy Junkies.

The irony is that I just heard a Lou Reed song in a car commercial for the first time “It’s Such a Perfect Day.” I was a little puzzled who their target demographic was.

Although never a Top 40 success he was  extremely influential amongst musicians and arguably the Grandfather of punk rock.