Best known for the Off-Broadway musicals, "The Last Session," "The Big Voice: God or Merman?" and "New World Waking," a song cycle for peace and justice.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

The Evidence of Your Life.

We are moving across the street into Manhattan Plaza after 11 years on the waiting list.

It will be our home. I feel like I'm moving into a retirement community. But it's filled with actors and musicians and dancers and singers. And we know so many of them already! It'll be like moving home to a home you haven't lived in yet.

But the process of moving. Even though it's only across the street, Jim is now sitting and going through every single piece of paper in the place. Papers found in folders in boxes, in drawers.

It's a weird sensation to go through the evidence of your existence on this planet from materials that pre-date the Internet. News clippings. Like one from Omaha where my face and my newly-googly eye graced the top half of the page, with the cast of The Last Session rehearsing behind me.

I did this four years ago when I single-handedly, with a few close friends, did this. Went through every piece of paper. And I jettisoned a lot. Especially if there was two of anything. But I kept stuff that didn't need to be kept, but which I wanted Jim to look at.

Emotions and memories of your life come crashing like waves. I can feel it in my chest when I think about it, even as I'm typing these words.

I like the evidence of my life. When I worked on the cruise ship, when I sang with bands.

The most embarrassing papers are stacks of notebooks of lyrics I wrote along the way, on my journey from hippie church musician to rock and roll to theater to musical directing to acceptable songwriter to composer.

Hundreds of lyrics! All terrible! And the worst part is that when I read them, I can go back to how I felt when I wrote them. I usually felt they were terrible, too, but only after trying them out and singing them, thinking that maybe I was wrong and someone would hear something I don't hear. (They didn't).

Except for one or two. Sitting the front seat of a car with Bobby Cox, my guitarist, both of us jamming out on a cassette of a recording we just made. The song is juvenile, but boy did we have fun. I'm a lead guitar junkie/groupie.

And so it goes.

The great thing about living in the bonus round is that I get to relive those days. They are rich and they make me cry. And they make me remember that life is less about events than it is about the moments when you were with people who made you feel good.

People want to be rich so they can do big things. But all the money in the world couldn't give me a more 'scream out loud' and laugh ourselves stupid experience. 
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