The Vapor of a Runner’s Breath

Spread a little thin tonight. Finally did laundry, which I’ve been meaning to do for days but put off because 1) I hate doing laundry and 2) I’ve been feeling a little ill (just a little) all week (not sure if it’s the cedar, the weather, or just my time of the year for a cold). My problem with laundry night is that I have to change into older (read: tighter) clothing, and then devote several hours of my night to the boring, unsettling task of going to the laundromat. Chores suck. During that time, I get way too many inspirations and desires to do something else, desires that never manifest any other night. Pity, that.

While packing up my clothes and supplies, I had an inspiration, a melody, a phrase of song. Ran to my keyboard and pecked it out. Luckily, I remember a little of where I put my fingers, but the sound of the inspiration is gone. Disappeared like a vapor, like a cloud of breath on a cold day. You breathe it out, watch the cloud shift, and then it’s gone forever. Best you can hope for is to remember what it looked like.

Since I was feeling a little inspired musically, I took my drum machine with me to the laundromat. Had high intentions. The problem with hammering out a rhythm on this machine is one of mechanics: in order to record a drum track, I need to find an empty slot for the pattern and select from a dizzying range of drum kits before I can even lay down a loop that sounds something like my idea. With practice, this dance would become easier, but until then, it’s an obstacle of frustration. Most musicians develop habits and methods to move through these problems, but not me. Not yet.

It’s as though I need a studio engineer on retainer, ready whenever I am inspired to record something. In this regard, I’m jealous of the artist known as Prince, who is rumored to have his entire mansion wired for recording, and has a staff on-hand to press “record”. If only we could all have the help we need when we need it. Or our own laundry appliances.

After pecking on the drum machine, I got tired, fatigued really, and my will to thump beats dissappeared like a vapor. Eyes glazed over. Just too ill, I guess, to create my own stuff. I hate that feeling. So I pulled out “Cryptonomicon” and picked up my reading. I should’ve done that from the outset; would’ve gotten farther just focusing on one thing than timesharing between urges.

My battle in life is one of focus and attention, the fact that to actually get anywhere in my life, I need to cultivate the dogged determination to see a task through to its goal. To win by crossing the finish line in due time. A marathon is not run in chunks, with breaks for distraction; it is run by one foot in front of the other for 26.2KM, no matter how much acid builds up in your veins. It is run by determined rhythm. It is run by measured breathing. It is run until you cross the line.

Published by Shawn

He's just this guy, you know?