This Train Doesn’t Stop

Sonny Rollins can teach us the importance of routine.

Sonny Rollins and the Bridge

Routine is something heavy, with momentum. It’s a cold tool that will bring you where you want to go but only if you can stay firmly planted in it. If you fall off, usually the landing is painful and the running to jump back on is grueling. For the musician this train can’t afford to stop and when we fall off we have to accept that we will be farther back when we get back to it no matter how fast we run to catch up. Of course we can often make it back to the front but this just means making up for lost time. When it really comes down to, it’s a difficult task to not fall off once in a while but short departures are never that damaging. Staying close to the tracks, the heavy rattling and the blast of the engine are always calling you back; but when you start straying off called by other things into the wilderness and your train becomes a distant hum, that’s when you can start to worry. It shouldn’t take more than once or twice to let you know how truly important it was in the first place.