Friday, September 16, 2005

"Hmmmmmmm"


I used to play frisbee in the hall of my college dorm. If you could get the disc to fly all the way down without hitting the walls it would make an audible hum. You could feel it. Perfection. Ever have any days like that? I hope so. I was playing some neighborhood football when I was about sixteen and having one of those days. I was catching everything, tackling everybody, intercepting, running, scoring...... I even made one of those on the run over the shoulder catches and outran my buddy who I could never keep up with on my best day. I was a football machine. Same time frame, different sport. This was a local baseball game. I was a lefty playing shortstop and it was like I had glue in my glove and thunder in my bat. I hit a home run that seemed to have gotten caught in the jet stream. Man, it just kept on going. Some years later I had a gig on Christmas Eve at a Jersey bar that had kind of become our second home. The guy who I outran in that magical football game was playing rhythm guitar. This was a cool honky tonk called The Pittstown Inn, in Pittstown, NJ. I live a stone's throw from the inn now and though it's been "upscaled" since 1976, I can still hear the music when I go in there. We always rocked this place, but this was one of those nights. Lots of friends we hadn't seen in awhile...just jammed to the rafters. We couldn't get off the stage at break time........nowhere to go!!!! Everything we played just flowed. Vocals, music, atmosphere. It was a frisbee humming down the hall.
The wonderful thing about these experiences is that they come out of nowhere......unexpected........from the ether. Out of all the hundreds of gigs, baseball games, football games , why were these to be the ones that went down ? And were they really that special or just seem that way in the romance of retrospect? I had other good games, good gigs. But during those particular times I remember an overwhelming feeling of confidence.....invlnerability.
In grade school one time a weird thing happened. We had one of those magazine drives. According to how many dollars you sold, your name went into a hat and the winnning name drawn got a stuffed animal. No big deal except...I won....and I knew I was going to win. My name was in there eleven times which was on the low to middle end of the scale. I was in the process of closing the classroom windows with one of those huge rods. Remember those? As the teacher was pulling the name....my name...I handed off the rod and started walking up to claim my prize. A couple of seconds later my name was read and I was already there. Pretty cool. Confidence, man.
These kinds of things happened maybe a dozen times in my life. You're in a class that you know you're gonna nail. You meet this woman that you know is really gonna dig you, even if she's way out of your league. You're gonna snag the ball, hit the note, win the prize. Sometimes the stars are just right. Somebody saying this moment....this night....is for you. Grab it, appreciate it.......remember it. I appreciate and remember these moments more and more. But they're different now. I was sitting out back the other day and a humming bird flew by and stopped right in front of my face. I felt like I should know....realize something about this , but after a few seconds it hummed off. A frisbee with wings. Fast wings. As I get older things take on a significance, a spirituality that I wouldn't have thought about years ago. I like it....... appreciate it. If only I could remember it.

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