Saturday, November 23, 2013


 There's been quite a break since I have last written. Lemme 'splain:
 Music for me, as it is for many, is a big part of my life. Of course everybody has a different level and a different appreciation as well as a different scope of tastes. Some folks have wide areas of appreciation, while others can be quite narrow and focused. I have always liked a lot of things and live by the motto that "If it sounds good, it IS good." Consequently I listen a lot. Always in the car, especially when alone. I find that is my best time to 'study a piece' and listen to it over and over or re-run certain parts. I also listen in my office, but not as much because I can't really use music, unless it's the pop stuff, as background 'noise'. If it is good music I am too distracted by it to work on detailed things. However, if I am doing grunt work that takes little brain power then yeah, I crank up some tunes. Music is truly therapy for me and I won't go into the reasons here, just know that is is necessary for my 'normal' daily existence. It took me from a very dark place a few years back and with daily doses, life remains 'OK' for me most of the time. That's also why I play EVERY day. I don't want to as much as I NEED to.
 For me the music is just about always playing and I cannot think of a time when I have shut off the player and/or radio in the truck. That is, until recently. The last couple of weeks I have been a bit loaded up with the fall chores or winter preparations both at our own place and my folks. That consumed all my 'free' time, well that and trying to get my back and legs to function normally and without pain. In the middle of this, I had a family crisis, one that brought me to my kness for a bit and caused great emotional pain. As a family, we are working on that and I have high hopes we will fix it and get through it as we have always managed to in the past. However those tings together caused a lot of stress and had me wobbling a bit emotionally. Then the 3rd strike came in out of left field when a friend who is very dear to me told me he has cancer. I lost my grip.
 Driving home that night after getting the news, the sounds coming out of the CD player sounded like so much noise to me that I turned it off. I don't think I have ever done that before. Frankly I really don't remember the drive home at all. My mind was racing through all sorts of thoughts like a ping pong ball inside a washing machine. All my concerns and questions about my friend's needs, his family, the prognosis, treatment, and all the little things 'how can I help?', 'Should I offer to help or is it best if I let him ask first?', 'can I help his family in any way?'. Then all the questions I asked myself "What kind of cancer is it?", Where is it?", "did he say how far along it was?". I realized then that when he gave me the news I barely heard a word he said after that. I was devastated.
 The next day, in fact for the next 2 days there was no music for me. I could not pick up the instrument and I surely had no interest in turning on a CD. The worst part was that he asked me not to tell anybody, so I could not share and discuss this with the people I would normally go to for counsel. I also could not tell the people I thought would really want to know about his situation, good friends of his who care.
 All told, it was about 4 days before I got a grip on myself and re-focused on the correct course of action, which basically was to follow his wishes for privacy but make it clear that I was more than willing to do anything I could to be of help. Driving for treatments, keeping him company, doing research, whatever he needed, I could be his guy. Just call. I also dropped him an email to check in and inquired how he was getting on soon after his treatment began. At some point, I turned the music back on and began to play again, albeit, halfheartedly.
 So after these last couple of weeks I am looking back at 'what just happened' and finding it more than a little ironic that the music which I have relied on daily for the past several years to bring me peace was the very thing that provided too much noise when I needed peace the most and I had to shut it down so I could think. I never thought I would say this, but sometimes I guess the music has to stop.
 So winter is now upon us and I hope to be able to provide my drivel on a more regular basis for the next few months. With the holiday coming up next weekend I should be able to work something up. I have been thinking for several weeks now about doing a CD review and I have 2 albums in mind, one from a long time ago that you have probably never heard and should, and another that is current. I am trying to decide which artist(s) can better withstand any pain I might inflict through my lack of training. Steve Martin read the post I wrote about him and we are still friends, so maybe I sell myself short here. If you have an opinion, let me know, the comment lines are open.
Keep the beat,
234 days to Grey Fox

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