The reflected eyes above the sink? They are not always the kindest pair. Not mine. Not to me.
I once was thinking myself on the path of some Zen master.
Then I thought myself some king of trash. A champion of the underbelly. A voice for the rejects. The losers. The destitute.
Now, neither. And always, someday, both.
Before I pour your attention down the drain, I should say it was a productive week. Though I want more. A human curse, and worse, maybe, with me- as I find myself habit addicted. A few bad ones that I’ve let run rampant for a time. Those I know I can control. And ultimately I can rid myself of. But there are those that are harder shook. Impossible, even.
Like this, whatever this experiment is- a small/massive example of a tendency I’ve turned into a thematic periodical. The believed need to word out the conundrums on my mind and see if I can stick them in anyone else’s head. Regularly. And timed with a point of low or exhausted or philosophical mood (college to now working adult hangovers).
And it has worked. Not with everyone. Not every time. But I’ve put my thoughts in elsewhere minds without them even hearing my voice. And because of that and a mild bus load of other reasons, the habit goes on, and on, and on. And on, as far as I can tell. Can’t go cold turkey. Did that once. Didn’t go well and I came back anyway.
But the efforts of seeking acknowledgement are exhausting. Or it is just my method that provided the exhaustion. An eon ago, I was told I should be more confident. Perhaps, she was right.
I am a great skeptic of compliments. And I’d be a liar if I said I was a stranger to them. But I am hard to believe kind words. Because they don’t see the whole who I see. But my sight is skewed. Biased. Perhaps they see better than I.
I was dead to the world on Friday. Christmas party Thursday night. Got out of work, drank far too much, far too quick, made what I am being told was quite the rousing speech before my co-workers- then puked a bit at the bar and left without saying goodbye.
Very merry, as they say.
So consequentially, Friday was a rough start. But work needed be done. The prep for Saturday’s intentions. And so, to fight the total transformation into total rotten asshat, I pulled myself from the wallow and woes and got to business. Had to pick up gear. Prep ourselves to record as a band the next day.
And to push myself even further, I did something mildly bold. I went to a show that night. By myself. Just to go. Because I wrote not long ago of my concern of not enjoying the things I enjoy. And I enjoy live music. More than I enjoy most other things.
So, I went. Don’t know what I was hoping to find but I left with some form of satisfied. ‘Twas worth the effort for the opening act alone. I have a place in my heart and a special set of attention for opening acts. And I love me a bluegrass band, especially when they all share the same center microphone. Like an America of old, alive still or again. And thankfully my stomach refused me having more than a single beer, so the experience was unadulterated.
It is an interesting thing, to go to a show alone. I rather enjoyed it. No other folks to appeal to or impress, unless I choose to meet new folks. But I felt no such urge that night. I just watched the music, and occasionally the people. We are funny beasts, especially when out and about.
And when you go to the hip part of town, there seems to be a higher ratio of lovely, young women than in the dive bars and backyards where my band plays. Which I tend enjoy. Respectfully.
But speaking of music, there is success to share. We recorded. Not a whole album, not in one day. But we got vastly more done than we expected. And better still, the results are quite nice. Best we’ve ever sounded. And got to work with a tremendously wonderful man. A fellow who has been working in the same studio for half a century. One that seems to have been part of massive success and still a connection to the little guy. Only ten minutes from where I live.
And of all those hours of very positive production, I can say me thinks me knows my favorite moment.
So, dig. Towards the end of the session. Second-to-last tune we got down, if I remember correctly, one that we weren’t quite sure we would get. Two false starts but then the first take all the way through was it. And the best part was not that we were hitting these tunes right and quick all day. We were. But the best part was as soon as we finished that one tune, before the man behind the glass dressed as though Santa Clause were a member of Pearl Jam asked if we wanted to keep the take, he very simply said a short phrase. A statement. A few words that mean the world when said correct and here there worth more than gold and fame.
He told us this:
That’s a really cool tune.
Now, dig. That may seem like nothing. But let us place this in proper context. This man has been working in producing music for fifty years. From huge and massive international acts, to acts that no one has even heard of, to even writing and recording his own music. He has heard thousands, maybe millions of songs and takes and gold and crap. He has processed more music than most could imagine and has been at it for almost twice as long as I’ve even been alive. He doesn’t need to say anything, and likely doesn’t when not compelled. He didn’t say it has a cool part, or this bit is good.
The whole thing, beginning to end. It’s cool. And cool is a heavy word with musical folks.
He also shared further and more words, all of which were good and positive or constructive. And gave us an excellent product to boot.
I woke up this morning wanting to beat myself up. Another bad habit I’ve had as of late. But I reviewed my recent livings and have decided not to. I’m doing alright. Pretty good, really.
I want more. Perpetually, it seems. And some of those wants may be realized. And some of them are nothing but pipe dreams and whispers from the past. We shall have to see each one as it comes.