To Uncle Frank
I want to thank you for your hands. For always obeying the itch when your hands needed you to pick up the guitar and play. For understanding the power of music.I want you thank you for forcing me to listen even when I didn’t want to.Also for the silent days that made me wonder why you were not playing,why the silence.
I want to thank you for teaching my ears to listen so much, to everything. I have come to realize that music us all around me. New neighbors have moved into your old house but I can still hear the music. You have left the ghost of your guitars strumming and picking beautiful melodies every morning.
If you were here, I would tell you about the new love I have for jazz music now. I would tell you how my neighbors also get irritated by the sound of the bass guitar coming from my room. I would tell you that I know now what music can do to people. It opens them up, and closes them in all at the same time.
I know you would describe it as a fruit on most days but I see colours. Colours dancing amidst the air through people’s ears, I see the light it brings to their lives.
There is something about the saxophone that makes me wonder if our spirits have never lived in there in their past lives. I think we are not always our bodies, limbs, face and hands. Sometimes I feel like my entire body is the trumpet, each breath I take is a music note that transforms other people beside me. I think we forget how much music has saved our lives before, even on days we did not think we needed saving.
Jazz music becomes our saving grace sometimes.
I want to tell you that I am doing the best I can to spread this light. To show more people the different universes I have traveled to, the different instruments my body has morphed into.If you were here, I know your body would have chosen to be the acoustic guitar every time. Your fingers would be the strings and your soul would be the guitarist strumming its way throughout the night.
The other day, I think I woke up as the cello, my soul was as large as life but I spoke subtly, like I knew the sound of my spirit was enough to shake the entire house. It was the first time I felt like I was defying gravity with my very breath.
I have started going to jazz concerts lately and I have met other people like me. People who have lived their lifes as violins, drums, flutes and pianos. I have met beautiful jazz men who dress well and speak the language of my heart. I wonder if this is how you met your wife as well. If you saw the music in her before she even said hello. It’s a beautiful experience, I know now, it is one that I cannot sum up with one poem.
But i see many colours sprouting from this young jazz gentleman and I want to become the spirit inside his instrument. For a moment i want to live inside his breath. And experience the coming together of many music notes, I will become a rainbow if he wants me to.
I want to tell you that I have no plans of studying the art as a genre, that I want to linger between this enchanting knowing of how jazz music feels and the mysterious unknowing of how to practically read it. I know such genius exists because i hear it in the singer’s voice, the simultaneous untamed power and honey soothed softness of it. How polished it sounds altogether.
If I could I would ask you to thank God for unawaringly creating another world on earth . Tell Him that it is not perfect. That sometimes it is loud and angry. Sometimes it reaches out and grabs our souls without even asking. Sometimes it throws us up in the air and we dance all night. But tell him that is the beauty of it. The unexpectedness of its might is what keeps us coming back. Tell Him perfection is overrated, here colours that should never mix, gel together to make the most breathtaking of songs.
Jazz music does that to you sometimes, makes you fall in love with instruments your hands could never dare to touch.
But i think I prefer it that way. Impossible on the outside but once you get in, oh how I love it on the inside.