Episode 2: On Our Way to Great Snack Rock
BuilderBoy, SquishyBaby and I are hiking a rugged trail behind our house. It goes up an extremely large mountain. SquishyBaby is strapped to me in a trail–tested frontpack. On my back, emergency supplies, water, and snack rations. Non-venomous red newts are on this trail. If we see one I will pick it up with my bare hands.
Suddenly, a giant tree falls in our path. I shield BuilderBoy, and hold SquishyBaby tight. “That was a close one,” I say. Then I see a red newt. I reach down to pick it up with my bare hands. When I look up, the tree that fell in our path is gone. BuilderBoy laughs. What’s happening? Before I can figure it out…
There’s a huge rockslide! Massive boulders tumble toward us. We scramble to safety just before disaster strikes.
“I want a snack” says BuilderBoy.
“Let’s forge ahead. I want to cross Raging Rapids before we have our snack.”
“I want my snack now.” says BuilderBoy.
I feel myself getting frustrated.
No problem. I take a deep breath. I assess the situation.
“I recognize you are hungry, Son. Take this handful of organic raisins now. After we cross Raging Rapids, we’ll get to Great Snack Rock and have some more.”
We traverse a massive stone slab and two switchbacks before arriving at Raging Rapids.
Guess who’s also there: BIBLE, with another intense compositional challenge for me, ComposerDad.
“Hello Bible, we meet again,” I say, standing tall.
“Hello ComposerDad, I see you and your little ones are about to cross a river.”
“Yes, We are on our way to Great Snack Rock.”
“This reminds me. In Deuteronomy chapter 32, Moses tells the people of Israel to take to heart all of his words, and teach them to their children so when they cross the river into the promised land they will live a long and fulfilling life. I want you to create a song based on this passage, something with a beat, maybe a ukulele. Goodbye.”
I knew Bible wasn’t far away, with all those intense natural disasters earlier. “No problem, Bible” I say. But Bible is already gone. We cross Raging Rapids with no problems. I set the red newt down safely next to Great Snack Rock and I get out the snacks.
After eating organic raisins and cooked sweet potato on Great Snack Rock we head down the mountain via the Emergency Vehicle Access Road.
Back home ProfessorMom has arrived from teaching voice and speech class at the local university.
"How was class?" I ask.
"My students were having trouble with their consonants, but I taught them my simple approach to the International Phonetic Alphabet, and they improved greatly."
We continue talking about our day and reconnecting emotionally, while we check for ticks. Then we all start to jam. ProfessorMom lays down a simple groove on her ukulele. It sounds great. I play piano. BuilderBoy kicks in with the drums. It’s super loud and resonates across the mountain we live on. The sound brings in other musicians from the neighborhood. They all lay in their parts.
The whole band is rocking and suddenly we have recorded the first pop song ever from the book of Deuteronomy. I call it “Take to Heart” and post it to the World Wide Web. It becomes a big hit and DJs even play it on their podcasts.
Thanks for the challenge Bible, we’ll see you again next time on ComposerDad vs. Bible.
ComposerDad's secret identity is Jonathon Roberts. That's Jonathon with an O, and his music is available at jmtroberts.bandcamp.com. That's J for Jonathon, M for "mountain" or "muscly", T for "tiger", and Roberts dot Bandcamp dot com. Take to Heart, the song from this episode, is available on BandCamp. It is part of the album, Spark & Echo, by Jonathon Roberts and Emily Clare Zempel.