Monday, March 12, 2007

Tell it, Wynton ... tell it to Tacoma

A legendary piece of music is written one note at a time, a gripping novel is written one word at a time, a towering building begins with just one line, and realizing the City of Destiny's potential will also take time.

And thus was the moral I gleaned from jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis' interview on NPR's All Things Considered this evening.

The topic was his new CD, From the Plantation to the Penitentiary; and it was his commentary about what it takes to finish something -- what it MEANS to take lots of little steps to create the bigger picture -- that struck me to the core, personally as well as locally.

I guess it also is fitting that Wynton is one of the few live music acts I've seen ... more than a decade ago ... at the Pantages ... in Tacoma ... back when downtown was still scary. Oh, and back when the closest thing to jazz I was familiar with was, well, I don't even think I knew about jazz hands then. And yet I loved it. And Tacoma.

Back then, Wynton spoke to Tacoma with his music. And he still does ... but at least today, in my ears, his words spoke volumes. Too often do I let the little things overwhelm me ... too often do I let the big picture escape me while I sit paralyzed. I battle the state of mind, and it battles back.

Today, I was no longer alone in that battle.

The people of Tacoma are not alone in that battle.

The fight for the future is one step at a time.

So let's keep steppin'.

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