Years before I met Hayden Carruth in Syracuse in the early nineties, I read his essay “The Formal Idea of Jazz.” Jazz interrupted by talk or noise irritated him. It irritates me. I knew we had that much in common as we sat one night in a relatively quiet corner at a boisterous party, drinking, exchanging a few words, listening to a jazz cd played in another room. Some riff made him smile and he tried to talk about it, but I didn’t hear, couldn’t filter the jazz from the noise. The moment was lost. He grew quiet.
A small thing. One moment. One shared observation. I regret the loss. An appreciation of regret and its role in thought is something else I know we shared.