First off, I spent my last night at 47 doing this:
This includes me ripping away at the margis of the Pentetonic scale on my new, Tech 21, Richie Kotzen OMG pedal.
Anyway. I had mentioned in a previous post that my birthday would bring about the same age my dad was when he found out I would be coming into the world—to wit: the first born. For me, becoming 48 has more weight to it than the supposed harbinger of black balloons, casket-ridden birthday cards, and feeble attempts by my friends to imply that I am but months away from soiling the bed in some involuntary, nocturnal deluge when 50 finally does come along.
I say this because it is the very last number on my experiential radar with any reference. My dad, despite becoming a father relatively late (although still, somewhat young in terms of the Tony Randall/Larry King sliding scale of reproductive boony-bouncing), managed to live until 86 years of age—giving me a plenteous 38 years with him before I had to say goodbye.
But up until this point, all these referential places have had a sense of comfort; or a sense of benchmarks that left “places still to reach” on the game board.
It’s managed to feel like the Splash Mountain ride from Disneyland. You are pulled along on a comforting track—it feels like you’re floating along, but there are subtle reminders when you turn the corner; you feel the track mechanisms pull the log ride into an orientation that tells you that the “ride” is referentially similar to the one ahead of you.
But then, there is the point where the water deepens, and the ride seems to assume a slightly different identity; you can feel the guiding track underneath dissipate into deep water, and your car is now floating with its own set of gradations. Maybe you bump into the side at one point. The car ahead of you— another. But no matter what, you “know” that the feeling of floating forward is bringing you ever-closer to the “drop off.” I now feel like I’m floating free of any real reference.
I know. It’s odd. And, I’ll leave the interpretation of “drop off” to you.
So yeah. I guess I have other reference points: My dad’s retirement age. The age he had open-heart surgery, etc. But none of those seem to have this benchmark for me. I can only speculate why. And apparently, I can only speculate into more assumptions with no real way to bolt it down.
Maybe it’s because I’m getting old. The answer is probably right there. I just can’t see it without my 1x, Dollar Tree glasses.
Happy birthday! Nice chops! Are you mostly using your first three fingers? I see your pinkie moving but I can’t tell if it is hitting the fretboard. I’ve felt adrift for a few years now, and I’m 51. Welcome to existential crisis.
In certain forms, no matter what I do, my pinkie retracts. But yes. When you see it enter the game, it is being employed and hitting the fretboard.
Btw, nice tone on the pedal.
Happy birthday, Ron! I’m honored to call you my friend. I pray many, many blessings to you and yours. And I look forward to many more years of your words of wisdom and wit!
Thank you. And likewise, my friend. The old 90 & 9 blog gave me many gifts–and you being one of them.
And, indeed your friendship, Ron, is the gift that blog gave to me, too.
I made some good friends and lasting connections through 90 & 9 as well.