I used to sing in coffee houses and at college events all around UCLA, and at “open mic” nights. After that, I was lucky enough to become a professional and make a living in bands, singing groups and trying to break out on my own – like American Idol singers do before they get to “Idol.”
I’d forgotten all about it. Until my brother showed up last month with an old, old tape he had of me singing the songs I’d written and accompanying myself on guitar.
I let it sit for a month. Then, because I have no machine that can play reel-to-reel tapes, I took it to a studio to transfer it to CD, and here I am listening to it now.
I’m sort of lost in the old days, now. I went to the garage, where all my old music from my days as a wanna-be singer and as a church choir conductor is stored in a little suitcase – and I’m now surrounded by songs I handwrote out on special, copyable paper.
I remember now that I’d taught myself how to transpose keys of songs written by others for the “open mic” nites where there was a combo on the stage and no rehearsal. I remember how I’d taken myself to those restaurants and bars and coffee houses, alone, and gotten up on stage. I remember getting a “tryout” in the lounge at Sportman’s Lodge nearby in Studio City… Ohhhh…and now it’s rolling….more and more and more memories.
All the songs are about love. Loving some man. And…losing childhood innocence. I was all about pain, lonliness and…hope.
I’m feeling like I want to re-learn these songs and re-sing them and re-record them…to re-create. And…perhaps I will. Or…
Perhaps I’ll write something new.
What about you?
What do you have in the back of your closet that’s either holding you back, or was so great you feel like you could never get that great experience again, or that you’re holding out in front of yourself like a carrot on a stick – to recreate?
All of a sudden I can think of so much in my life to DO OVER.
It’s like a brake on my spirit. A drag on my engine. Is going backward so much easier than going forward? Was it really an easier time? Were we more brave?
I don’t think so.
Perhaps we live so many different lives. Perhaps we all have chapters in our lives, chapters that never end, and sort of lead into each other, and make up a grand story altogether – but aren’t meant to go BACK to.
So – I’ll write about memories when I get up off the floor with these…but for now, let’s both do this.
Bring yourself up to NOW. Pull your brain out of the paths of what’s past – from the lovely paths and the quiet paths, and the deserted paths, and the scary paths, and the mean and painful paths. From all of them.
Look out a window, or step out the front door.
Breathe in the sunshine or the rain, or the mist – the blue or gray sky, the hot or cold air. Take it in and stomp your foot on the ground. Out loud – Say NOW!!
See if you can come back into your body as it is now. go look at something and touch something that screams NOW to you.
Let me know how this mix of old and new works best for you, as you let old morph INTO new, as you let the early chapters fulfill themselves into the ones you’re living now.