Sunday, August 10, 2008

Out of Time

The kids and I spent the last few days time traveling. Thursday we went to see an exhibit of art objects and artifacts from the Vatican -- right down to St. Peter's bones and a few other relics, not including myself. From there we wandered over to see the renovated galleries at the Cleveland Museum of Art and also took in a little of the future as we were led through galleries that will open again next year. On Saturday we hung out in Avaloch, the imaginary village of the Great Lakes Medieval Faire. My daughter absolutely adores Johnny Phoenix -- I don't know if that guy can play the banjo and walk on fire at the same time, but he was genuinely funny and if I may say not too hard on the eyes for a man in tights in the woods. Today we wandered into a Civil War encampment circa 1863 at Hale Farm and Village. I have to say, it seemed to me the Union soldiers must have known how it all turned out because there didn't seem to be much of a sense of urgency in the way they sauntered across the field in their lineup. But the music and the conversation was good fun, although my daughter was not convinced that the man in the tall hat and dark coat really was Abe Lincoln.

It has been really fun exploring all these different things to do and especially just relishing the time together. Summer is still not over, even though the kids start school again a week from Tuesday. I can't get over how fast time flies, even though I try to slow it down by focusing on what is right in front of me.

The one thing that bothers me is that I haven't picked up an instrument in weeks. There just is preciously little time left after everything else to really sink my teeth into playing. I'm pretty sure I'd do it or be more motivated if I had a group of musicians I could work with on a regular basis, and I've been thinking that the way that will happen will be for me to hold it at my home. I think it could work. There are some picking/bluegrass jams around the region too, and I should probably start there. Sad to say, I need the pressure of playing with folks to get me to give up time on the other things that in the end are just not that important.

I have been enjoying this tune by one of my fave bands, The Infamous Stringdusters. Like the narrator in this song, I can feel the clouds beginning to break up a little. I do feel like I'm on to something, although I can't say for sure what it is. But every now and then when I've stepped off the hamster wheel I get a sense of my capacity to just go off and do what I need to do.

"Well, Well" reminds me of my pal Blueberry, who really doesn't ever get a break, either. I'm pretty sure she's crazy about these guys too. This one's for Blueberry -- better days are coming, I'm sure, just not sure when!


At August 11, 2008 6:39 AM, Blogger Blueberry said...

I am going to check out that track later on the "day job." Busy busy. The music benefit yesterday was very nice. I did work every day of the weekend, and more of it this morning at 5.

Check out The Greencards' new journal entry. There's a funny Stringdusters pic there.

At August 11, 2008 8:59 AM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Hey Blueberry,
It says something that you're in Texas and posting stuff before I even get to work in Ohio! There's got to be a better way. You'll appreciate the track. The Stringdusters are coming up here in September, in fact I think it's 9/11. Can't think of a better way to celebrate my patriotism.

I keep wondering whether I'd work less if it was something I was totally passionate about, or whether I'd work all the time then, like you do. I think the slightly adjusted gig I have now has potential to make us more comfortable but in the long run I'm not sure it's going to satisfy my soul. Time will tell.

At August 11, 2008 10:10 AM, Blogger DrDon said...

Mando - I actually inquired about taking guitar lessons this weekedn at a local music store. I have a hard time playing in front of anyone and I figured that might help. I also feel like I'm just not going anywhere. There's this natural tendency to get stuck playing what you know and not growing and really getting better at the instrument. I've been playing more lately but I really want to actually learn how to play. If I pay up front for lessons, that'll get my lazy butt moving.

At August 11, 2008 1:50 PM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Hey Don, you’ve got that right. You should go for it! Taking lessons is a way to do something really fun for yourself that feeds the brain and gives you a creative outlet. When I took mando lessons it helped to have someone pushing me a little and to set some goals to reach on a regular basis. Now that I understand the basics, whenever I can, if there are free workshops I try to go. That’s one reason I love to go to IBMA – free help from the best pickers, and lots of opportunities to join in.

Keep us posted! If you want a grownup teacher, let me know as I’m sure my local string shop can refer you to some good instructors uptown. Are you doing electric or acoustic?


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