Persistence

defn: continuing to exist or endure over a prolonged period (Oxford Dictionary)

Back in the day I used a Pentax K1000 manual camera to photograph. I bought the unit just prior to a trip to Colorado to see The Grateful Dead at Red Rocks Amphitheater. Upon arrival, my friend took one look at my new toy then told me I would need a telephoto lens if I wanted to get decent pictures of the band.

I bought the lens that afternoon. Did I mention I barely knew how to work the camera, never mind multiple detachable lenses? I wasn’t very good at loading the 35-millimeter film into the back. The first night of a three-night stand, that included my 24th birthday, I went through five rolls of film that resulted in a dozen or so photos worth keeping.

Persistence. I learned how to use the camera, crop a photo in the viewfinder, and set the aperture to let through the right amount of light. Time and patience are both great teachers.

Recently I revived my photography hobby. I bought a pocketbook size camera that has awesome zoom then headed to “the rail” at a music festival. The part I forgot about is how much concentration it takes to get that one sparkly shot. Add to that the fact I love to dance and get distracted easily well you get the picture (haha).

 Yet I had a plan. I would take photos during the first few songs, then I will enjoy the music my muse provides. Pretty simple, huh?

Yeah, no.

Persistence. Did I mention that I refused to check the shot after I clicked? Delayed gratification or cruelty take your pick. As in the old days, I knew when I got the right light, angle, facial expression, when it all came together, or didn’t. The lead singer, bass player, guitarist, and keyboard player were all easy. I snapped a few of each with the awareness I had captured the moment.

Yet the drummer… and those symbols… and the body of the bass… With each click I knew I missed. My focus and energy went from a few shots of each band member to why do I keep missing the drummer. About halfway through their set, twenty plus clicks in, I knew I got it. My body relaxed. I heard the lyrics, felt the music, and much later, got the rush of a moment captured.

Persistence pays off again.

What are you persistent about?

Thanks to Sidney Smith for his equipment recommendations. Visit his page here to see amazing concert photos. And thanks to the guys at Milford Photo for sharing their expertise. And thanks to Haley Jane & The Primates for sharing joy through their gift of music. I am going to miss you guys.

Peace & love.

Ahhh Summertime…

Summer Greetings All!

I had a crazy start to this sunshine daydream celebration. One of my favorite bands, Dumpstaphunk, played a free outdoor show recently. 90-degree temp with a bit of humidity didn’t stop the band from playing a scorching two-hour set and I danced the whole time. (And I thank them for sharing their talents. If you get a chance and like to dance, they are New Orleans gift to the rest of us).

Summer lesson one- sometimes water just doesn’t do it and real dehydration is awful (head spins, nausea, dizziness)! I share this as a warning to other sunshine dancers… STAY HYDRATED!

I was down for the count for a week!

Yet I don’t know a better feeling than dancing in the sunshine to live music. Actually, any live music is a gift 😊

What are your summer adventures?

Feeling Grateful

Last Saturday night we ventured out to one of my favorite venues, The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York. The theatre is a restored art deco theater that has hosted many of rock’s legends. The building is just shy of a century old. In the tradition of sixties liquid light shows, patterns are projected on the walls and ceiling. On Saturday a cartoon squirrel ran around among a paisley motif. This then morphed into strange configurations as the band took the stage.

All appropriate illusions for the Chris Robinson Brotherhood.

Most of the shows we have experienced here give the option of walking up to the stage, in a polite standing room only area, or if one chooses, sitting up in the balcony. Since I am height challenged, I prefer the back of the floor or balcony. Hubby will venture up front yet I get too squished to appreciate the view.

Recharging my creative juices in this fashion brings on a plethora of strchris-robinson-brotherhood-11-18-at-the-capange occurrences, the most prominent one happening this morning. I woke to my characters fighting. Not my present characters, they are still steamed that I haven’t finished telling their story, these voices were those of past protagonists.

And what were they fighting over?

This blog. Okay, so I realize some of you think that maybe I had lost part of my mind at the show, yet hear me out. This is the time of year when we all seem to look around and (hopefully) appreciate the good things in our lives. My past protagonists want to express that appreciation to our readers.

To maintain a bit of order, and the ability to get back to my current character crisis, here are some thoughts from a few old friends:

From Lindsay of Dancing With Faith: “Hi beautiful people! I am so grateful for my family and friends and the beautiful sound of live guitars. We wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving.”

From Maxi of Maximum Mayhem: “Ric, I, and my entire family wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving. I would include greetings from Zach yet I don’t want to overstep any boundaries because our relationship is, well, complicated. If she ever finishes, look for the next part of our story coming soon, well not too soon because she gets distracted and well, you know…”

From Izzy of The Perfect Pitch: “Bobby and I would like to send out holiday greetings to all our friends and family! And a special congratulation to The Chicago Cubs! As Red Sox fans, we get it.”

And finally, from Rina of Passenger – the only game in town: “Greetings folks. Chris Robinson Brotherhood, huh? At least she listens to jam bands. This is probably why she hears those voices, too. To quote one of my favorite artists, G. Love, I wish you peace, love, and happiness!”

Can you see why I don’t let them speak, yet I am so grateful for their voices!

I’m grateful for many things, like you (yes, you), the ones who take the time to read my creations along with family, close friends, and one psycho Beagle-Dor (half lab, half beagle). There is more: poetry and books, good music and bad, mentors and students, rainbows and sunshine…for this and more, Be grateful!

 

 

I Miss Your Presence

Twenty-one years ago today I still worked in advertising at a newspaper. My phone rang and my friend Paul, without any kind of preface, stated, “Lynnz, I just heard Jerry died,”

I told him I’d call him right back and ran up to the newsroom to track down R13882141_1058054404291015_7376071392435824000_noger, the paper’s rock critic at that time. I started to ask and before I could get the question out Roger replied, “Reports came in this morning. He had a heart attack and died in his sleep.”

The death of a musician may not mean a lot to most people yet to hundreds of thousands, the death of Jerry Garcia symbolized the end of an era. For those who are not aware, Garcia was the leader of the band The Grateful Dead. The Grateful Dead became one of the most iconic bands to emerge from the 1960’s San Francisco era.

After news got out, my phone rang off the hook with friends calling to grieve and clients to offer sympathy. The people who knew me, then and now, know that I have a love for The Grateful Dead as I am not one to keep this part of myself secret.

Two months’ prior, my husband kicked me out the door and instructed my friends, Jeff and Abby, to take me to see the band in Highgate, Vermont. I was visibly pregnant with our first child and hubby thought I needed a Grateful break.

I was blessed to be there and all the other times I had the privilege to experience Mr. Garcia on stage with The Dead, solo, or his own band. My son was blessed too. He got to experience The Grateful Dead bouncing around inside of me. (He was also the cause of my nap during drums and space).  When my younger self went to shows and saw little kids dancing around, I had hoped someday to dance with my little one. (Once born, I did bring him to see the remaining members on different occasions. He got to experience “the scene” yet for me, something was always missing).

The memorial concert in Walnut Hill Park with Max Creek and all the others across the world sent Mr. Garcia to his next destination with love and light.

There is not enough space here to explain the impact that this man, whom I never met, had on my life, so I will simply end with, “Thank you, Jerry. You are still missed.”

 

Rain Dance

Writing comes easy some days while others are a challenge to get words out. Today is a combination of both. Last night another show (an old friend labelled this the Dreaded Dead Disease) and today 1500 words. I’m not sure there is a cause and effect yet I do know that somehow the music rejuvenates my soul.

And I want to go again…and again…and again!

The experience changes each time. At SPAC we sat in the balcony, paid attention to the elements of lights and sound, and of course, danced. In Hartford we grouped on the lawn with many friends. It didn’t matter that we were way back amongst the masses. We try to predict what the next song would be (my friend Pook is a master at this) and of course, danced and swirled. My highlight, besides being surrounded by friends, was dancing in the rain. Yes, it poured. Yes, we got wet. Yes, I ignored my rain gear in favor of the water flowing down my body while music lifted my spirit up.

If you haven’t tried dancing in the rain, I highly recommend it. This is a very freeing experience.

Back to the writing – the hard part today is staying on task. My characters are screaming in one direction while my other voices demand to be heard. Right now my setting is a church instead of a concert hall. My characters are mourning a loss versus celebrating life.

Maybe my timing is just off…I hear the band is playing again soon…

Sweet Harmony

Harmony comes from many different places. It could be present in an eclectic coffee shop or when 30,000 people are all swaying to the same song. Harmony came my way twice this week.

I am working in the coffee shop again, (best egg sandwich anywhere!), trying to get

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Crowd at SPAC 21 June 16

Neddy’s ready for when my editor arrives next week. Her visits are always anticipated with excitement to be in the same time zone and dread of showing my present work.

I also went back to The Saratoga Preforming Arts Center or SPAC for short. My first trip there took place in the early 80’s. I caravan up with four other cars of folks, got to the park mid-morning, hung out playing Frisbee, and then upon entering the venue, promptly lost all my friends.

There were sightings along the way. In line for the Ladies Room I would be told that Terri went that way or they just saw Faith and she was looking for me. I would head off in the direction pointed only to just miss each time. I danced the whole show solo, yet during the last number, Don’t Ease Me In, I ventured back to where we entered. Within minutes my friends and I are dancing around each other.

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Dead & Company on stage at SPAC.

That is the magic, which is probably why two of my books, Dancing With Faith and my latest, Passenger – the only game in town, both have scenes from the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Decades later we venture to SPAC again. The band plays. We are a bit older, and some days wiser, still dancing the night away. The music brings harmony to the masses and will forever rock my soul.

The creative juices will be different moving forward…Scattered like lost words…(Weir)