Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Dust

I have not picked up a musical instrument in over six months. Not for enjoyment, not for performance, not for love, not for hate, not to laugh, not to cry, not to write, not to relax, not to vent, not for work, not for catharsis, not for anyone else, and certainly not for me. It has been a pretty sobering reminder of what can happen in life when one sinks into the depths of oneself after surviving the trauma of losing 11 years of love, trust, and friendship to the cold betrayal of deception, fraud, and the heartless theft of ones home, attempted theft of ones beloved dog, and the ensuing court battle. (Thankfully settled out of court). All of this from my absolutely lunatic ex who decided to go off her medication cold turkey and attempted to destroy my life. And for a little while, she won the battle. But I think we all know who wins the war in these cases. I feel very very lucky.

But then there was last week. And in an instant, a rising river from a vicious sustained rainstorm caused an older dam to collapse. One that was meant to hold back flood waters for 100 years. I spent the past week running through rising flood waters, trying to find a way out. But drowning while standing on my feet, at times stranded on a roof, with no boat, and no FEMA. Very grateful for the friends who have reached out from their own boats weathering their own storms... Tossing me supplies and support.

Where I have been is not an unfamiliar place. It's a place that I have spent far too much time in my life. I know all the hallways, I have keys to all the doors. The doorman knows my name, and I even have roof access with a private swimming pool. It is dark, it is sick, is heavy, it is solitary. It is home.

About a year ago, I met with Eastman Guitars in Nashville when they came in for the NAMM show. Ironically, I had just purchased a beautiful home with my ex and we were reviewing plans to build a  full-size recording facility in the lot behind the house. I was especially fond of Eastman's parlor size guitar that they were bringing to market. I felt a special connection to the E10OO-M and had been looking for a smaller body guitar to take on the road. At the time, only two existed in the entire world. So, I had to wait for Eastman to build me one. But, build it they did. My guitar was delivered late in the fall, just weeks before the walls of my world came crashing down around me and the earth crumbled beneath my feet.  I was in a free fall, and it lasted the better part of six months. Welcome to life. Again.

That gorgeous guitar has been calling out to me for the last two months. Every day she calls out louder, and every night I hear her, but I feel powerless to answer. Last night, I could no longer ignore her cries and finally gave in to her desires. Like many of us, she longed to be held. See, she had a purpose... She was built specifically for me, to take in everything I had to give; to listen, to receive, to decode and to translate, and of course to communicate what she has learned.

I have not picked up a musical instrument in over six months. But last night I played for six hours. Last night, I played an hour for every month I had missed. Last night, I played until every muscle in my torso had seized up. I played until every finger was raw and bled onto the strings below it.  I was in a trance, unconsciously yelping and moaning and singing and crying until my voice was long gone. What emerged from the ashes was the dark and murky dust of a song. It arose from a deep wound, an infection of sorts, filled with dark pus that needed to be brought to the surface; a demon waiting to be exercised, this song, this disgusting beast, this misunderstood child that no one wanted. And yet, there he was standing in front of me, a perfect reflection, staring directly into my eyes without speaking a word, as if to say: I am here. I have been waiting for you. I have been here this whole time.

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