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  • stephensgerald10

Short attention span theatre

Updated: Nov 29, 2020

I am in the middle of this Jim Carey/Kate Winslett movie, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It's from 2004, and is about erasing memories. What if it was possible? I don't think it is, but my mind definitely responds to interesting ideas like this. Life feels like a dream where everything is mixed up sometimes. I kind of feel like everything I can remember from my past is happening at the same time as the present.


High Memory usage by: Microsoft Edge. My laptop tells me these kinds of things. I just turned it on. Short attention span theatre.


I will finish the second half of the movie later, as well as the WTF episode with Patti Smith today. I listen to and watch a lot of things here at home since I keep acting like a patient.


I was a patient last year. If you don't know, ask me, or scroll back to my Facebook posts from late June to October 2019. Ha. That would not be fun.


Now I'm just here because I used to work at nights, but this COVID took my gigs. I see that some of you have gigs. That's nice. I turned down a couple of opportunities because I am about to have a hip replacement surgery, but I don't have a date for that yet, so it seems weird that I'd turn down stuff. I thought I would have the date by now. Health care. Health care saved my life last year, especially Dr. Mark Miller, thanks to him and Methodist Germantown.


I was working a lot lately, pre-quarantine. I had been on the road with a touring blues and soul band for a year before my surgery last year, and was also holding down several local gigs. After that surgery and recovery, the touring band did not take me back, as you may know, but I was actually making more gigs at home instead. 7-10 music gigs per week, usually 3-4 hours each, plus teaching. That was as good as I could do at the time. Pretty successful temporarily.


It's all temporary isn't it? I hope you all are being well. I am so happy and grateful for the lessons I can teach on Zoom. I cannot take walks anymore until the new hips come in, and so quarantine has had me stuck in this house like a patient again. At least I can get up by myself, although it's not easy.


I can hang out alone and have been doing so my whole life. I was a loner who did not fit into any crowd. This is a topic for another blog post.


Today's post is just to think out loud about the mind. I had a deja vu experience with a student last week. Do you ever have those? I have been having them most of my life. The earliest one was, I think, 2nd or 3rd grade, at least the earliest one I can now remember. I remember Mrs. Folk, I remember it was the so-called "gifted" class (that's another possible blog post), I remember how the room looked, I remember looking past her out the window, possibly to some other kids outside.


Last week I was explaining something to a student, Thursday late afternoon, Zoom call from my music room, one of my favorite current students, and Jamie and I had voted that day. We put our masks on and went over there, it was easy-peasy, no issues. Whatever I was explaining musically to the student, I remembered doing it before, explaining this after having voted earlier in the day. I told him about the experience, and he understood. I think we all have these.


Is it quantum physics? The theory of time in which all time is happening simultaneously, and it just seems linear to us? There's something to that. Deju vu, time stands still, time stopped. All we can experience is now, supposedly, but what about when we dream other times or things, or deja vu happens, or something else? Interesting.


Even though I was working a lot, I don't necessarily miss it. My hips being in constant pain probably plays into this, but also, it's because I want to play what I want to play, and I want a certain kind of musician and a certain level of benefit to the world which I haven't seemed to find yet. That's ok, it gives me something to live for to keep looking.


I am a team player, but my gigs were on many different teams, which may change from day to day or week to week. Like being on a roster of a sports team while also being on the roster of 3-4 other sports teams at the same time, while also doing solo versions of the sport, teaching the sport, and wondering what to focus on. That would be a crazy life, but musicians do it all the time. Anyone can imagine being on the bench in a sport and not being a first line player, so you're waiting to see if you can be put in. For a music business metaphor, imagine that maybe you're in the first line, part of the A team, but sometimes they can't afford the whole team, so even though you won the game for them last week, this week you're not just on the bench, you're not even at the game. But you're still on the team. But the other team needs you, and since the main team has you benched, you play for the other team for a week. Or two. Also, someone needs a special thing for big money on the 7th, so can you come by yourself, wear your tux, and just make the free throws for a couple hours? It pays way more than the other 2 teams combined. And this third team needs you for a one-week road gig next week, you'll be back in time for the lay-ups gig. And while you're on the road, team one is going to the playoffs without you. Oh well that's how the ball bounces. That's how the cookie crumbles.


Music business. I don't mind all that craziness taking a break. Also, I want one main team. I am a team player. I am dedicated to the cause, good at taking orders from authorities whom I believe in, down to help out. I want the three muskateers, the four or five muskateers, us vs. the world. Make a bigger difference. You can possibly see from the above metaphor that it's hard locally to make as big of a difference in the arts, which is too bad because music and the arts can really change people for the better if the circumstances are right for it.


Ok for now. I will try to do this more often. I don't write enough. I am good at editing, re-writing, etc. until I have a final product, but that's why I don't write enough. I don't like anything much outside of just spilling my thoughts on the page, improv-style.


Peace and love everybody.

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