It’s been a longstanding tradition of mine, here at Fish & Bicycles, to announce when I will be unable to post for a while.
This series of Out of Office posts has spanned the last five years, they usually marked occasions when I was traveling, but sometimes I just knew I’d be too busy to blog during the winter holidays or other life events.
THIS, is not one of those occasions.
Though I actually am leaving tomorrow for Kaua’i, and will not be home until March 1st, the real catalyst for this post is the fact that my muse, who has been by my side as a writer for many years, with just one disappearing act from June 2013 to November 2014, has been completely and utterly occupied by a different creative pursuit of mine…
My muse isn’t very good at multitasking, and as my latest music project started to get serious, right around the beginning of this year, very little inspiration for writing has come my way.
The only place I’ve consistently found my muse lately has been here:
I’m super fortunate to be playing with a group of musicians of the highest caliber, in a studio like this, making the most complex music I’ve ever attempted to play.
One of the founding principles of this band was that we are all treating it as an opportunity to learn and grow as musicians; no small task when you consider that, except for our 20-something keyboard player, we’re all over the age of 50, hence lots of new tricks for old dogs.
But, considering that there is growing scientific evidence that making music can help stave off dementia, this is probably the very best thing that I can be doing for myself right now.
A friend of mine who shares with me a love for the music of the Grateful Dead, just tonight sent me a link to a YouTube clip featuring Jerry Garcia telling a story about a time when he had to play a concert after he had accidentally been dosed with LSD. Jerry explains that he got very paranoid before he had to go on stage, thinking there were mafia gangsters in the crowd who might want to kill him, especially if he went out there and couldn’t play because he was tripping on acid.
And so, in order to get through the situation, Jerry said to himself, “I’ll play for my life.” It worked, and it became a kind of mantra for other times in his life when he felt, musically, in a tight spot.
I relate to that, in numerous ways. Making music feels to me as if I AM playing for my life, not thinking that someone will kill me if I don’t play well, but because making music gives me life, sustains me, makes life worth living, makes life MUCH more fun.
SO … I’m not really sure when my muse will steer me back to writing, but Fish & Bicycles means much too much to me to give it up.
Most likely, after I have focused on music for a while, once the band has fully gelled, once we’ve been through the learning curve for the 30-40 songs we’re working on, maybe then some of my brain capacity will be freed up, and my muse will sense this available creative resource, and the inspiration to put words together in hopefully compelling ways will return.
Until then, thanks so much to any and all of my readers out there. If you’re subscribed, or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, etc., you’ll see me again when you see me.