Monday, November 10, 2008

The "Still Kicking File" Revisited

My Parkinson's motto is "I can do more than I think I can." This may not seem particularly inspiring... "All together now, let's hear it: PETer, PEter, He's OUR MAN! He can can do MORE than he thinks he can!" whoopee. Nonetheless, it is important to hold this belief, for two reasons. First, because it is probably true, which means you can keep doing things you enjoy and even try new ones. Second, I'll bet this straining against the surly bonds of Parkinson's Disease will help you to prolong your vitality.

If I must be on a downward spiral, I want those loops to be as wide and slow as I can make them. Which was how I found myself flailing on a mandolin for five and a half hours last Saturday night in a bar as a member of a Pogues-meet-the-Clancy-Brothers-on-Bill-Monroe's-Porch band we call Whiskeyjacks.

Was I afraid that I would freeze up and be unable to keep time? Yes I was. Was I spent and sore the next day? You bet. Was it laughable for me to pass myself off as a mandolin player on an instrument borrowed from my wife, on which I knew only three chords just a month ago? Apparently not. We caught fire during the last set and ended playing maybe an extra hour, and had the audience plying us with twenty dollar bills to give just a couple more songs.

Which we did. It was much more than we thought we'd do, and way more fun.

No comments: