Nothing inspires me to write as much as music. I have my go-to artists. Hendrix, for one, and other creative spirits who push away the inner voices that scream at me to doubt everything and procrastinate till the sun comes up. But last night, inspiration and creative energy arrived during a brisk fall walk through my little plastic earbuds. I was on Pearl Street en route to Trident Cafe to face the doubting demons and to write. The song: “Ain’t Wasting Time No More.” The voice: Gregg Allman.
I instantly recognized the rolling old-timey piano intro, and then, of course, the voice. Rough, angelic. His lyrics poured into my brain. As synapses fired like bottle rockets, I suspected this would be one very productive evening.
Sometimes it’s all very simple.
“Last Sunday morning, the sunshine felt like rain
The week before, they all seemed the same
With the help of God and true friends, I’ve come to realize
I still have two strong legs, and even wings to fly.”
I walked and listened. I sang along. People leaving restaurants stared. And then the verses gave way to a sax solo, then a guitar solo. And then Gregg’s voice returned:
“So I, ain’t a-wastin time no more
‘Cause time goes by like hurricanes, and faster things.”
Well, that was it. I wasn’t going to waste a second of time tonight, I thought.
I passed trendy stores and cafes. I sang louder. “I ain’t wasting time no more!” More stares. I smiled inwardly. And then this happened. I noticed fog exiting my mouth. I remembered the season: Early November. Next, I passed the landmark art-deco architecture of the Boulder Courthouse followed by the Boulder Theater. Aha! On an early November evening three years earlier, I’d passed this exact spot with this exact song ringing in my head. I’d just seen a seventy-year-old Gregg Allman put on an inspired show at the Boulder Theater (where I took the above photo from my third-row seat). The performance would be his final in Boulder. A year later, he died.
I know. In the scheme of things, an epiphany like this seems trite and hardly worth a blog post. But maybe you have an artistic temperament, too. Maybe you enjoy the small, the surprising way that life serves up mind-blowing moments. Maybe moments such as these fill your creative cup and get your juices flowing. They do this for me.
Just now, I set my Spotify to “Ain’t Wasting Time No More.” I’m at a different cafe, but Gregg’s voice, which is piping through my earbuds now, is just as sweet and inspiring. I got a lot of work done.
“You don’t need no gypsy to tell you why
Ya can’t let one precious day to slip by
Well, look inside yourself, and if you don’t see what you want
Maybe sometimes then ya don’t
But, leave your mind alone and we’ll all get by.”
RIP Gregg Allman
Copyright Brad Wetzler, Photo Credit: Brad Wetzler