You know I could go on and on…you know you are getting old when…but I already said that and that would just be another sign that I’m getting old. Since you are reading this; the reality is you will too. Maybe you are old. If so that’s great, you’ve got lots of experience. You have experienced “the good, bad and the ugly”. (Hopefully you are not like Tuco in the movie. It is said misery loves company but old people can be really bad company sometimes especially if they are miserable.)
So where is all of this leading. Ah, ha! I will tell you in one word, cultivation. I can hear what you are thinking “the cultivation seems to be getting kind of deep round here and odiferous”. Perhaps, but Einstein (or Musk depending on your generation), please read me out. The type of cultivation, I dig and till on about, is developing new skills and abilities beyond what we have or have grown comfortable with. To take the analogy further, let’s plow into a virgin field. (Wow I just thought about something I have not thought about today at all and my heart is racing.) Cultivation reduces the misery of growing old and perhaps becoming miserable or stale company. I hope to prove this to you beyond a shadow of your doubt, if you will stick with me and read this spin to its completion.
I’ll give you my example. Shortly after I turned 60, I acquired a Saraz Handpan and I set out to master playing music with it. I practiced and played for several years certainly developing my usual bad habits and routines. One day I stumbled on a Master of the Handpan, David Charrier, and began a series of on line lessons through masterthehandpan.com. I was way out of my comfortable place This fortunate choice accelerated my learning and skill levels enabling me to play publicly all by my little old self. The best part is that I continue to love playing, recording and playing out. I have studied with some of the greatest players from all over the world. First lesson for oldsters, find a teacher you trust, make a leap of faith and go to work.
With this sense of success; I also started sitting in with seasoned jazz musicians and playing swing on an old set of Meinyl Bongo Drums. The skills from the Handpan transferred to the Bongos which I had some previous experience with. I then became a regular with The Finneytown Jazz Workshop playing jazz standards at a boutique bar called the Lucky Turtle. I learned tunes by Sonny Stitt, Horace Silver, Miles, Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Oliver Nelson, Sam Rivers, Freddie Hubbard, Wes Montgomery; all masters of this genre. This education was pure tonic with a semi-quaver for my soul and I am a senior in the last coda of my song!!
But this is not the end and nor should it be.
I am planning a group growth experience on this site and I can feel it in my bones it will be journey of bisociation, growth, anticipation and fun. (Had any of that lately?) I have discovered the best things happen in groups. This is how this group will work. I (we) are going to write a short novel. How? I will publish on this site the beginning of our story by next week- it is already named Rock Drop. Anyone who joins and follows this blog will be able to participate. Participation will begin after the opening story is published on this site. When you initially participate you will send me in the comments your addition of a character name (first, last and a nick name), their age (10 years old or greater), their role or profession (one or two words), and their state of mind (one word). I will then weave the individual into the story. I will at a future date reopen submissions to participants for future additions to shape the outcome of characters submitted as the novel develops. This will only apply to the characters who continue to live. Sadly this is not a ghost story unless that choice becomes possible. The submissions will always be simple one and two word descriptors or actions as this plot thickens. You will have opportunities to shape your characters future but bear in mind I am the writer and this will be a mystery with twists, some mayhem, unfortunate events, investigations and revelations. Please no profanity or gross behavior, I have those details covered by my own dementia. If this novel is ever published for profit, the proceeds will go to aide seniors who waste their days and minds watching Fox News, infomercials, QVC and the home shopping channel. I’m kidding, nobody does that do they? No this novel is strictly here for our pleasure, development, amusement and illumination. Do you hear the crack of the bat? (If you don’t go back and re-read the last paragraph of the blog Beginngs…)
Please let me know what you think because I am curious. Are you?