Memorial Day Weekend Eve Musings on Pace and Balance

I want to acknowledge this weekend as the day we salute those fallen in service, and offer respects to them and their circles; so I don’t hold “Big sales” on this weekend except for those who have served or are serving… any branch, any time, any way. If that’s you and you like and want what I do – please call this weekend and we’ll get something extra special going for you, and $$$ arrangements can be made; I own this joint. And THANK YOU! I have no way of paying adequate respects to the fallen, so I improvise. I drive a rusty, ragged, tattered fatigue-green '74 Plymouth Roadrunner named Sarge, and among all who sacrificed all, I think in moments of the young car guys who never made it home to their projects or hot rods or new musclecars waiting for them in the garage. They never came back. They never got to blaze the tires with their music on, the sun shining, that girl they loved. They never came back. They didn't make it home to cruise in the summer or have all that fun waiting for a life put on hold to answer the call. They left... and never came back. Sarge has some military in his ownership history and so I'll be sure to take him out and do a few burnouts because I'm here and I can and I will FEEL that engine and SMELL that rubber in your stead and let out a big yell because I'm SO grateful to be alive and have that freedom. Like I said, I improvise... but ceremony it is and it comes from the heart.  Everybody enjoy yourselves and your freedoms, but please be safe out there. We love you.

What a week! Very very productive. Instruments started, instruments finished and flying the nest to waiting hands & homes. Neck work, routing, carving, parts orders, assembly, wiring… I think we touched on everything! It went by FAST, that’s all I can tell you… but at its own pace. 

I know many of you tuned into the royal wedding – it might come as a huge shock, but I didn’t. I knew something of the sort was happening but honestly, until it was explained to me, I had no idea who exactly these people were while the rest of the world referred to them on a first name basis, like they were all old fishing buddies. Of course I wish them well, as I would anybody. I can’t imagine entering into such a high profile union. No, I’ve been busy with the marriages here that tend to keep me consumed. Jamie’s doing great, my affair with the 1960 Pontiac is showing signs of LRP (“Long Range Potential”), and the marriage of my spirit to this body has held together for another week. The marriage of wood & wire, of sound and note, of tools and hands – these are always prominent in life here around the workshop and they continue to come together as well.

I want to talk a moment about that one of soul and body. I’m running about a month behind where I pictured this spring last fall. I stopped doing night shifts and am trying to… welllll… sleep! It’s been a buildup since 2004 and I knew we were rocking it all the way and the lists were getting bigger and I was personally feeling very productive. And I love what I do, so it’s easy to slot in more hours over things like proper nutrition, sanity, meditation, rest, recharging, relationships, care for the body, perspective, self control… you know, those little details of living a life. Being a human BEING, not just a human DOING. I had no idea just how hard I was running until I slowed down. So don’t think I’m slacking - the wait times went up so I can settle down a bit and maintain the pace of one good man for a while instead of two. OK, maybe one and a half. 

When I sketched out this new endeavor in the dawn of 2004 it was “Time off over the Holidays and August off.” It was 2016 before I took August off, and last year I worked through August AND the Holidays. It was glorious – I love what I get to do SO much. I love it in that vision tunnel. And every so often it’s good to run the machine through the gears to see what it’ll do! Certainly no complaints here, just gratitude. But I’m never doing it again. There are too many basses and guitars I want to build and a whole list of other things I need to get to before this intangible drop of consciousness rivulets back into the stardust, and this means we work on keeping my components together in balance whilst crafting these others into your instruments.

One of these things is a book I have started working on, collecting some words from the past decade of Friday update news page blog posts and other writings about this ride and the view from behind the bench. Getting it done this year is the goal. I’m feeling more music bubbling up, which is good too. It feels like spring and I must remember that this all is a garden and I help it happen, and not a daily decathlon I have to go for the gold every time I open my eyes. 

Cruisin’ into June,

Listening to: The Heptones Night Food; Les McCann Invitation To Openness; The Best Of Paul Desmond; Eric Clapton Eric Clapton.