Posted by: ubahleeob | October 31, 2009

Trying To Find The Groove


Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve written anything. Sorry for the prolonged absence. In the words of Jackie Gleason, “So away we go…..”

Wow, what a difference a few months make.  In the past months we have completed our long discussed move to the Emerald Coast of Florida, to the World’s Most Beautiful Beaches, to the Redneck Rivera — Panama City Beach.  And as it happens with most journeys, this one had it’s own special ups and it’s own special downs.  Yet and still, God was God and we now live a block from The Beach.  It’s a five minute walk from front door to wet feet.  You have to love that  So what’s the problem?  As of late I have really felt, well …. lost.  Maybe lost is the wrong word, perhaps “out of sorts” explains it better.

As a drummer I know a lot about being out of sorts.  For those of you non- musical types, for all of the loudness and bravado and the endless (useless) drum solos every used to assault music listeners,  drummers have basically one purpose in a band — they keep everyone together.  Being out of sorts is something we don’t do. We are  order.  As the old drummers used to say, “it’s all about keeping it on the 2 and 4.”  It’s a feeling.  We drummers call it being in the groove, or in the pocket — we know when we are there and we know when we aren’t.  And lately, we ain’t there.

Granted, everything here  is new.  New job, new place to live, trying to start new relationships.  So I guess a groove might be harder to find, the song is new (to keep the musical metaphor going), but yet and still — this is new territory for me and for some reason I am really having “issues” finding the beat.  And it’s really starting to bug me.

So what do you do?  I’ve found over the years that the worst thing I can do is trying to force the groove.    As with most musicians, there have been times when  in the middle of a tune I thought, “something isn’t right  here”.  Oh you can try and find “it” — but usually with inconsistent results.  It’s funny, when I concentrate on the beat, really focus on keeping the meter right — I tend to play like a box with arms.  No feeling, no passion — just “boom, chick, boom, chick.”  That’s great if you are a drum machine, but not so good for anything else.  Maybe that’s what’s happening now.  In my intense desire to find out what God is doing, where God is leading I’ve lost sight of the bigger picture, I can’t hear the music for trying to listen for the click.

Sadly,  there really isn’t a single answer.  For many of us, that’s a shock.  We love knowing the answer. But God in his mysterious wisdom seems to  frustrate us  when we try to drill down our journey with him into a single set of easy answers.   God often reminds me of a piano player I used to play with.  This guy was famous (or infamous) for saying, “ok – here we go, it’s in E (or D or C or whatever key he felt like playing)  just follow me” and he’d take off playing something none of us had ever heard before.  God seems a lot like that. The master creator, weaving point and counterpoint, melody and harmony  into a song that would have  Handel in tears, Bach gasping in amazement , and have Dave Matthews looking for a new line of work. All  you can do is try to keep up and watch him for the changes.


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