Monday, April 19, 2010


i have all this stuff that i can't show you yet or can't tell you about yet.

here's a thing, though: i'm working some new reeds. this wouldn't raise an eyebrow from anyone except that i don't think i've worked any reeds since -i don't know- 2001? it might have been earlier, but not much. i remember it because i was working in that room on the back side of the building, and 2001 was the last year i worked there.

i used to work reeds a lot. it's what i did. but a lot of things happened, including a broken right hand and the slow death of my soul and nothing felt right, not even the sweet and chunky feel of the pads of my fingers on that lower stack, and i kind of gave it up.

did you ever come to life after a long death?

last week joan's sermon was all about second chances. bit by bit i think i am returning to life.

and today i opened up that case and i played a little. i don't have the chops anymore, but i can build those muscles again.

do i even dare hope it?

and i had a moment or two of panic.

where are all my reeds? in the early 80's there was a fire in the cane fields in france and before the price of reeds went up, i bought cases and cases and i KNEW i still had them somewhere.

would my mom have thrown them out while i was sick? would i have left them back at the job i lost? would anyone have known they were mine? that they were important?

reed cane improves with age. it mellows if stored right.

so for the first time in years i opened a new box, familiar, purple.

and i set them to soak. just two, just for a start. sweet and beautiful and balanced. they have nice grain to them. they look like they'll play beautifully.

tomorrow i'll soak them again and try them for that first few minutes before i put them out for drying. you have to break reeds in. it's like a courtship. push them too fast and they won't bloom, won't last. take care of them and they'll take care of you.


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