Saxophonist and Bat / by Sarah Manning

The last time I released an album I quit music right at this point in the game. Good - even great - reviews are rolling in for the new one. Bringing just enough validation to create demand for more while illuminating the contrast between making music and making a living. Sleep has been short, interrupted. It has been bleak. It has been dangerous. And then last night saxophonist met bat. Shortly after I closed my eyes, the rustle of a tiny mammal somewhere in my apartment became clear. The shadow of tiny wings crossed my windows. I turned on the light. The bat zoomed a few feet over my head. As it contemplated a way back into the night it rested awhile by hanging upside down above my pillow. With three wary local police officers, a broom, and a wastebasket the bat became free again. Rabies shots were administered to offset tiny stealthy bat teeth that can do damage without evidence, while one sleeps. I searched for meaning. Bat totems? Dispelling illusion, bringing clarity in dreams? No, the creature just wanted to come in from the cold. But when I practiced long tones in my dimly lit studio this evening, I had it. Bat and saxophonist together – creating sound in the dark, listening to see the way out. 

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