The Washington Post

Play time

 I spend a lot of time playing music as a hobby, but I rarely write about it here. Mostly because I suspect playing in a band is not a widely shared activity and so, who cares?

 But maybe there is something to be said about team effort. Those are strange words for me because I don’t think of myself as a team player, particularly. When I played baseball a kid, before I realized I needed glasses, I would swing at pitches that weren’t even thrown, and when out in the field I would grope around on hands and knees looking for the ball, only to have someone come over and find it for me, and I was never sure which team he was on, since I couldn’t see the sides change between innings and my team didn’t want me coming back to bat anyway.

 I probably started drawing because paper was right there where I could cram my face and pencil down simultaneously to draw objects in the world that I couldn’t actually see. If you wonder why my cartoons look so odd, it’s the same story as late Monet. But back to music. I’m new to it, but never too late actually happens to be very true. And I have to say a collaborative effort has a certain fraught magic that solitary scribbling doesn’t. Getting people to figuratively and literally harmonize takes some time and forbearance, but when things click together into place you definitely have a sum-is-greater-than-its-parts moment. And you don’t actually have to be able to see people to play music with them. I’m hoping one day soon they’ll come over and introduce themselves.


Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post and writes the Tom Toles blog. See all of his cartoons here.


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