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Columns > John Zinkand - Improvise

Published: 2001/09/20
by John Zinkand


What can I say? The feelings I have regarding the attack on America are so numerous and varied that I cannot sufficiently capture them in words. After something so catastrophic has happened it is hard to get back to the normal life which we lived in such a peaceful and blissful ignorance only a week or so ago. When something hurts so badly, how can we possibly be expected to get back in to the groove of a repetitive and productive life?
I think many people in America are re-evaluating what they hold important to them. I like to think that the jamband community already knew and that the events that unfolded on September 11th just cemented them firmly in place. The music we hold so dear is often a metaphor for the way in which we live our lives. We are an adventurous lot who like to explore the depths of what music and life has to offer. Improvisational music provides the fleeting artistic expression that we seem to need from the core of our souls to satisfy our cravings for the art of sound . We appreciate the unique quality of a particular song, the fact that the music being created is very beautiful, but also that it will evaporate almost instantly. We already realize that life holds unexpected twists and turns and that making the most of ones time on Earth is essential. We bond communally at every show and spend time with the friends and family members we hold so dear.
Now more than ever, I feel it is essential that we go see live music. Music has been a healing potion for the masses since the beginning of time. I live 3000 miles from what has been dubbed ground zero, but have felt the impact on a personal level. A close friend of my family was lost and I honestly have found it difficult to go on about my daily business. I know that I must, however. Each day I feel stronger and stronger. I feel less depressed and more inspired to live life in a way that asserts my freedom. I have flights planned and theres no way in hell I would even think about canceling them. That is not the way a free person lives. I have been to some shows since the tragedies occurred and can honestly say they have helped me so much. Coming together to witness the creation of the beauty of live music after so much destruction has been therapeutic.
I hope everyone can get back to having some sort of peace of mind, though I know it will be a long and difficult road. The first step is to not let these outlandish deeds impede ones actions. We should be proud to live free and should live our lives to the fullest so that even if we weren’t here tomorrow, we would know we’d had one heck of a good time and a full life on Earth. Always remember to give that extra hug to a friend or family member. Let the creative spirit of music inspire you to get on with life. Its just something we all have to do.

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