Categories: Monday Morning Musical Musings, Paul Bourgeois
“Castle, Castle, Castle.” They knew who he was.
He started to play. Young girls screamed. Bags of potato chips and chocolates surrounded him like offerings. He caught sight of the door. Mason came into the bar. The world spun and he fainted.
On the fifth of September the voices came to him again. They told him to run away. If having money meant being tied to Mason then Paul would rather be free. All he needed was food and guitar strings, and Kirsti, the cabin girl, received a substantial amount to keep him in the cabin. So he just took a thousand Euros from the kitty and took a train to Helsinki. It was his money, anyway.
He still felt guilty for stealing, and he damned Mason for turning people into slaves, jailers and thieves.
When Paul Castle’s first album “Voices of Fortune” was released Mason North had anticipated the great success and sent Paul away to a cabin in Northern Finland for a few months to write more. Mason also needed Paul to disappear for a while so he could manage the musician’s career without upsetting the artist’s delicate constitution. Mason needed Paul away so he could build up the necessary myths.
Paul was walking along a lake gathering mushrooms for his dinner, the small light yellow ones with the frilly bottoms. Kirsti, the woman who took care of the cabin, had been quite clear about this. The other mushrooms would kill him dead. He was already into his second song about saving the planet.
“You are my instrument. You are my tuning fork.”
The voice came to him, and he just shook it off when it did. It just made him want to rule the world. It was true though. His life was music. He was music. But it was time to practice. He lifted his guitar and gently placed his fingers on the neck, like an embrace. Right hand touched the body, brushed the right buttons. Small fuzz, a little distortion. Stroke. A perfect chord.
The world wasn’t worth ruling, anyway.
Plink, plink, plonk.
“Doe, ray, me, faaaa, damn, damn, damn!” Nothing! He felt discordant, or worse, ordinary. He wanted to scream but he was trapped in a little apartment: walls, wife, children, neighbors on all sides of him. He needed to get away. But what was the point? What was the point? Death was better than this. Writer’s block was killing him.
He went for a walk.
Mastering an instrument is a personal thing. We find an instrument that fits us physically - fingers, arms, breath, lips, upper body, feet, legs… When we learn to play the instrument becomes part of us. And we find a way our instrument can express what we are. Our instrument breathes with us. It is our life. And we want to make our lives mesh with the lives of others. Me? I am a humble harmonica player, struggling with life, trying to make sense of the world and what things, like music, mean to me. And so, with these articles, I offer you a piece of my soul. This is why we play.
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