Opening my eyes in the darkness, I realize I’ve fallen asleep. Two warm bodies lying on either side of me breathe peacefully. Reaching silently up, I slowly slide my hand along the headboard to locate my iPhone. I check the time. Okay, still time. Later than I wanted, I think to myself, but there’s still time. These early mornings are wearing me out. Making as little sound as possible, I sneak from the room. I’ll carry those two sweeties to their beds later, I think as I exit.
Downstairs now, to the basement. I pull on the old chain and illuminate two keyboards next to a couple sets of headphones. It’s late, but I’ve got a rehearsal this week. And there’s work to do. I’m playing for a fundraiser for my children’s school next weekend, and one of the other fathers (a guitarist and producer) has assembled an incredible band. Only one rehearsal remains before the dress rehearsal, so… I’ve got to learn my parts. I take a deep breath, switch on the power strip, and watch the displays on my keyboards light up.
I can feel the exhaustion in my body. But once my fingers hit the keys, the magic of music wipes it all away. This skill I have to create music– a skill honed over decades of lessons, practice sessions, rehearsals, repetitions, performances and shows- must be honored. Although I am only able to dedicate very thin slices of my life to this part of me right now, now, in the dead of night, I feel grateful. For music has become like a friend I don’t see often anymore. But I am always glad when I do. We know each other so well.
Finding the file on my phone, I press play to hear the song. An original R & B tune written by a local artist. Okay, I think, here we go. Let’s learn this…