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  • Writer's pictureTim Chernikoff

Pieces of Sanity— the story behind “Tomorrow’s Season”

Sometimes in writing, we do it out of a visceral necessity to stay sane. There have been scary points in all of our lives. Ones where we’re stuck in a moment, the worst moment possible, a kind of hellish moment that we fear being stuck in again and again, sometimes we end up re-arranging our lives and give up on endeavors in order to avoid that moments at all costs.

For me that moment was leaving California and going to Texas for college, driving 3 days and nights through desolation and discovering the feeling that I was leaving everything in my former life behind. Those of us who take a chance on entering a new life in a different world know about this. The feeling can manifest itself in monstrous ways. The feeling for me was sort of similar to the feeling described by Covid-19 victims— an unstoppable sensation of not getting enough air. People make fun of it but when fear prolongs itself in our experience and slithers its way into our subconscious, there’s nothing in us that wants to laugh about it. There’s nothing that can, when thinking about it causes you to experience it, and every stressful moment reminds you about it, and every night you have it staring you down, daring you to fall asleep under its watch.

When I wrote the tune that later became the inspiration for “Tomorrow’s Season”, I wanted to find an anthem to overcome this fear I had. In my room in Denton Texas I wrote a vamp and spent some nights sitting in the warm Texas air outside my apartment singing in my mind the way I thought the tune should go. It was a sort of mantra, inspired by some of the tunes by Terence Blanchard that I had been figuring out. At the time I called it “Down With The Ship”, and the idea of it was that I was telling myself, if my fear were to take me down for doing the things that it deemed to dangerous— being an artist, living in a different state than home, risking my sanity and safety for everything involved in this lifestyle— would I still do it? And this melody was answering “yes” to that.

Later, 2016 in New York City, I took the essence of the theme to this tune and changed it to fit current life. There was more energy, more people and things moving, less vapid empty space, and new problems. So, the tune needed to be re-written, but the essence of it lived on— not as a ship captain’s sacrificial duty but as a promise told to my former self out of experience, that every new season of life and fear would be livable; and the answer to the question “should I carry on?” would always still be “Yes”.

This song is dedicated to my grandmother Jayne Haynes, 1933-2020.

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