What a concept, eh?
So even though I tend to ramble, I try to make a point in most of what I’m saying. This song actually has quite a bit of meaning, hence it’s own “page”, so to speak.
In 2006, the beginning of what was almost my end rolled into high gear. I had lost a nearly 3-year job (a record for me at the time) due to the effects of out of control bipolar disorder, a manic phase that was probably about 4 years in or more, undiagnosed and definitely unmedicated, and it had bottomed out and headed into the “dark side”. My doctor had started noting his concerns about my mounting depression, which we’d started treating, unsuccessfully with a variety of medicines. When I lost my job, I was working with a property management company and living at one of their properties, and forced to move. Both a blessing and a curse, Ed & I lucked out and found a really great house to move into. So in March of 2006 we moved to this really cool place still in Austin.
The day we moved, I had been having a lot of sore throat issues, not feeling good, and this type of activity had been going on for a while. We’d rented a U-Haul to move (something we hated doing as we both despise the act of moving) but did it to save money. My mom had accompanied us on the trips back & forth and while moving something down the ramp, she had been behind me and noticed a “stripe” down the back of my neck. I assumed it was from over heating, and didn’t really think too much about it. The next day after getting a little rest, I woke up and had a painful little “bump” on my left side of my neck, felt like a zit. Didn’t pay too much attention to it other than it was hard, and kind of hurt. Two days later it was about twice the size, and then three days later….it was golf ball sized. Out of nowhere. I immediately went to my doctor, and I felt like crap.
He didn’t want to do anything to it, and couldn’t tell what it was. He made a referral to an ENT, which was of course a few days later. By the time I got the appointment set with that doctor a few days later, this “thing” on my neck, which was definitely attached firmly somehow, had grown to the size of a small grapefruit and then started to flatten out. I was terrified. This all happened within about a 7 day period of time and I had no idea what was happening to me, and I was in a sizable amount of discomfort, and couldn’t turn my head. The ENT decided a biopsy was in order.
They couldn’t do an aspiration biopsy; opted for a punch biopsy because it was so thick and hard. And we waited.
The results came back “inconclusive” and necessitated the need for a 2nd biopsy.
Those results also came back “inconclusive” and this point we were into a 3rd week of this ordeal. I was told that I needed to get my affairs in order because this thing was suspected of being a fast growing tumor, and the fear was that it could possibly cut off the blood supply to my carotid arter or my brain or possibly suffocate me in my sleep. And just a few months prior, I had been working, relatively happy, travelling in my job, doing what I was told was a good job by everyone in my industry and on what I thought was a good path – despite the bipolar issues and the mistakes I made there, I was still a good and hard worker when I was focused, and up until that time, “things” seemed fine…. Get my affairs in order?
Anyway, the spiral downward lasted several years, most of which I’ve documented elsewhere and is part of the new album, BUT as I turned to music in 2007 & 2008 as I recovered, I “discovered” this song….not being a country fan, I hadn’t heard it. I liked Tim McGraw (but it was for different reasons, hahaha). The words hit me like a brick wall, and my original recording, I think in 2007, was done after hearing the song only a few times. It became part of my “live stuff” later on, and the way I performed the song changed greatly in the 2010’s, and I always wanted to re-record the vocal.
A few weeks ago (2/2015) I did just that, but have been so busy I haven’t had the time to mix the vocal at all. And I’m surprised at yet again, the impact of a vocal and how strong it resonates with me yet again and in an even entirely new level!
I have spent a good deal of time this last year extolling the virtues of how important it is to live every day reaching for your dreams; pushing for what you want out of your life. You NEVER KNOW when something – ANYTHING – is going to come along and take this very precious gift we have called life away from us. It is truly the one piece of magic that we have, but we are gifted with the ability to make more, whether that is music, art, or just the gift of making others happy in following their dreams, hopes, wishes and desires. Making someone smile is a gift. Loving someone is a gift. Being a friend is a gift. Sharing your happiness is a gift. Telling your friends, family and partners you love them is a gift. You should live your life as if you were dying, – meaning, that you know and recognize that this gift of life is not a permanent thing. Watch an eagle as it flies Go skydiving. Go Rocky Mountain Climbing. Write that movie. Don’t just talk about it. You only live once. At least that you know about.
So I find it fascinating that as I approach the biggest recording project of my life – so far – the final song I recorded with my oldest piece of recording equipment, the Shure 58, given to me by friends at the first karaoke gig at Dave & Biusters so many years ago, before I replaced it this month with the new condenser mic – turns out to be this song, the one song from one of the hardest times of life, the time that really spearheded the period of life that directed me to TODAY….and where I’m at right now…..and here it is remastered, and re-recorded….
Thanks as always for reading.