26 May 2008

22,000 days

Okay, so we've covered the sweet moment and the maddening moment; let's have the fun stuff. Or at least some of it.

(I'm a little less loopy today. Yeah, I feel like a 3-year-old with a runny nose, and yeah, at the moment, I've got the temper of a 3-year-old with a runny nose. And yeah, we're dealing with the fact that my mother's house was hit by a tornado Tuesday night, but everything ended up being pretty minor--damage, yes, but she and her husband still have a house and weren't injured--for which we're all enormously grateful. I can only hope that all the others who have suffered similarly today and in recent weeks are able to get their lives back on track quickly).

So.

I was reading a review this morning in my ongoing Nyquil and I-haven't-slept-much-in-the-last-two-months stupor and the reviewer said something about a lack of "untethered passion."

Really?

I thought, did you watch the same bunch of guys I've been watching?

Because if what I saw Tuesday in Moline wasn't untethered passion, particularly those rhythmic fireworks during "Digital Man," I'm not sure what it was. If what I heard Thursday in St. Paul wasn't untethered passion, particularly the moments of call and response in "Dreamline," I'm not sure what it was.

Precision I appreciate, most assuredly, but I don't think precise musicianship and passionate performance are mutually exclusive. I love watching the performance, I truly enjoy watching the band play, but I think that on some level, it's the passion that keeps bringing me back. I saw a lot of passion Tuesday in Moline and Thursday in St. Paul; I saw a lot of musical pyrotechnics. Booming bass, thundering percussion, a second heartbeat in my own chest. I saw feet dancing behind the drumkit and feet dancing on pedals. My own feet never stop moving. Probably the rest of me doesn't either, and that's passion, too (poor security man, I still feel badly about clobbering you).

I guess everyone goes to concerts for his or her own reasons. There are those who just want to hear the radio hits or the songs they remember from their youth. One reason I'm still listening is because all these years later, this band continues to make new music that's relevant to me and the place I'm at in my life. And it's passionate.

Each concert is a moment in time as well as a moment out of time, discrete, mine alone as well as the province of everyone else in attendance. I see a lot of fervor in that audience.

For now, I've had my fun, recharged my own enthusiasm, and it's time to set my sights elsewhere. Life and responsibility are calling me back; I can't evade what needs to be accomplished in the next several weeks, starting immediately, continuing on Tuesday, and into Wednesday, and if I keep thinking along these lines, I will dive under my desk and refuse to come out until the end of June. Which would not be very...fruitful.

It feels a bit like a prison sentence after all this running around and flying around and unbridled freedom, which I know sounds very negative. In reality, though, it's not. What it means is I've built up some forward momentum; stasis, stagnance, they're not the way I work, not what I want. This is good. And I've got memories, precious little moments in time and out of time, reminders of what made me laugh, what made me stop and think, what made my heart pound a little harder.

And my own passion for precision, for doing things well, for approaching difficulty with grace (would that I always prevailed there), for dealing with aggravation with patience, is where I need to direct my attention. I actually don't mind behaving, don't mind tending my responsibilities, don't mind getting down to the business of getting things done.

It's just there's a big world out there. It needs to be seen. Sometimes it needs to be barked at.

(And anyway, my family has begun threatening me with duct tape...again. Gray is not my color).

And it's only until July.

Which isn't that far away.

And who knows...?

Maybe I'll get time off for good behaviour.

Yeah. Duct tape.

Go listen to some good music: "22,000 Days" from the album Long Distance Voyager by The Moody Blues.

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