It was the first Friday night in a long time that I actually went out on the town. What finally got me out of my suburban existence and back to the old East Side? Well, my dad's "corporate rock" band,The Feral Catzopened atShank Halllast night. Shank Hall is a Milwaukee institution and has booked appearances from acts likeSpinal Tap, Megadeth, Sarah Lee Guthrie and Rachael Yamagata.
So I was pretty proud of dear ol' dad and his crew for gracing the stage last nightarmed with just their guitars and showcasing themusic and lyricsthat my dadwrote, in large part, himself. So, proud daughter that I am, I came out to see him play before headingoff to campon Father's Day.
There was quite a crowd by the end of the show and it was really fun to see my dad in his element, bantering with the crowd and jammin' on his guitar. There was onesong about short skirts that made me blush, but other than that it was mostly odes to local loves and old stomping grounds with repeating choruses that get stuck in your head(as I went to sleep last night I was still humming about going up North and drinking Miller beer). I had a lot of fun (and was still home by 11:30).
My dad has taught me a valuable lesson over the years by always having a productive outlet for his creativity and a hobby to turn to when he's stressed. Living with a chronic illness such as diabetes can make me so serious sometimes, as if it's not okay to let my guard down, even for a moment, for fear of losing control. But I need to have fun and let my guard down more often. Both my parents certainly know how to do that.
Through his guitar, my dad know hows to get "in the zone" and tune the world out when it gets too much for him. He writes songs and plays guitar or goes to band practice. Sure, there are other unhealthy vices that creep in at times, but my dad leads by example by showing me even if you're innately shy and sensitive (as we both are), it's okay to let loose and be in the spotlight every once in a while; heck, it feels pretty darn good. He shows me how to put your work out there for others to enjoy and judge, despite some hidden insecurities or doubts, and that the judging doesn't matter so long as you're enjoying yourself in the process of creating it (and the crowd shows me that people are usually quite receptive to others who are courageous enough to get up on stage and do their thang). My dad reminds me of the importance of making time for those things in life that feed my soul and express my feelings and creativity (blogging is one such activity), even if they don't exactly pay the bills just yet.
So whileThe Feral Catzmay not be the best rock band that ever lived, I can honestly say that despite all the concerts I've been to in my life the world over, last night goes down as one of the best because it was my dad up there playing his heart out and showing me what it means to live courageously and have a hell of a good time in the process.
What do you guys do to release some of that seriousness that comes with diabetes? How do you go to that elusive place known as "the zone?"