Tuesday, February 20, 2007


A trend is emerging and my life has shifted considerably. As each days blows by, I feel increasingly unsure of where the time is going and what I’ve even spent my time doing. I’ve never used drugs but I at times I wonder how different it would be though I will never find out. Confused? Let’s head back about 6 or 7 months ago.

The start of last spring saw the beginning of my first road gig, a two month tour with Plumb that I have referenced many times in this blog. A few days into the tour I blogged about my initial thoughts and joys over the experience. I remarked about how I have always felt insecure performing but that I was no longer feeling that way. I was excited to spend everyday doing what I had long been saying what I was supposed to do. On stage I felt no insecurity but rather joy and communion with God over using my gifts.

At tour’s end, I spent another month with my friends Clemency and have since done several weekends with the boys heading into the new year. Since then I have hardly played at all. To fill a gap I started working at Griffin Technology, a manufacturer of iPod accessories. I needed the money, the pay is pretty good, and they are flexible with my hours. I have been giving them full time labor since the first of December and come home tired. I have important friendships to maintain but have poorly done so and there is the ever increasingly important relationship with Sarah to invest in; it didn’t take long for me to be tired and lost inside the busiest schedule I’ve kept since college. It’s easier to do in college, by the way.

For the last three months I have hardly touched a guitar except to play at the occasional worship service and I am certainly not practicing. I have not been experiencing the joy and communion with God through music I wrote of six months ago and that has been a terribly hard thing for me.

Last Friday, the boys from Clemency and I spent the day recording for their new record. We had time booked in a studio owned by Paul Moak, one of my favorite local guitarists. Paul is a gear junky and his studio is full of guitars, amps, and effects I sit around drooling over. I was excited about recording but nervous over being so out of practice. I was worried about my creativity and ability to execute it. I was very inspired at first by the space but I quickly grew insecure as we started playing through songs and my ideas felt increasingly uninspired. We mostly tracked drums with an awesome player named Derek and the rest will be tracked later though I couldn’t help but feel discouraged. I guess I had but a lot of pressure on myself to play my way out of a slump but I didn’t.

Last week I had something of a revelation. I was sitting on my bed, playing a little bit on this acoustic I have. It’s the nicest instrument I own and unlike my other guitars has a very distinct personality about it. It’s the kind of guitar that only sounds great when I’m playing well but in those times in sounds better than any guitar I’ve ever played. When I’m out of practice, it fights back as if I were molesting it and reminds me of how poorly I’m playing. It’s kind of like a race car in the hands of an everyday someone who thinks he can handle it, unaware of how powerful it really is. A highly skilled driver is the only one who can get the most out of it. Make sense?

As I thought about this, I couldn’t help but see it as a metaphor for something larger as if the various elements of my life are that guitar and that I have no control over the way it’s pushing me around. Please don’t get confused, I’m not talking about my girlfriend or my friends being overbearing; they’re all so encouraging. I’m talking about work, about dreams, about faith and life and that it all is blowing by with nothing in my control and it depresses me. I do realize that God is in the details but I don’t feel as if I’m heading down a path that has me in God’s will. I know he wants me to be playing, to be investing in people, to be growing but instead I’m just trying to catch up.

My time in the studio taught me two things. First, I really have to play more and get my creative juices flowing. I have to get sharper, more precise, and aware. This will hopefully encourage me to start writing again, my other creative interest. The blog is a place for my dispense various thoughts I’m not writing about in greater detail and the lack of posting of the past few months should be a good indication of a failure to nourish creativity. Second, I poured over Paul’s studio and thought about all the various pieces of necessary gear in a professional studio and road player’s rig. I don’t desire all the gear Paul has but I am aware that to do this job the way I want to do it I do need to invest more money into it. There comes a point in which this stuff becomes tools in a giant tool box; there is no end all guitar or amp that does everything and the deeper you get into it, the more sensitive your ear gets and the more tools you need to get it right. To play the kinds of gigs and sessions I want, I need at least two more amps, a half dozen or so guitars, and a bunch of things that fit in between. It’s a long process I will work out as gigs pick up; I will never compulsively buy copious amounts of gear so don’t worry those of you who are concerned for my financial responsibility. I’ll spend years doing this. I’m also grateful for what I have and I have everything I need for this period in my career.

I’m not working this week and have been able to play a bunch and it’s exciting. I’m beginning to restructure my life in a way that will better nurture my soul and spirt first of all and also my relationships and interests. I’ll talk more about this as it unfolds but for now, that’s the news. I hope this doesn’t make me sound down; I’m actually in very high spirits and am presently making myself late for something so I must go. Cheers!

Friday, February 02, 2007

first snow...

Yesterday I expected snow but awoke to nothing. Today, however, the snow came and it is a lovely day out. I wont be enjoying it unfortunately as I am stuck inside with the flu. My whole body aches and I simply can't stay warm, no matter what I do. As I write this, I can't really give any consistent attention so I'm going to wrap this up. Winter was a long time coming but I'm glad it finally has. Have a nice weekend everyone.