It was just another backpacking trip. And after two thousand miles or so of backpacking experience, I wasn't expecting anything new. Except this time something was new: it sucked. I was miserable. Montana was hot, and here I was, swatting at flies and wondering what the I was doing.
Around me loomed the whitened skeletons of thousands of trees. I was lugging my ass through a 20-mile burn scar in the Pintlers. It felt like the surface of the moon.
Then, I began to realize that there was a Chinese warrior walking to my right. He sat on a white horse, and was dressed for battle. Uhhhh? I looked at him and he kept walking, solemnly. Ummm, not really sure what to do right now? It occurred to me that this was my ancestor... but yeah —I'm just not so used to having spirits waltzing around while I hike.
An hour later, he was still there, and I began to wonder about the definition of schizophrenia... and the likelihood I would be locked up after all this...
Then I turned a corner and he disappeared, and instead I was in a circle with a native tribe. Elders, young ones, men, women —they were beating on drums and singing, louder and louder.
Suddenly, my consciousness exploded with music. Music, music, music rushed through me like floodgates had been opened. Full arrangements, orchestral compositions, and my voice rising above them in bone-chilling beauty. The music swelled through me—surging, sweeping, howling. I cried more.
Then the music stopped. Abruptly.
Go back to Seattle.
Call up the violinist.
Your music isn't about you.