August 9, 2016

This Bomb is Personal

I have a bomb in my body.  It could go off at any time.  Unlike other bombs, this bomb is personal. 
It will most likely not kill others around me.  It has my name on it alone.  It is my bomb.  That said, there may be collateral damage. It is unavoidable. Please accept my apologies now. 

I can hear it ticking right now, and that is good thing. As long as the bomb is ticking, I am safe.  I am good to go.

This personal time bomb is of course my heart.  It takes a licking and keeps on ticking.  

Recently , I had to call in the bomb squad.  More accurately,  I walked myself to the local  ER, which is only a few blocks away. That is a good thing.  
I took my bomb and asked the experts in the ER to help me understand if the pains that I have felt consistently for the past week were in my head or in my heart.  I wanted to know if the pin was loose.   
After about four hours, they completed their inspection.  While they did not doubt the
pains in my chest were real, the experts could not tell me why without further tests.
They did confirm that my bomb had not gone off.  There was no evidence of a recent attack.
Nine years ago, the bomb went off. There were no casualties, but hello! Call it a wake up call.

Today more tests.  I did the nuclear stress test. They injected me with the radioactive solution, They took pictures of my bomb, they made me jog until I reached their designated limit, then injected me with more radioactive solution. 

Once again, I passed with flying colours.  My bomb is safe and intact, and not in any immediate danger of going off. 

What am I to make of this?

Have we reached a Detente? 
Are we entering into Peace talks?
Should I expect A Cold War?
Was I just having the male equivalent of A Hot Flash?

Hopefully, me and the bomb will come to a better understanding.   After all, we do have to live together. We depend on each other.  What happens to the bomb, happens to me.  And well, shit happens.

For now, the situation is temporarily defused.  The bomb is still ticking.  

But there is little doubt that one day, the bomb will go off.  One day, 0my personal bomb will shut me down. My shelf life will be up.  

I remember an evangelical preacher, who told me in teens, to be afraid.  Very afraid.  Because God was going to get us, because we were all evil because of Original Sin.  You could slip in the bathtub and die tonight.  You could be killed riding home on a bus, or driving a car.  A toddler could shoot you.  Terrorists, jihads, nuts, strangers- there is a whole schmorgasbord of fears to choose from.  

The important thing is to relax, breathe and not focus on the fear. 
I try to focus on the love, the music, family, and friends.  I am blessed with so much love.
And Life goes on until the day that it doesn't.  

I do not have control, but I do have my bomb.  My own little personal bomb.  And I am happy as long as it keeps on ticking. Tick, Tick, Tick...   

August 7, 2016

The Sandwich Test

After 37 years in the spotlight, there are two things I can say.   I love writing and performing my own music, and I love watching other people perform their music.   When I am performing, I am in the here and now.  I focus on the job at hand.  There is a connection between me and the audience, there is a connection with the band, and there is a connection that my mind makes with my body.

Although I bring a certain confidence on stage,  I am always nervous as hell before, and hyper-critical after.  I am my own worst critic.  But when the performance is happening, and that mind/body connection is working right, there is no greater feeling.  I get lost in the music. I can only give you everything.

Performance is similar to being intimate with someone, in that you are feeling and smelling and listening and vocalizing and staring intently into eyes. You are not thinking of anything else at that moment.  You focus only on the beauty of the moment.  If you cannot bring that focus, just forget about it. Go home right now.  Do us all a big favor and hang up the gloves.   If you are thinking about someone else at this moment, then you are not in the right bed.

I have different rules when I watch other people perform.   I call it the Sandwich Test.
Am I getting caught up in their performance, thinking of nothing else or is my mind wandering?
Rarely do I relax and just be the fan.  I begin imagining myself up there on the stage.   I begin thinking about what kind of sandwich I could be eating.

What choices would I be making?  White, Rye or Sourdough?