Within a really short time of learning of this concept, the Internet became a reality of daily life. (Yes, there was a time when it wasn’t. I know it’s scary to imagine it. Just be calm and forget I mentioned it.) Once we were all connected on social media, I think we all started to assume the separation and been shortened by at least a couple degrees.
Weekends like this one, though, make me rethink the whole construct. I wonder if anything is really separate at all. In fact, after this weekend I actually Googled the phrase, “The fundamental interconnectedness of all things” to find out which famous philosopher had coined it. It appears that it was actually Douglas Adams, most famous for his books about The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, in a lesser known but equally wonderful book called, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. I’m still fairly certain that some dude a hundred years ago with a more or less unpronounceable, German name came up with the idea too, but I’m happy enough to give Adams the credit.
This weekend was Scarlet Fever Band’s return to the stage after about a half-year of time off. Our long hiatus had to do with various members’ work schedules and one of our two band leaders bringing another beautiful baby into the world—congrats Jason and Michelle!—but man did my musical mojo collect some rust during that down-time. Frankly I was a little freaked out by the whole notion of playing live again. This aging body, adorned with graying hair and copious love handles (love shelves?) was unprepared for the rigors of a full-on, Arena-District club gig.
Muscles were already aching after setting up my gear, and I wondered if was too late to start using heroin. And also if it was too late to run outside and find someone selling heroin. And also what does heroin cost? Do they sell the needles and those weird, bendy spoons too? So many questions. Probably not worth it.
In my reverie, bordering on insanity, I happened to see Sally Rechner and her husband walk in—two friends of the band since our early Sharp Circle days, who are singlehandedly responsible for probably half of the wedding referrals we had back then—and my heart was instantly warmed by that familiar connection. Within a few more minutes, I saw Bill Kirby, a former magistrate from the Juvenile Court where I work. He was there to see us because his daughter has booked us through The Knot website to play her wedding in February. It was his second time seeing us though, because he’d first randomly heard us at a wedding of… you guessed it… the Rechner family. Connectedness.
Later Libby, a dear friend from work, appeared with her fiancé Bishop, and of course Libby knows Bill, and then Bishop called his friends from business school to come listen and dance, and older friends of Sharp Circle began appearing, and… more and more connectedness..
The Park Street Tavern show wound up being a great time (as usual), and although I woke up the next morning feeling like I’d gone ten (okay, two) rounds with Mike Tyson, I was already amped up for the wedding that evening.
The Keeler/Lenobel wedding reception at the downtown Hilton was wholly beautiful. Two warm, loving families came together that night to usher their bride and groom into their new life in style and elegance. We played an hour of dinner-hour jazz music, which for me is more an exercise in listening enjoyment as I get to hear some fairly breathtaking playing from people like Tim Perdue, Matt Adams and Dan Rowan. Matt and Dan were both subs for this wedding. I met Matt several years ago when Tim called me to sub for New Basics Brass Band, and of course Tim is our trumpet player and horn arranger because I’ve known him since we went to Capital University’s Music Conservatory together three decades ago. It turns out Dan attended Capital too, graduating about three years before we started, and we were able to share stories of all of our favorite professors from that era. Fundamental interconnectedness.
Before we launched into our regular dance sets, the various, typical wedding speeches went forward. I was listening with particular pleasure at the mercifully brief, but no less poignant, words of wisdom and love from various family members, when the best man was called up. I could only smile as Andy Lenobel, the brother of the groom started to speak, not only because his wishes for his brother and new sister were as sweet and kind as Andy is himself, but even more because I knew him. He used to be a prosecuting attorney in Juvenile Court and we had cases together frequently, even in front of Bill, the former magistrate at Park Street from the night before.
To the bride and groom, we (the band) were just cogs in the wheel of their special night—a night that will be a blissful blur to them when they look back even one year from now. They’ve now begun their journey as a married couple and will blend the connections of their family and friends with the new connections they make as they move forward in their lives and careers. They’ll never know that the guitar player from their reception drove home in the wee hours of Sunday morning now convinced that there are zero degrees of separation; instead only degrees of connectedness. The fundamental interconnectedness of all things.
Honestly, I can’t wait until we play again.