I've been playing my horn a bit lately. Not a lot. But, in anticipation of the recording of a new single, I've been getting the rust out. I do this from time to time. When I can't stand the distance anymore, I go back to where I started. Sometimes it takes months. Sometimes its years. But eventually, I always end up sitting around with my horn in my hand like I did when I was twelve. I guess the heart approaches what it yearns. That's what Paul Simon said anyway.
Its funny to me that when I take a break from my trumpet, I always find myself saying I don't need it anymore. I'm not a trumpet player. I'm not a musician. I'm a psychologist now. I'm a photographer. I'm a writer. I've got all these things occupying my time. If I go a few weeks without playing, I start to tell myself that I don't miss it. Of course, deep down, I know its a lie. But I say it anyway. And then something happens and I need to play again. Last time, it was a chance to play with my brother. A few years ago it was a trip to Cuba playing for the troops. Before that it was a friend in town asking me to play for a spoken word performance. Its always something. Someone will call and say, "Can you play for....." I'll object. I'll fight it. I'll refuse. And in the end, I'll relent. I'll spend a few weeks getting my chops in shape, and I'll come out of hiding for a night. I'll play my horn. I'll feel that rush. In that moment, I'll forget that the rest of the world exists. It will be me and my horn and the music. Then I'll walk off stage and put my horn away for a while. Of course, it will hurt for a minute. But I'll get used to it. I always do.
So here I go again. The opportunity has arisen for me to record a song with a relatively well known singer. If all goes well, the song should get a little bit of attention. Certainly more attention than my music has ever gotten in the past. And so here I am, playing again. Practicing. Dreaming. Feeling that rush. Its kinda like getting high, I suppose. The ride is great on the way up. That feeling at the top is like none other. But the whole time, I keep thinking about how much its gonna hurt when I come back down.