So I Just Played at a Wedding…

I mentioned yesterday that I had a gig today. I played with the Swing Collective, which is basically the reboot of RC Swing. Most of the people I played with tonight were part of RC Swing. The music folder I used was the same one I turned in when I left the band. My handwriting is still on the sheet music.

It was a bit like stepping back in time, and it was exactly what I needed.

To fully appreciate what this meant to me, I have to tell you about one of the evenings on the cruise. Deck 5 is the promenade, and I was walking across it with a group of other writers. Above the promenade, a small band played some swing music. A tenor, trumpet, trombone, drums, and bass player. They sounded great, and it made my heart hurt a little. I wanted to be up there with them, playing and making music. I hadn’t felt that kind of longing to play my sax in years, and it hit hard in the middle of my vacation.

The next morning, I had an email from one of the people I used to play with in RC Swing. He needed someone to sub in on Alto, and he wanted to know if I was interested.

The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. We were flying home on Monday night. Practice on Tuesday. Muddle through the rest of the week, then play the gig Saturday evening. I said yes, and it was great!

I was afraid I wouldn’t play very well. I haven’t touched my instrument in a long time, and I was afraid I’d be too rusty to perform. While I could have done better, I think I played pretty well. It made me very happy to play again.

So why did I quit in the first place? Does this mean I’m going to try to play again?

I quit because I wanted to prioritize my writing. From 2013 to 2017, I didn’t finish any major stories. Those were the years I was participating in two bands, plus administration, plus work. I spread myself too thin, and my writing suffered. I left RC Swing in late 2017, and just after that, I finished Spin City. The next year, I finished the first half of Synthetic Dreams. The next year after that, I managed to get my first short story published.

Taking a break from band directly lead to me finishing writing projects and advancing that part of my life. I made the right decision, even though I’ve really missed playing music.

Maybe I can just stay on the sub list. It’s a lot less responsibility and a lower time commitment. I get to keep playing when the opportunity arises.

They asked if I could sub again this month on the 22nd. I’d need to be at practice again this Tuesday. I told them I needed to check with Melissa first and make sure I didn’t accidentally double book. I also wanted to get her opinion on whether or not I should keep doing this, because I have a history of not thinking clearly when it comes to making commitments to band.

The Surrey International Writers Conference is that weekend, so I think I’m going to have to turn this one down. It’s only one night, but… this is why I quit band in the first place. To prioritize my writing over my music.

I’ll think about it. I had a lot of fun tonight, and it fed a part of my soul that had been starving.