It's insidious, creeps up on you, a bit like a cat in the grass, stalking, ready to pounce when you least expect it. It's this feeling of uncertainty, generated by our old unwelcome adversary COVID, not knowing what tomorrow may bring when this grumpy thing decides to kick up rough again and throw us all into a lockdown of anxiety and financial stress.
You don't always realise how anxious you are until you see a news report that startles you like a deer in the forest, makes you uneasy like walking into cobwebs in a dark and unfamiliar old house, feeling your way, or just downright strikes fear like a stake into your heart.
And it's exhausting, this constant apprehension about everything. I suppose the reassuring thing here is: you're not the only one. We're all in the same boat, steady as she goes amidst the troubled waters.
I've started remembering things in my past, memories of good times, because they are certain. They are mine, my history, and there they are, rock solid, steady and sure. They often appear as little video clips parading across my mind's eye, or as still snapshots of places, people, animals.
I remember the first time I played drums in public at the Dairy Flat Community Hall jam night. It was the first time I had ever played outside of my own living room, and I played with some experienced musicians and we played 'Mary Had a Little Lamb', the Stevie Ray Vaughn version. I didn't know the 'stops', as I call them, where everybody is supposed to stop playing for effect and the intro to this song has a couple of those. Of course I played through the stops, my very inadvertent and embarrassing first drum solos. That was a lesson learned and now when I play I ask, 'Are there any stops?'
I can also become happy and relaxed for a while when I think about other drumming experiences. Playing music always makes me feel good and I've played in some interesting places: on top of a pool table down Franklin way at a mini country music festival, and in a converted shearing shed up at a farm on the Port Albert Road. I've played at music festivals and most recently at the Paihia Country Rock Festival this month. The photo above was taken at the Orewa Street Fiesta back in February this year.
So we do what we can to ease our minds during these 'times of scary' as my neighbour calls them. I often think writing one's thoughts and feelings out in a journal can help too but sometimes even that gets me too wired up and anxious. I never thought I'd feel that way about my journal but sometimes I have to put the pen down, step away and pick up the drumsticks instead.
Yeah, man. By the way, below is the Stevie Ray Vaughn YouTube video.
I'm not playing in this one.