Friday, February 26, 2010

The Blogging Public

A Random thought as we begin to blog and Facebook ourselves into another decade. Will this be the old school way of documenting once our grand kids are born?

My wife tape-recorded her grandparent's stories back when they were in their late 60s. Do the kids now blog their grandparent's stories? Shoot, they can record them via camera very easy now...what's next?

It's interesting how life develops. In maybe a 1,000 years I bet we finally meet up and start civilizations with "Aliens". Why not? I don't know if a "Jesus" will ever come down to rescue us.

I once believed that I lived in the time when "God" would come and rescue us all because we tried to learn too much to become "God Himself"...that and the apocalypse was coming. Goddamn religious values taught by someone "called" to hear "God's" word. Am I a bit questionable and angry? Yes. Did the same stuff I'm angry at help teach me wonderful values on how to become a wonderful human being happen as well? Yes. Conflicted. Not really, just stating the facts ma'am.

We are gods...period...we have a creator. It would be nice to be invincible. Superman, where are your underwear? I'd like some bulletproof pants.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Wasted Day?

I used to think that the longer you did stuff, well, it just was more meaningful. Call it the Puritan work ethic. If it's more difficult, it's better for you. Thusly, long runs, long work outs, painting for 4 hours, playing the trumpet for two hours. If you can't devote 6 monk-like hours to your passions your day is wasted...

The older I get, the less time I have to spend devoted amounts of hours on things I love. Rather than throwing them away, I have had to adapt. What used to be a waste is perhaps better.

Case in point...10 minutes on the trumpet. Professor Ketch was right when he said, "Just 10 minutes Matt", it will melt away your stress.

10 minutes, my time, forget about the dog barking at the paper blowing across the street, forget that I have to be in Washington DC in the next 70 minutes and I really need to shower after my pilates and hike through the park...

If you've ever played horn, your lips get this nice red pucker to them much like a fishes lips at the end of your session. Your lips even tingle a bit and are a tad bit long enough they get callouses. It's a nice feeling to come back home to.

Less is more sometimes when you are going for things you really love.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

15 minutes

As I grabbed the old horn I bought used for 600 dollars at age 17, it all came rushing back.

My fingers smell like horn oil...memories...the dirty yellow polish rag shined up my little Bach Stradivarius, and with the iPhone as my metronome (yes, it has that "app" as well), I started belching out old etudes from the biblical verses of trumpet land...Sigmund E. Herring Etudes...perhaps one of the fathers of technical classic trumpet...

And it was like riding a rusty bike. Full of groans, splats, and creaks, but it got down the road, perhaps slower than before, and certainly not with the grace it once rolled. But the nostalgia that came flooding back it was religious. It was like cooking a perfect meal, or that perfect moment after really saying, "I love you" to your wife. It was magic.

I thank my trumpet professor James Ketch, I thank my father for stealing his step-dad's "Olds Coronet" and letting me impersonate Louis Armstrong before ever taking lessons.

To all the times when I ran out of my bedroom crying because dad criticized my playing during our lessons (he was my first teacher), I am thankful I was given the opportunity to come back into this art.

Tommorow...more etudes I guess...the dog woke up once, and went back to sleep. No howling, she didn't even investigate. And my wife said, "It sounded pretty good, a couple of hangups"...

At least I'm legendary to myself.

Slowing down for a moment

A perfect storm has happened in my life. If you know me, you understand I'm a milestone person. For example, at 25, I met Meghan and realized I had to straighten up...somewhat. At that time I was vying to prove myself more than just a "fun loving guy"...6 years later after just turning 31...I have a meaningful career and she actually married me

Yet...I'm still the same "fun loving guy"...I'm just not as reckless. With time comes filters, some days more than others, thinking how your actions affect others, realizing you just aren't in a bubble. With time comes a wonderful sense of responsibility and a greater sense of purpose. Call it an idyllic narcissistic legacy. With time comes more knowledge, a greater journey, and for someone who is in love with life itself things just become more meaningful.

Presently and literally the perfect storm has happened...two blizzards in 1 week. All of this amidst my 31st birthday. And with snow in the south (yes, southerners, Maryland is still the south), EVERYTHING shuts down. Meghan and my busy "run run" life has taken a reprieve and has allowed some time for me to re-evaluate what I want in life.

Usually our life consists of working 60+ hours a week, and then getting as much away from work as possible...parties, social functions, volunteer opportunities, traveling. It's non-stop. And we don't even have children. But I've found myself empty. Culturally and spiritually there has been a void. Laugh as you might I am quite spiritual...just not churchy. I have my conversations with God, I just don't like to conversate in a "church" per se. And at many times folks my age sense this void as a time to be "saved". I ask...saved from what?

On my birthday my parents sent a great gift grab bag box of goodies. And what pulled at my heartstrings the most was an article from "Our State" magazine (North Carolina) about my old professor for Trumpet. If you didn't know, I was a trumpet major on scholarship my freshman year at UNC. I chose medicine, gave up trumpeting at age 19, and never really looked back.

Feeling Nostalgic I Facebooked Professor Ketch (I love the miracle of Facebook) and got an immediate reply thanking me for the note and asking me to pick the trumpet back up for 10 minutes a day. He said, "it will lessen your stress, you can even join a community band or something". Paraphrasing what I heard, "Matt, the possibilities are endless, just pick up your horn, it's part of you". Apropros?

You're talking to a kid who started playing on a used Coronet at age 7...practiced 30 minutes a day religiously until age 17 or so and then I started playing 2 hours a day. Deeply ingrained in my soul is music and giving it up abruptly was a choice of finding a career that paid me well in dollars as well as in spirit. I have always been driven to do things my way, and find some sort of financial comfort. A career in music didn't seem comfortable for me. I worried about constant travel, auditions, jobs, and no way to settle down. Plus, I had a need for science, I loved helping people through medicine. In short, I have always wanted a career in medicine, and I put my music on hiatus in order to achieve those means. At 31 I find myself trying to get back to my roots.

Amidst those roots, I also paint watercolors. So I have decided to commission a few still's of some beautiful flowers my wife placed throughout our house. It's been almost three years since my last piece of art. I guess it's been a little too long.

So, I've decided to blog my re-immersion to music and art. It's that place in my soul that I find so unique about me. My quirkiness was born from the Jacobs's musical and deDon's (my mother's side) artistic soul. Fun loving, mischievous, yet driven. It will be a slow start full of bad notes, missed strokes, and maybe the dog will howl. I'm really not sure. But I know that for now, I have found a solace for my spirit. Thanks in advance to my wife for putting up with the music.

Stay tuned...