My thoughts are with the people of Lewiston, Maine this morning and their families. I have been to Lewiston many, many times although usually it is just passing through on the way to or from Rangeley. It is hard to comprehend this type of thing and I can’t imagine how people there and around the world are feeling right now as news of their loved ones comes in.
Growing up as a Stephen King fan, I have read and vividly imagined some pretty scary things about people and places in Maine. I’ve read depictions of true-life horror and watched the news enough when something bad happens to have a pretty good idea of what today was like for those people, but still what I imagine has to be a million times less impactful than what the people in Lewiston saw and felt yesterday.
Peace to everyone out there feeling what they feel about this news.
I will never forget the first time I was ever in Lewiston. I was on my way to get married. Rhondi, Ryan, Teresa, and I were in a van heading up the mountain on an early August morning. I thought Maine was beautiful. The trees just astounded me.
We got in early and had breakfast in Portland at Becky’s Diner before driving around the coast a bit. I was so excited to be there, even though we were running on fumes after flying in on the red eye. As we started to head towards Lewiston, I couldn’t help but just take it all in.
Lewiston is very different than Portland. There are lots of red brick buildings. Still lots of trees, but a neat downtown area that has water running through it, and all kinds of interesting things to look at when you visit. On the main drag, though, it feels like it’s just car dealerships, weed stores, car dealerships, fast food places, and weed stores.
There is a neighboring town, Auburn, so Lewiston is part of the L.A. area. Billboards refer to the L.A. area. When we first drove through a little over 17 years ago, I had a giggle about being in the L.A. area. I saw a sign that was up there for years and years about a rock and roll station that was the “L.A. Area’s Best!!!” I think the exclamation points were lightning bolts, too.
Last night we had the very last Father Figures’ practice. There were feelings running through me all night. I enjoyed being there in the moment with Bobby and Michael. I soaked it up a lot when I wasn’t concentrating on what I was playing. Even then, though, I still appreciated the moment of making music with my friends.
I’m feeling emotional again now as I write this. I keep finding things to distract me, but it’s not in a terrible way. I have a smile on my face. It feels good to feel bad about it in such a way that there is no hurt in realizing we won’t do what we have done so many times, in that same way, ever again.
If we’ve played 100 shows, we’ve probably practiced at least 500 times. I’m sure we averaged around 10 years’ worth of once a week practices. Last night might have been 501.
There is some poetry in all of this. Being in a band is so much more than just the moments on stage. It’s a type of drive and commitment that is so satisfying and yet so temporary. For me there is no hangover, usually, either. Maybe that’s because I’m always on to the next fix.
I’m the worst kind of addict when it comes to being creative and making things, especially when I can collaborate with people who inspire me to be better. Last night was a wonderful reminder of all the times when we pushed ourselves in practice to make something cool together. It feels right.
Yet it also feels right to end the chapter. To finish the book.
If I would have only started this blog in 2009. I would have a book (or three).
Tonight was our last practice.
Stumbling through being lost in the moment.
Just what it was.
What it will never be again.
Who knows. The shadow? No.
Rachel Maddow? A show.
She Does Gymnastics.
I will pre-heat you now.
See you tomorrow.
A show at Rip's.