Saturday, April 3, 2010


Another gorgeous day in "the 'shire"—summer like and full of friends and family.

The best part though may have been hearing my youngest son start playing the drums in my oldest son's music room and then my oldest son join in with a solid bass groove.

And then leaving the kitchen where I was listening to them and joining them on an old style small electric piano, Miles, my oldest giving me some tips on how to make what I was doing fit better and sound funkier, which I attempted to do.

The really good news was that my fingers seemed to be behaving almost as well as they used to before the growth in my brain and the surgery to remove it and the four months afterwards. I felt like I had not only got my groove back, but my chops. Sweet.

And all the time I was aware of my youngest son's groove, keeping the beat solidly and embellishing it with fills that were original and matched his big brother's bass groove in funkiness and tightness.

When I looked over at him, it wasn't like seeing my young boy, no self-consciousness or hesitation or even the kind of nervous watching his brother and me to make sure he was doing it right. More like looking over at a fellow professional holding his own, with ease and confidence. Man that was a great sensation.

And to top it off, when we finished that jam, my grandson took my little guy's place on the drums and did his own great job of keeping the beat and displaying his own technique in fills and flourishes. The only thing missing was my daughter's singing. Maybe next time.


Elisabeth said...

This is such a lovely post here, Michael.

To me it's what good writing is all about, honest and pure. It flows across the page and that's apart from the actual content, ewhich is equally alluring.

You said to me recently that you thought your writing could sometimes sound ...I can't remember your exact words, but something like egocentric came in somewhere.

I think this post is anything but egocentric. It's just so beautifully written, the way your story flows from one son to the next, to you, to your grandson and to your missing daughter, all through the image of you playing music, and the sense of closeness ,and people learning from one another.

As I was reading this post I thought, perhaps like you, that not only have you come a long way post-surgery as far as your musical ability is concerned you've also traveled miles with your writing.

For me this post beats writing about politics and all those other important and world wearying things we must tackle any day.

Thank you.

Robert G. Zuckerman said...


I agree with Elisabeth. I once met an artist, she was a painter who was HIV positive and Albino, from the Bay Area, and she painted pictures of flowers that radiated feeling. In her artist's statement she wrote: "The more personal my expression, the more universal its meaning." Her words continue to ring true for me and now here, for Elisabeth.

Jamie Rose said...

Ah! Love this!