My five most life-altering moments

September 17 2016

In chronological order:

1. The drummer from the high school band, a fellow sophomore named Garrett, approached me at lunch to ask if I wanted to get together and play some music that weekend. He knew that in addition the trumpet and keyboard I played in the school band, I also played guitar and sang, and we had chatted about both liking Pink Floyd. That weekend we began a lifelong friendship, and two lifelong band careers. Together we formed the first student-run rock band my high school had ever had, pretentiously named Sound And Fury, after the Macbeth quote our English teacher had just had us memorize. We recruited our friend Rudi, a clarinetist who I taught to play bass using on a fretboard diagram I drew for him on a coffee shop napkin. With the support of the school—and particularly the awesome and extremely progressive librarian—we played school events every few weeks, about half classic rock covers and half originals. I learned partnership and teamwork, developed my musical and leadership chops, discovered songwriting, marketing, and what it is to front a band. I found a voice I didn’t know I had.

2. I said “One, two, FIVE”, and heard a girl standing nearby reply “Three sir!”—a Monty Python reference, if you aren’t aware. This was the week before classes started, my freshman year of college. I’ve now been married to that girl for just over 21 years. We’ve grown together into very different people who still somehow manage to still complement, support, and deeply love each other after all this time.

3. I sat in a room with about 80 other people confronting all the meaning and significance I have added to this utterly insignificant thing called life, as I participated in a course called The Landmark Forum. I walked into this one-weekend course skeptical and defensive and pretty certain about how life “is", and I walked out able to actually HEAR people’s communication for the first time in my life, and with the blinders truly off about what could be possible. No part of my life was left unaltered. I became the agent of change in my own life, and a voice for what is possible for those around me. In the 17 years since that weekend, no single event has altered my trajectory as utterly as doing the Forum did. (I’m not an employee or stakeholder with Landmark, just a profoundly grateful and satisfied customer who can’t recommend it highly enough. I think everyone owes it to themselves to at find out about it and see if it’s for them.)

4. I told a woman that I liked very much that my wife and I had discussed it, and that we felt we had room for her in our lives. After confirming this with my wife, she began with us a discussion of how this would look and work, which culminated in her moving in with us in early January of 2007. The three of us had a commitment ceremony a couple years later (which we’ll call life-altering event #4.5) in front of about 80 people, including members of all three families. I now live with both of the the loves of my life.

5. I held my five-minute-old daughter in my arms. I had expected, in that moment, to MEET her. To finally get to see her and know her after all this waiting. What I was unprepared for was that there was NOTHING there. A great big empty slate of pure wide-open unwritten future, that she gets to spend her life filling in. I’d literally never had the experience of meeting a human with NO way that they are. She wasn’t any way, she didn’t have any properties; she just WAS. It was the most shocking and unsettling and profound experience of my life.

It’s awesome to share a bit of my life with the Listserve community, and a privilege to be invited to do so!

Now a favor to ask! I’m starting up a new band in the Triad area of North Carolina, called the Disaster Recovery Band—a cover/party band with an emphasis on quality, high-energy music and crowd engagement, including some live-band karaoke. We lean toward classic rock, but our repertoire includes last week’s hits. If you’re in central NC and have any kind of corporate event, party, club, wedding, bar mitzvah, festival, fun run, food truck rally, or other sort of thing that could use a super fun party band to liven it up, please check us out and consider us for it. You can find us by searching Facebook for “Disaster Recovery Band”. A link to our website is on the “About” tab.


[email protected]
Central NC

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