Steve Madewell

Pedestrian Ramblings

Keelin’ Over I always thought that was an interesting term but I don’t know why. I have had virtually no exposure to the world of sail boats and sailors, and this is a nautical word. I read a book a few years ago about the Essex. The ship that the story Moby Dick was in part based around and there is a great description of a whaling boat keeling over as it left harbor. I think the name of the book is In The Heart of The Sea. The keel of a sailing vessel is a rather large affair that is part of the underside of the boat and is the counter weight for all of the sails and the rigging. Sometime keels are filled with lead and are very heavy. If a boat were to get laid on it’s side or even completely turned upside down the weight of the keel can right the boat and pull it back over. The implication of the term appears to be two things, one the act of falling over or being turned upside down, and also the process of being pulled back up or righted. I can only image how dramatic the act of a big sailing vessel getting laid completely on it’s side and then pulling itself upright must be. So that is the term I have used to describe a couple of my own little experiences here in the past 6 months because on two occasions I have been laid down and been righted back up. Keelin’ Over The first time this occurred was the night of the Western Reserve Hospice fund raising performance in September. This also happened to be the quiet little CD release party for Arrow Creek. I had originally hoped to have had Arrow Creek done two years earlier, but I ran into some difficulties which caused me to postpone any recording for a while. About 6 months later I started moving forward again and then shortly after that the flood came. All recording was again put on hold for about a year as I worked with a host of people to gut, elevate and rebuild the house. I can say without reservation it has been some pretty rough hoeing since 2005. After getting the house livable in the spring of 2007 I began working where I had left off with the recording. I maintained a pretty demanding work schedule for 12 weeks or so up until the CD release in order to get the disc mixed, out and back in time for this performance. When I say demanding, I mean between my job, continuing work on the house to repair the flood damage and working on the recording/editing/mixing process I am talking about three of four 18 hour days a week and at least 14 hours for every other day. I was also performing two or three times a week. Of course getting the CD off to the production house was one thing, trying to make sure it got back in time was another, and that had it's own set of challenges. (Which by the way the shipment arrived at my house on the day of my show!) And there was the process of planning and promoting that event, which was a small wine and cheese tasting affair which included the usual host of coordination and preparation tasks. But it all came off without a hitch and at the end of the evening, after every thing was done and all the gear torn down and I was back home, I sat back in a chair on the porch and simply punched out. I could describe what I experienced but I don’t see the need or value of going into that detail. Let’s just say, I believe, and have been told that it was quite possible I could have died had it not been for a couple people smacking my face and telling me to come back. I did go and check things out with my Dr. and everything came back clear, although we mutually concluded that I hadn’t been a model of ideal living that particular day. And there was no denying the schedule I had been keeping was really out of hand. I just figured I needed a break. Especially when you put things in the context of the past few years. Emotionally I wasn’t shook up at all, but physically I wasn’t quite right for several days. I have not maintained any religious affiliation since high school, but I have maintain a certain level of spirituality. And I always marvel at folks who clearly have greater religious convictions than I but seem to have no faith. At this stage of the game I am fairly comfortable with the consequences of being alive. And don’t get me wrong I am not volunteering to call it a game. But I do believe things are what they are and it is better to swim with the current than to fight it, and that particular experience was big enough to re affirm my believe that sometimes it better to take it all in instead of trying to run away. Well let’s fast forward things a few months. I have several really big projects going on at work that are on go all the time. In addition there is the basic personnel supervision issues that go with the territory. The house is still not done and I am pretty burned out on that whole scene especially the odds and ends of the finishing esthetics. I am just getting ready to launch into a major landscaping component of the whole project, which I happen to be dreading because a) it is expensive, and b) will take all summer. Yet somehow I have still been writing a fair amount of new material and I would really like to get back into a recording mode. Unfortunately I am finding it difficult to find the time to make that happen. A week or so ago I came home with intentions of wrapping up several small projects, one for work and one for music. That plan got derailed and I wound up running around dealing with a bunch of other stuff. To be truthful I was pretty ramped up about this because it wasn’t where my head and heart were at. The long and the short of it is after getting a few errands done I took a walk down to the creek and spoke with my neighbor for about 30 minutes. As I walked back to the house I started getting really dizzy. I went in kicked off my shoes, lay down on the floor and passed out for a short while. Mj called the squad and when they got there my pulse was 38 but everything else seemed to be OK. They hauled me off to the ER and I have to say it was great service all around. Again I checked out OK and again I went to my regular care giver and seem to be fine. I did go around with a 24 hr heart monitor strapped on for a day and I will go in for a CT and a ultrasound but the general suspicion is everything will be OK. So I am looking at things trying to figure out how to minimize internal conflict, balance external priorities, and maintain some sort of awareness on eating, sleeping and drinking properly. I will let you know what I find out. But I can pretty much say "Gee what fun is that?"