Without meaning to, I found myself lost in music this evening for several hours and took a long musical
journey all the way back to times I had forgotten, back to a place where I was a different me. I sat down at my piano and just started to play. I guess somewhere along the way I got lost.
One song led to another and with each finished chord and note my mind would grasp out and remember some forgotten song that I had learned along the way and the time and years flew by. It is strange how melody and music captures time and space for me. Some of these songs and tunes I literally had not played since high school and before and with each recalled note I found myself taking new steps in memory. Faces and places just seemed to drift across the back drop of my closed eyes, and while my chops and fingers aren't quite as crisp as they once were, I really was transported back to spaces in my mind and heart that have been untouched for oh, so many years.
I am not ashamed to admit that I cried. I wept. The tears came and went. Sometimes the music was loud, furious and passionate as I struggled to recall the classical pieces that I sweated and worked over back when I was a boy. Other moments were quiet, sweet and serene as my soul mused over a forgotten love or distant place I once saw or lived in. So many faces. Such different scenery of the heart. Somewhere in the moment of it all, I started singing. While half aware that on a Sunday night that the neighbors were all out in yards, on decks and patios and enjoying the beautiful weather, after a while I was simply lost in the music. I didn't care what they heard. I didn't care that they heard. While I have rarely been able to play or sing for others in my life, this night I sang for me. I sang for all of them in my past. I sang and poured out my heart for all those years gone by. The kid that I was. The boy I became. The gangly adolescent who didn't quite ever fit in. The student. The sailor. The man. Even now, I still am a bit overwhelmed and am simply hoping to capture something here that seems to be slipping away from me. I
But I know where to find it.
It lives in my piano. It resides in my voice. All of that life and love is in my heart. It was never gone. It was merely left idle. Frozen in time by music just waiting to be released by my fingers and raw emotion. How strange to have let this gift gather dust for so long? Such a way to pour out that deep pool that so often lies silent and still.
Today is not a good day. Normally I come here with hope and expectation, sharing my latest adventures
and describing what is going on in my life. I am not used to bad days. In fact, I am not used to feeling upset and out of sorts at all. Maybe it is part of the curse of my nature, but regardless of circumstances, I usually remain positive, lighthearted and attempt to find the good in each and every situation.
This day, I just cannot muster the energy to put a smile on my face and recapture the spring that is normally in my step. I am down and I feel blue. I feel strange and vaguely guilty for even sharing that much. I don't feel well and while today is a beautiful day, I just can't seem to get out of this slump.
What is bothering me, someone might ask? I guess someone would ask if there was anyone around to ask me that, but I find myself alone. I am alone a lot. Besides work and occasionally seeing my family, I am usually by myself. I would have never cast myself as a loner, but it seems that as years have gone by, the close people who were intrinsically involved in my daily life have moved along. I really did not notice their passing until I found myself here. I am not even sure if I took the time to say goodbye. All that I know is that I looked up today and needed desperately someone to talk to and there was just me in mirror.
My phone is full of the numbers of people that I never call and that never call me. I don't even know why I have their numbers. I guess at one point they did call me but somewhere along the way, I got lost. I think I have wandered away so far this time, that people have forgotten that I was there in the first place. Even if I were to call these people, what would I tell them? The connections that we once had have unraveled and faded, and to be honest, who wants a random phone call from a person that you used to know who is now lonely and upset about so many things that he cannot control?
I feel strange. I have all day. Maybe I have for a long time and have used busyness and work as a shield and cover to take the edge off all the empty that I feel. My 'give a damn' is busted and I don't even know where to find a new one, much less any parts to fix the broken one that I have. Is this what sadness feels like? I never really imagined that depression was an actual real phenomenon, but today it no longer seems like a unknown and distant reality. I just am not happy, not with me, not with anything. I realize my perspective is flawed and I probably am experiencing some form of tunnel vision while in this mental fugue, but it is how I feel now.
If I put things down on paper, the reality that I experience daily does not seem that dark or bad. I am sure that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of other people who would love to trade lives with me. Not even that thought bounces me back up. All I can see is what I do not like. I most assuredly do not like this feeling. I wonder when it will go away? I am not even really sure why it is here. I make mistakes. I learn from them. I move on. Some I keep making over and over again. I am not learning anything except that life hurts sometimes. Badly.
That is all that comes to mind at the moment. I am having a blue day. My stomach feels like it is in knots, my whole body aches and my mind keeps whirling down, up and around on the same thoughts, fears and questions in a repetitive loop. I would just go take a nap and hope to feel better when I got up but somehow I have to plaster a smile on my face, polish up and enjoy dinner with my family tonight for my Dad's birthday. My Mom will know something is up. Mom's always know. It's like there is something in my eyes she can read like a Post-It note.
Everything is going to be okay. It always is. It always has been. So why do I feel so fucking miserable?
There have been many times in this past month where I have paused to sit down and share here the thoughts and musings of my mind, but at each happenstance and moment, some circumstance, situation or idle quirk would draw my mind away to another place and leave this space blank. This could have been easily rectified if I would have but carved out some space and time to truly work things out in my head, but life, in its own fickleness, has a way of passing us by.
So tonight, here I sit with some time on my hands. The day has been cool and gray with a magnificent thunderstorm this afternoon that I napped my way through after work. I did not realize how tired I had become but after waking up five hours later, I felt much refreshed. Can I still call a sleep that long a nap? I guess since it occurred in the afternoon, it still qualifies for such a moniker.
With the weather as my inspiration, I decided this evening to do some baking after dinner. My meal was a simple affair of Pasta with Italian Sausage and a Garlic and Olive oil based Marinara Sauce, some fresh steamed Broccoli de Rapa and a light green Salad. Sometimes the more simple repasts are the most enjoyable. After browsing through many recipes I decided on an Apple Cake. My little sister, before she left for Peru this week, had given me a bag of fresh apples and I thought with this weather something including apples, cinnamon, walnuts and butter would be a great treat, plus would make the house smell incredible and homey.
So what have I been up to besides living and work? That really isn't an easy question to answer. I could list the activities that have filled my time, but that would only give you a rough schedule of events that wouldn't even scratch the surface of the journey my heart and head has been on since I last sat here and truly penned my days. I know that I am growing, but in what direction and in what spaces, I still have yet to see. The changes I have sensed and alluded to in the past are slowly coming to fruition, but this seems like such a slow process, at least to me, a person rather interested in seeing results quickly. Life's timetable moves of its own accord and I am having to content myself with the wait. I think that possibly, it is in this waiting is where the growing happens.
Spring is here and Summer will soon be upon us. For many and diverse reasons these are the favorites of my temporal seasons. I find myself in the part of the years where smiles find me easiest but I am still plagued by a restlessness that there is either something that I am missing, or something more that I should be pursuing. It is almost as if the anticipation of this time has greatly exceeded the reality of living in it or it is completely possible that I am missing something entirely. It is too early to quite tell. I am content now with the beautiful weather and seeing new things come to life all around me. Perhaps I am just to wait quietly, keep my head and eyes up and watch. I know nothing in my life that I have attempted to force to happen has ever resulted in something worthwhile.
I wish there were copious insights and profound lessons that I could share about the time that has past lately, but in truth, my life is simple. I don't have any complex problems that I am wrestling with. My inclusion of others in my days do not create drama, strife or conflict that would generate anything of note. I much prefer it that way, but I do long for some excitement, something to stir me up and prompt something new. Maybe that is not the season I am in currently? This is not the winter of my discontent, but rather the spring of my quiet happiness. Who knows?
For now, I work each day. I read new books. I play outside in the sun and the rain. I work in my gardens and yard. I spend time with family and friends when I choose to. I drive my car down curvy country roads and smile like an idiot to each song. I listen to good music and search for more. I play piano for myself. I sit and muse to myself over coffee in public. I see the sunrise and sunset each day. I am living. I hope that you are as well.