i've been shackled with a not-so-cool stomach bug the past
few days. funny how these things jump into your body mysteriously, run roughshod through your digestive system, and tear outta there with nasty exit wounds. the only thing
i felt like doing (minus the obvious) was catching up on my newsweek magazines. i canceled my teaching, sadly backed out of a gig with my new favorite band, and even stayed away from facebook. the recipe for recovery was my comfy minnesota timberwolves blanket, some chicken soup, and a bunch of past episodes of storage wars that i had stashed away on my dvr.
after sleeping with one eye open, quarantined in my oldest son's bed and serenaded by the obnoxious jt the brick, i awoke feeling better. the dynamite weather we were having was added encouragement. i went to the building for a lesson with a kid dynamo sophomore at the local high school. i hadn't played my horn in two weeks. the only physical activity i had engaged in was cautiously scaling the stairs around the house.
i probably should have bagged the lesson, but the kid is cool and is getting ready for an audition. hey - i'm a softy.
i nervously put my horn together in front of him, certain that he was going to kick my butt all over the office as we worked through an etude and some aebersold play-a-longs. he sounded great, and i felt fantastic!!! so weird... the horn felt good in my face. the lowering of my shoulders helped me get centered. the forward motion of my air as it moved through the instrument felt as if i was expunging the demonic virus that plagued me. i was borderline understanding the oral fixation that alice coltrane claimed her husband had.
i play the saxophone because i'm best at that instrument than any other. i have no real allegiance to it, but i do love my horn and mouthpiece and care compassionately for my reeds. i don't listen to a lot of saxophone and don't really study the history of the instrument either. however, i love the way it feels when i play it. improvising on my saxophone is an incredible sensation. hearing what i just played rattling around in my ears while strategically crafting new ideas is euphoric. the designs and visualizations in my brain that i try to translate into musical terms compete for headspace, and i often play traffic controller to my fingers to help them steer clear of catastrophe. all the while, i attempt to keep my heart open, my head clear, and my thoughts pure.
i'd hate to think i need the hershey squirts again to remind me of my appreciation for the physical aspects of making music. one thing's for sure - i made my contribution to the mr. whipple retirement fund this week. you're welcome.