“Little darling, it’s been a long, cold, lonely winter…”

Since I last posted here, there’s been a lot of change and drought and upheaval. The winter was no kinder to my business than it was to most others here in Detroit Metro, where we broke a 100-year-old snow record in the middle of April.

And the tendency I have when going through challenges is to hole up, hit the bunker, and go underground. It seemed the easiest thing to do as the snow kept piling up and the temperatures plunged below zero.

But there were points from January onward where I just couldn’t stand to be inside anymore, and couldn’t afford to stay shut off from the rest of civilization – points where I just had to pull my boots on and get out there because I had music to share.

I had gigs scheduled, an album to sell, contacts to make, rehearsals to schedule. And every time I stepped out the door and into the snow, it was for music.

I couldn’t do everything I planned, and not everything I did was planned. But the will to live and connect finds ways to trump everything, especially where art is concerned, and several of my musical friends felt the same way.

And I found some warm spots as the weather struggled to change:

I was inspired by a voice student I took on who was visually impaired; she was slowly losing her sight but very accepting in the face of it. I made house calls to her because she wanted to discover her voice so she could not only sing but recite poetry. Our work on her breath was amazing; she had more capacity than she believed she had. She inspired me to think about what else was possible in teaching music to people with similar challenges.

I took an opportunity to record ambient music, and I firmly believe that my chants to Shiva had him connect me to a local branch of the Isha Foundation, whose musicians welcomed me into their devotional music ensemble for a fundraiser. And our program opened with a song to Shiva.

And I’ve started to realize, with the help of some friends, that I am a closeted jazz musician. More on THAT next week…

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