Slice of Life Story Challenge, Day 29 #sol19

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…

Author: Lanny Ball

For more than 29 years, Lanny has taught, coached, presented, staff developed, and consulted within the exciting and enigmatic world of literacy. With unyielding passion and belief in the possibility of workshop teaching, Lanny has worked to support students, teachers, and school administrators around the country in outgrowing themselves as both writers and readers. Working first as a classroom teacher, then as a coach and TCRWP Staff Developer, Lanny is now a literacy specialist, working and living in the great state of Connecticut. Outside of literacy, he enjoys raising his three ambitious young daughters with his wife, and playing the piano. Find him on this blog, as well as on Twitter @LannyBall. Lanny is also a former co-author of a blog dedicated to supporting writing teachers and coaches that maintain classroom writing workshops,

11 thoughts on “Slice of Life Story Challenge, Day 29 #sol19”

  1. I love hearing about the other things you do, Lanny. I forget that you’re an accomplished musician. I definitely want to hear about how the concert goes! There’s a lot you could use as a mentor text in this piece, but I especially loved this part:
    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.
    Even the line that follows it is hard hitting. Great post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Those two lines in that third paragraph really struck me as well. When we do something we love (or used to love), it’s as if nothing else matters. There was a time when I was obsessed with golfing. I could go out and play the ridiculously 4.5 hours of golf and not think of anything else- like not worry about my hunger even though I had skipped breakfast, it was getting into early afternoon, and I always ate every single meal.
      Oh, the things that can transport us!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A true Slice, giving us a view into a passion that brings you joy. It reminds me that though we are educators by trade, we must make time for that which “fills our buckets”–and music-making is a wonderful way to do just that. Good luck with your gig!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When you have good friends, you know they are there when you need them. Music is that friend for you. Just think, those hours add up to the 1,000 that Malcolm Gladwell says we need to become expert.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I wish I had learned to play an instrument, but it was not to be. Fortunately for me, I enjoy all kinds of music. R and B is one of my favorites. I am sure the music you and your fellow band members will make will be incredible. Our passions should never die.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This slice rings so many bells to me right now. I am staying with my daughter at her place. Her roommate is a very talented young musician. I hear her practicing every single day. She has several shows coming up. Yesterday, over a coffee we were talking exactly about the binomial exhaustion/practice, and how discipline makes all the difference. As you breach weariness, everything is smooth and enjoyable.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You pulled me in with the image of waking between the two sleeping bodies. Also what stands out is the dedication combined with the feelings of exhaustion, and joy!

    Keep playing, and keep writing too!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Including the beginning part about slipping out of bed shows us the sliver you’ve carved out for the music. We make time for what we value. I’m sure you’ll be a great addition to the fundraiser!

    Liked by 1 person

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