Greets friends. I am up at 4:27 am in NYC….the Europe jetlag has me crashing early and waking early.
I just returned from a great week of playing jazz with the Alvin Queen Quintet in Bern, Switzerland. It was a very musical, fun, grooving gig. I am looking forward to a slew of fingerstyle guitar performances in Bangkok and Germany over the next month.
“Rational” logic or dinner table / family conversations would follow like this…wow, I am doing all these things – gigs, cds, etc…therefore I must be happy. This is the typical thinking. Yes, I have been a working music machine all year and “should” be proud, happy and all that.
Well, I have struggled with a lot over the last several weeks, actually. The stress of essentially playing 2 styles and 2 instruments has had me freaked out…there’s a new wonderful lady in my life whom I love and don’t want to be away from for weeks on end…I’m watching my parents age, and I’m seeing friends have kids and not having any myself…and as I embrace the touring life, my grip on the local NY scene loosens and it feels like there’s no ground under me. My home feels like a hotel and a hotel feels like home.
Ok, none of this is real – it’s my mental creation, and yuck, I don’t like writing it and making it more real…but to prove the point that stresses can creep in even when the outside looks rosy.
I was thinking to myself how absurd it all is. To not be happy in the midst of the worldly success? What’s wrong with me? And the riddle continues…I “should” be happy, but am not. What? Who said I should be? How come I am not? And on and on, the mind spins.
Ahh, and then the answer descends on me….yesterday afternoon after stuffing my face with the local Indian food here in Jackson Heights, walking back to my apartment. Must be something in that Indian food, I tell ya 🙂
On 74th street as I strolled I suddenly had no thought of the future, not thought of the past, no thought of what I have accomplished or what my plans were. No worries, no ideas, no nothing. The most full, brimming nothingness, so beautiful all by itself. Awareness. It was utter presence and delectable silence that descended on me and sent a shiver up my spine just for a moment.
To know that this is available always is incredible. Absolute grace and bliss for no reason at all. In a moment, the mind and soul are refreshed, wiped clean of illusion.
That’s what I call a gift from God.