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The Groove

There are few things more exciting for an artist than when he or she finds a groove: a groove-e1503973155633.jpgplace in time when all the parts  fall together and the culmination of effort seems to find its way into a purposeful and meaningful direction.

All at once the puzzle makes sense.

Those many and disparate pieces of thought gather together at the round table, hold hands,  and hum the same note. Often, the single note wavers long enough until it rings a chord of its own, and from that- a brand new song is sung . . . that’s the groove.

The scratchings on the cell wall make a pattern and in an instant you see a vision.

The planetoids are aligned, and for the moment, the moon is slightly red, and the tide is ripe for the picking.

The dominoes are falling and tripping the right levers to make the gears turn just the way that the designer intended. It’s amazing!

For a musician, it is an inexplicable zone that finds the artist playing to an unseen conductor after the sheet music has blown off the stand. Observe Eric Clapton or Yo Yo Ma in the middle of a solo; their eyes closed and in touch with the invisible, transcending into the music itself; the messenger has become the message . . . a groove is found.

For an athlete or a dancer, it’s a place when the body is performing at it’s peak in response to nothing but the moment in a rhythm all its own. The thousands of hours of training have all come to bare, but the coach is not there . . . or is he?

It is a place beyond thought, when the conscious mind is suspended and subjected to another source of energy and inspiration.

It’s beginning to see something that you weren’t even sure you were looking for- and then being pleasantly surprised to find it developing before your eyes.

At last it’s arrived! A groove.

It’s a time when the subconscious warehouse is unloading an inordinate amount of musings into the Daytime storage unit. (It’s usually an after Midnight delivery!)

Of course now the question is asked- even begged- how do I get there? And once I get there, how do I stay? And why, oh why, can’t I force it to come back? After all, it was just here a moment ago, and I seemed to have had it for the longest time . . . How did it just slip away?

And all at once the pen or the brush feels like a foreign object. I can’t even hold onto the guitar pick, the piano has more keys than I thought, and my shoes don’t even fit! I feel like I’ve been dressed in my sleep by a mad thrift store clown with a grudge, and I can’t even imagine what I was thinking when I was thinking that thing that I was thinking just a moment ago! My words don’t come out right and it seems like I have to learn this all over again, and, on top of that, I just bit my tongue while chewing my cereal!

Dangitall! 

Just who did this drawing and how? And when was I there? it seemed so permanent and lasting, and I thought it would go on forever. And now, it’s gone (whatever it is) and I am clearly out of the groove.

Answer to the aforementioned question: “How do I get there? And how do I stay?”

“Unknown Ghost Rider!”

When you find it- keep it; ride the wave.

Don’t leave the ‘stranger’ alone; serve him tea, coffee, bring down the expensive bottle of wine. Feed him if necessary. Don’t leave the room! Don’t walk away! Stay in the place where you saw him last. And if he nods off for a moment, walk quietly, whisper if you must, and . . .

See that rabbit trail, the one leading over there? Don’t look! Don’t go there!

It will take you . . .

Well, I can see that I’m too late. I can see the hole now and your sneaker print on the edge. And yes, that’s you fading into the distance. You’re certainly off in a different direction. On your own as you must be.

I hope you find what you’re looking for . . .

The groove, that is.

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