Today, for the fifth time in as many weeks, I opened a newsletter with the subject header, “You are going to LOVE this!”
It was a form letter from a Musician’s Friend saleswoman, surely generated by my recent purchase of studio equipment.
“This is Nakeisha, your Gear Advisor with Musician’s Friend. I am contacting you to see how I can assist you with the purchase of your next piece of gear. I want to make sure you have easy access to all of our exciting new products and look forward to custom tailoring them to your needs.”
What a title! What an offer! What an assumption of consent!
“This is Benjamin, your Newsletter Author with The Benjamin Wagner Deluxe Newsletter. I am contacting you to see how I can assist you with your coping mechanisms amidst what was a challenging existence prior to COVID and is SUPER wack-ass now. I want to make sure you have easy access to all of the latest and most-thoughtful narratives of adaptation and transformation and look forward to hearing how deeply you were moved and/or how you’ve plumbed your own depths and emerged reborn.”
You are going to LOVE this!
The BWD Newsletter is a bit of an artificial construct. Typically, writing it is a forcing function for me to reflect and share something that moved or inspired me in the intervening few days: an experience, a song, a story.
Alas, I don’t have a concise narrative package this week. No introduction, conflict, sidebar, sidebar, tidy resolution. No tornado. No baseball game. No new music video.
Instead, I have ten hour days on the third floor of 1901 Rockford Road punctuated by three day weekends (for two more weeks). Instead, I have back-to-back Zoom calls (Smile! Smile! Smile!) punctuated by quiet moments of brilliant joy with the girls.
Last night, my 4:30 meeting ended six minutes early. By 5:04, I was in my trunks, in the car, speeding to the pool to meet Abbi, Maggie and Elsie. By 5:20, I was in the deep end, rising slowly through silver air bubbles into rays of aqua sunshine.
That said, ProTools is half installed. My songbook is half-written. My studio is half-done. And my To List is growing.
Still, on my best days, in my best moments, I flip the script: Lucky me! Healthy me! Happy me! On my best days, in my best moment, I can kinda’ see how this is done.
The present is uncertain. The antidote is courage. And sometimes, the most courage we can muster is just showing up, and putting one foot in front of the other.