Have you ever had the feeling that there’s some big purpose to your life, but you just don’t know what it is? That there’s some big, very specific reason you’ve been created, that you’re meant to fulfill? Like Tiger Woods was created to golf. Like Michael Jordan was created to play basketball. Like Michael Phelps was created to swim fast. I think they’re three examples of the few lucky people that actually discover what their Thang* is for the time they’re here. It’s their Thang and that’s why they gain so much fame and accolades from the greater public. I feel like there’s something inside all of us that if we’re lucky enough to just figure out what it is and pursue it with all our hearts and souls that we could all be MJ’s or TW’s or MP’s of our specific Thangs. But sadly, so many of us live the whole expanse of our lives never knowing what it is, or that it was even there for us at all.
Tonight I’m feeling like I have a Thang Unrealized. I’m not sure what exactly it is, but I think I might already have the general idea…
It. Was. AWESOME. It was the ideal venue; the only way to see a musician like him. It was in one of those little dive, hole-in-the-wall-type places with a cash bar (luckily I had hit the ATM on my way). Just a couple hundred people. Small stage. Very low-tech. Very intimate. Just him and four, maybe five other guys. And we rocked. Right there with him. So cool.
This guy is doing his Thang. At the ripe old age of 26. He has the blues in his genes. He has the ultimate blues/soul voice. He’s got a heart and soul from which the most amazing lyrics & melodies emerge**.
It’s his purpose. It’s his Thang. And he’s running with it.
This week I’ve had him constantly playing on my iPod. And isn’t it funny how a song never made much of an impression on you the first 258 times you listened to them, and then all of a sudden it tweaks something inside you and you’re all…WOW! Where did that come from?
Here lately his music has been stirring something inside me. Agitating me. Exciting me.
And frustrating me.
I know my Thang is somewhere in the realm of music. I’m a pretty damn good flute player, but my down & dirty musical knowledge is pretty limited. I know how to turn notes on a page into sounds in your ears, but as for writing music or understanding how the music actually got there, I don’t have a clue. Gah, how I’m kicking myself for not picking music as my major in college! I’d know all that shit right now.
My performance experience has basically been confined to the classical genre. Eh, throw showtunes, movie soundtracks, oldies-but-goodies in there. But still…sitting in a concert band, or a flute choir, or smaller ensemble.
There’s a couple of tracks on Marc’s third album S.O.S.: Save Our Soul that has some pretty rockin’ flute licks in it. I could SO do that. I could rock it now if you give me a sheet with music on it and a little time to work it up, but I want to know how to just pick it up and go.
Improvisation, baby. Yeah. That’s where it’s at.
I know my way around a keyboard, too. But again…can only plunk out notes off the page of an old hymnal and such.
Did I mention I can sing, too? I absolutely love to sing. In a formal churchy-type choir, I’m an alto. Could even sing tenor if they’d let me. (Sexists.)
I wanna be a backup singer. Sure, I’d like to step to the front from time to time, but I get major fulfillment out of adding that harmony. I adore harmony. And to be the one that can hear that complimentary melody in my head, add it to what someone else is already singing and bring a whole other aura to the sound is SO COOL.
(Don’t ever agree to go to a karaoke bar with me. You’ll be there to close the place down, whether you like it or not. I’m just saying…)
And yes, I can sing well. I might be a little rough around the edges stylistically and could definitely use some formal training, but because I have been
cursed blessed with close-to-perfect pitch, I know it more than most when someone’s out of tune. So most of the time, I’m not. Out of tune, that is.
As an instrumentalist, I’ve never had much of a desire to be a soloist. You know…like James Galway or Jean-Pierre Rampal. I have no desire to record a full CD of me playing my flute. I love being part of a group. Big or small, it doesn’t matter. I love contributing my own unique part to the whole. I love listening to my partners and appreciating what they’re adding to the whole.
Jamming, I think it’s called. 😉
Music is my Thang. I know that. But right now it’s still unrealized. I believe that’s how it should be for now, though. Right now my priorities are elsewhere. But I also think that this new position I’m at in my life will cultivate a plethora of opportunities that will be busting down my door.
This isn’t the time, though.
But it’s coming.
I feel it.
*HT to Bill Cosby and his children’s show “Little Bill” for reminding me that we all have a thaaaaaaaaaaang, however I sorta took the concept a little further.
**Did you listen to his stuff in my earlier post? Did you? DID YOU? Go back and listen now.
NOW. GO ON!
And no, do not collect $200.