Clazzy… April 21, 2012

(1,491) 

She bounced back into my life about seventeen years ago in the midst of a nasty divorce and custody battle over her three children. Even though she had spent the majority of her time growing up learning to play the oboe and performing in orchestras, she was working a regular job and was a bit shell-shocked by the whole experience of exploding matrimonial promises.

We invited her to come and live in Nashville, Tennessee, and she settled in, prepared to be normal. The process was interrupted. I was finishing up a novel entitled I’M … the legend of the son of man, so she decided to pitch in and assist in the editing process. She continued her involvement by helping me find someone who was willing to publish the volume, and then when I got the crazy notion to go out and tour across the country, reading from the book and showcasing music, she volunteered to help schedule the events and accompany me on the tours, playing her oboe.

Somewhere along the line we got the idea of starting a symphony in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Even though she had never conducted an orchestra, she was excited about the notion of multiplying her talents–standing before the orchestra instead of existing within it. In the process, we kind of stumbled on a new style of music which we dubbed Clazzy“the spirit of classical with the soul of jazz–pop-minded.” She liked the name so well (and was looking for an excuse to abandon her former surname) so she became Janet Clazzy, conductor of the Sumner County Symphony.

Ten symphonies later, with many concerts and countless adventures into the school system, she joined me on a new endeavor.  I was prodded by one of my sons to start writing screenplays for independent films. She leaped in, found the Final Draft program necessary for such an occupation and became the typist for all seventeen of the motion pictures I have penned. When we discovered that a musical soundtrack was needed for movies, she began writing tunes for the films, creating beautiful melodies to enhance the stories.

All the while, she continued to be mother to three children, tour the country and dazzle audiences with her oboe, which had now taken on a new companion, as she also mastered the WX-5 Wind Machine, a horn sporting the sounds of 250 different instruments.

When I decided to start writing this jonathots column four years ago, she was there on the first day and remains here on day 1,491–typing away and assisting in my cursory edits. She tours America, having criss-crossed with me at least nine times, in front of tens of thousands of people, often exhausted, never complaining, and always looking for a way to make it better.

You may want to know what her secret is. Somewhere along the line, seventeen years ago–my creative partner, Janet Clazzy, decided that the most important thing in life was to find out what matters. Lots of people worry about what’s in their face or what has inconvenienced them. Some people become overly concerned with obligations or traditions. But Janet has found a key–she asks herself, “Does it matter?” And if it does, she buckles down and finds a way to do it.

And because she knows she is doing what matters, it brings joy to her heart and good cheer to her soul.

Last night as we prepared to head off to Long Beach, California, for a concert, she opened the back door of the van and our amplifier fell out and crashed down on the concrete. She felt really stupid. Matter of fact, it bothered her so much that she became preoccupied with her mistake (even though, as it turned out, the instrument survived the mishap). But the professional she is–and the human being she’s become–she shook it off and gave those lovely folks a tremendous performance from her heart. Why? Because it matters.

It’s not a very deep thought, but Janet has taught me–and is available to teach others–that at the beginning of the day, if you find out what really matters, by the end of the day you discover that you’ve accomplished valuable things … and your importance is assured.

Today is her birthday. She is on the road. She is getting ready to perform in Whittier, California. She hasn’t asked for any special presents. She hasn’t demanded an elaborate cake with trimmings. She’s just happy because she’s doing what matters. And you know the beauty of it? Because she’s found what matters, the gift that God, nature and those who love her bestow upon her soul is to let her know, on this her birthday … that she matters.

**************

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Sitting One

 I died today. 

I didn’t expect it to happen.  Then again, I did—well, not really.

No, I certainly didn’t expect it.

I’ve had moments of clarity in my life.  Amazingly enough, many of them were in the midst of a dream. For a brief second I would know the meaning of life or the missing treatment to cure cancer.  And then as quickly as it popped into my mind it was gone. I really don’t recollect dying.  Just this unbelievable sense of clear headedness—like walking into a room newly painted and knowing by the odor and brightness that the color on the wall is so splattering new that you should be careful not to touch it for fear of smearing the design. The greatest revelation of all? 

Twenty-five miles in the sky time ceases to exist.

The planet Pluto takes two hundred and forty-eight years to circle the sun. It doesn’t give a damn. 

The day of my death was the day I became free of the only burden I really ever had.  TIME.

Useless.

Time is fussy.  Time is worry. 

Time is fear.  Time is the culprit causing human-types to recoil from pending generosity. 

There just was never enough time. 

Time would not allow it.  Remember—“if time permits …”

Why if time permits?  Why not if I permit?  Why not if I dream?  Why not if I want?  Why does time get to dictate to me my passage? 

It was time that robbed me of my soulful nature.    It was time that convinced me that my selfishness was needed. 

I didn’t die. The clock in me died, leaving spirit to tick on.  

So why don’t we see the farce of time?  Why do we allow ourselves to fall under the power of the cruel despot?  Yes, time is a relentless master—very little wage for much demand.

I died today. 

Actually … a piece of time named after me was cast away.

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wonderful, uplifting and much love from both of you. The concert, don’t stop until GOD says so. Beautiful music. Will send information to my son who resides in North Carolina. Thank you so much.

    Like

  2. Hey Jon and Janet — and a SPECIAL ‘HEY’ to Jan on her birthday!! You matter to me more than you can ever know! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, honey!

    Like

  3. What a great story, thanks for sharing.

    Like


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