Matt's blog

The story of me, an American in Edinburgh, Scotland finding my place as a musician, a husband, a father and a Christian.


It's Almost One o'clock

Suicide has never been a real option. There was a point in high school where some people were pretty scared that I might kill myself, but that never really panned out. Nope, no suicide. Just got to tough it out.

In other news, I'm slightly more connected to the world then I was just a few days ago. I finally bought a radio for the apartment. If you know my family at all (knew my family at all, I guess) then you know that the radio (always tuned to KCRW) had a pretty strong presence in our household. Well, since I've been away at college, I have not had a radio. My social interaction level also went way down when I came to college. Without an established social network, even the meager one I had back home, I didn't have the guts to stick my head out of my dormroom and into an unknown world. So, with no social life and no radio, I spent a lot of time sitting alone in silence. Drives a lot of people nuts. A lot of people can't stand silence. I'm not one of them. I used to joke that I had ASD, Attention Surplus Disorder. Stick me in an empty room and I could stare at a blank wall for hours.

Anyway, I know have a radio, but don't expect it to do much good. All I listen to is news, classical music (not because classical is better music, but because all other music on the radio just plain sucks) and the random folk and bluegrass shows that the public radio station plays on the weekends. Oh yeah, I'm plugged into the mainstream now.

But don't expect me to break the silence habit too quickly. I still find myself spending long periods of time just sitting with nothing going on. A couple people have said to me that it's a good thing I have music to occupy or console myself with after the generally troublesome recent events in my life. If all else fails, I can just get lost in my music, they say. Well, that's not true. Music has no real soothing power, no comforting effect. Sure, performing is a rush, and I love going out in front of an audience and really throwing down, but to get to that point is just hard work. It's like working on a paper or doing research or shooting hoops over and over, only it's not enough to occupy my mind. It gets old fast. It's no greater power, just another distraction.

Sometimes when I'm practicing I get in the zone and hours will fly by without my noticing. Sometimes I get caught up in a single faulty stroke that grows and grows until not only my playing is out of whack, but my whole mindset and mood. Frustration and anger anger anger can build up out of nowhere. I hate myself for my shortcomings and I think about the world without me in it. I know I'm one of the best guitarists my age in this part of the country, but I sit behind my instrument in silence knowing that the world isn't much different whether I make music or stay silent.

Music is so stupid. Sometimes I hate myself for investing in something so meaningless, shallow and selfish. What kind of life have I chosen? I should take the radio back to the store and trade it for a big screen TV and plant myself in front of it until I've forgotten this horrible silence.

2 Responses to “It's Almost One o'clock”

  1. # Anonymous Anne

    Google:
    TSA Instrument Letter--that will take you to the TSA (transportation safety administration) website to the section about musical instruments.

    Or Google:
    TSA American Musician Federation, and it's the 6th document from the top..its a ".doc" file and says "Mr.Thomas Lee President American Federation of Musicians.."

    or i have the file that the letter is in..and if you want me to email it to you let me know.  

  2. # Blogger Pappy McVulgar

    Matt it would be nice if granny could be bilingual...I can give you some Kiswahili. I imagine spanish, german, french, and mung.  

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