Old Writing: Jazz Across the St. Marys

Amanda and I are getting the nursery ready for baby Jackson. While cleaning up, I found a few folders of my old “writing.” It’s not all good, but it has a way of bringing me back in time. I’ll share a few with you.

Jazz Across the St. Marys

Winter 2003

So this is it. The entire reason that I’m here–home. Though I’m not too sure that’s the name of this place anymore. This is a beautiful place. The river runs not too far ahead. A choppy grey light reflects off of the top while a staccato rhythm plays its way across the bank. The city is on this side, the island on the other, both like a jazz artist grooving smoothly in G–I’m at the picnic table, writing, striking the minor sixth. The gulls flock over head offering a melody, diving in and out of they rhythm–syncopated swoops for sustenance. All around the cool breeze blows–over the river, carrying the music through my hair, around my ears and upward to the blue, cloud-dressed sky without even giving me a chance to tap my feet to the beat–I hum the parts I can remember. I wonder if the notes bounce off of the bottom of the slate grey clouds as would a ball off of a mountain; or if they pop like Wonder Bubbles do when they hit the trees outside of my house; or does God gently cup them in his hands to see his sweet reflection.

I think sometimes, that one day, the music will stop, dry up–stop flowing–leaving me yearning for the harmony and melody that brighten the blues inside. I will sit on the bank of the river feeling only the faintest thud of the drums, the water rippling only slightly around my ankles–still, only a faint glimmer of the rhythm making me yearn for more, leaving me empty. I am still. Wondering what can fulfill me. moments pass. Moments more. Then, I recall the refrain, sweet and rhythmic and I can hear it off in the distance. Then and there I realize that the song never ended–the song never ends, but it can’t stay in one place for every. Neither can I.

The clouds begin to turn a light brown as the sun retreats behind them. A street lamp beside me is flickering, I guess the city’s got a sensor in it now–always making progress. Night is falling and the wind is picking up a bit, probably from off the ocean. The water churns, ab it more tumultuously now, and the groove gets heavier. The waves beat the marsh grass and the wind whistles through the reeds like a smooth saxophone coloring the composition.

So this is it. This is the reason I came to this place–home. It’s starting to get late. Time to make some final notes, gather my papers and be on my way. One more look. One more listen. This place sounds beautiful, doesn’t it? I walk away. Humming.


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