Thursday, November 15, 2007

Da Derga

I was going to write about something today, but now I'll write about something else.

It will surprise those who know me over the last 5-10 years that prior to then, I had a very different life. Some of it you know, in part: college professor, teacher, retail worker extraodinaire, water and coffee exporter, dreamer. The part you probably don't know is that at one time, I had a musical career.

Da Derga, the fabulous harp/vocal/bodhran group of Toirdhealbheach Beucail and Cleasiche fionnadh, which existed form 1994 -1995. We did music from all six of the Celtic Countries (Yes, as a side note, I play the harp - but not as well as I used to, probably part of the problem). We did shows, we sang in both English and in Celtic tongues (Toirdhealbheach Beucail is actually Old Gaelic for "Booming, Thundering, Roaring X" [X, of course, being my real name], in the sense of a roaring or booming cannon, which if you know me, know this is true: I'm loud!). I played the harp, and Cleasiche fionnadh sang and played the bodhran.

Why do I puzzle this now? Because it was something I loved to do. I practiced every day, I walked around muttering obscure languages, I actually got paid for playing!

Why do I write this? Because we made a decision at some point: tour or stop. Essentially, I entered the work force, moved to the South Bay, and got "A real job". Do I regret this? No, in many ways - that job, and the jobs that have resulted from it, have enabled me to travel, to support myself and my family, and given me greater income opportunities that I would have otherwise believed.

But still there is a part of me, the lyrical, musical, fantasy part, that was turned away that day - and is powerful. How do I connect that part with the reality of today?

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