(click the picture above for the high definition video - but also click YouTube for me!)
12:12 AM, Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008:
Man, what is it about this song? I sang it over and over for hours on Sunday. It's one of the most therapeutic songs I've ever written. I actually feel better when I'm singing it, than when I'm not. HUH? It's like some drug apparently. I just can't put my finger on what makes this stand out so much for me. It soothes me. I'm almost completely out of my body when I sing it and it starts to feel like I'm serenading a baby... except I'm the baby. And again, I have no idea why this is so much different than the hundreds of other "Journey Songs" out there, but I have never sung an original song more times in a 48 hour period than this one. Weird.
So I added a bridge, another verse, and headed over to the weekly singer/songwriter night at Kulak's Woodshed. The great thing about Kulak's, as some of you may have seen earlier in The Journey, is they produce a live broadcast and stream it on the 'net. It's easily the coolest open-mic night on the planet for that reason and a great way for up & coming musicians to get a demo of their original pieces.
For me, it was just a way to soothe myself one more time. After another meeting with Donna (one which will be our last until easily next year) I have been more "unsettled" than usual and just needed some therapy. And when you're as open as I am, your body just heals itself. I didn't question why I needed to sing that song 50 times Sunday, I just did.
Within those 50 times, my mind would wander through the specifics searching for the answers. While going over the details I would just hear my voice soothing the pain. This is trippy shit man. It's usually not this intense - but something had been off for days since we met on Thursday and finally, tonight - I got it. It's something I've always known about Donna and how she processes. If someone does something to help her, it's only because she "put it out there" and that's where her focus and gratitude lies: within herself for being strong enough to "put it out there". While that isn't without some truth, you certainly have to be open to help and have the right attitude for each opportunity, the dismissive nature of that thought process can be troublesome for those that gave you a hand. That's where I, and even our mutual friends found themselves and it's a pretty angry place. It's incredibly difficult to understand that this "process" comes from a painful environment of having no control. Our mind/soul/body protects us by reconnecting cause and effect synapses, giving us control, and you can survive. It's beautiful how the mind works. However realizing you're not in a painful environment anymore and reworking that process? Harder than hell. And the old process is almost impossible to maintain in relationships. </psychology lesson>
That's what this mantra of a song allowed me to find: my center. It was my way to reconnect all the pieces and gain perspective. It's why I feel like the luckiest man on the planet sometimes. It must be the equivalent of finding Jesus to some people. As I try to explain to people I cry when I'm sad, I laugh when I'm happy... I just am. It's now to the point where when I'm in an immense amount of pain I can literally close my eyes and feel what I need to soothe me. And thank the fuck christ it's a piano and microphone and not a case of Jack. 'Cause we all need to self-medicate, even emotional pain, we just have to find ways to do it that aren't destructive. And other than my neighbors who are probably not the biggest fans of this song, creating isn't too destructive. :-)
Anyway, performance-wise I was so bummed that I couldn't find a cup for the tea in the back. DAMNIT. I was so dry and needed some water, or tea - or something and it effected my high notes which swear to you all day Sunday, I was hitting with no issue. I still hit them tonight, but they look like I'm struggling and they sound "out-of-range". I had actually gotten it to the point of a completely smooth transition - so GAHHHHHHH, the perfectionist in me will hear that from this point on - fo sho. But as Billy Joel says:  "Only fools are satisfied"
And speaking of Billy... been playing his shit a bunch too. I have a serious amount of practicing for Chicago. I'm only gonna end up playing for about 45 minutes but that's a good 12-15 songs I want to have nailed before I leave. I didn't really get into it in the last entry, but Erin saw a couple videos and has been hell bent on getting me to play a bunch of piano-bar gigs. She has the contacts for sure, but I finally talked her down to just playing on her breaks 'cause truth be told... I'd rather just take a breather. It'll make for a good Journey Video - but she's all talking 6 nights and goooooooood damn I'm not sure my voice could hold up. Haven't sung that much since the 4tvs days. And the other thing is, I'm not a jazz...ANYTHING. I'm a mediocre piano player, and this is not self-depricating. I'm mediocre because I've never been called to be more than a "chord" guy. The Piano is a vehicle to communicate, not something I've studied. Same with my voice. And the jazz community is already, to put it lightly, an "elite" group of fans. I read jazz peeps giving Alicia Keys shit for how boring her piano arrangements were. LMAO. Oh let me tell you jazz afficianados - you ain't seen nothin' yet. LOL. But I really don't care, I'm gonna have the time of my life and I'm just... JAZZZED... that I get a unique Journey video to look back on.