In Asia we face an ambitious and aggressive China, but we have the will and we have the strength to help our Asian friends resist that ambition. Sometimes our folks get a little impatient. Sometimes they rattle their rockets some, and they bluff about their bombs. But we are not about to send American boys 9 or 10,000 miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.
When I came to New York, to Brooklyn, I met Alvin Ailey and Stanley Crouch and August Wilson. They were always putting things in a philosophical context. All the great jazz musicians did, too. There was always a sub-context to what they were saying about music even though they would be very down home and earthy. So I started to develop, in addition to my power and ability to simply hear, a way to place myself in a time.
I've given parties that have made Indian rajahs green with envy. I've had prima donnas break $10,000 engagements to come to my smallest dinners. When you were still playing button back in Ohio, I entertained on a cruising trip that was so much fun that I had to sink my yacht to make my guests go home.
Maybe that's what growing up means, in the end - you go far enough in the direction of - somewhere - and you realise that you've neutered the capacity of the term home to mean anything. [. . . ] We don't get an endless number of orbits away from the place where meaning first arises, that treasure-house of first experiences. What we learn, instead, is that our adventures secure us in our isolation. Experience revokes our licence to return to simpler times. Sooner or later, there's no place remotely like home.