Another year is fast approaching. Go be that starving Artist you’re afraid to be. Open up that journal and get poetic finally. Volunteer. Suck it up and travel. You were not born here to work and pay taxes. You were put here to be part of a vast organism to explore and create. Stop putting it off. The world has much more to offer than what’s on 15 televisions at TGI Fridays. Take pictures. Scare people. Shake up the scene. Be the change you want to see in the world.
- Jason Mraz, from this
2007 is fast approaching a close. I've been carrying a 2008 calendar for weeks already, since it appears that my year is filling up even faster than usual. I've already got dates booked in next October, fer chrissakes!
I worry that in looking at what's coming up, I'm missing what's right now and right here. I haven't gone walkabout the city lately, even though it's cold out and sometimes snowy - just the way I like it. I've been thinking about stuff coming up in the next few months - I'm planning to get a new apartment, my sister's baby shower (not to mention the arrival of my nephew!), a friend and I are putting together a class on food and how it's connected to our bodies and the earth, gigs and recording and garden-planning, oh my - I've been focussed on the future, and somehow I've lost the loving-every-minuteness. I want it back!
The holidays don't help, with their inevitable sticky feelings tied to the giving and receiving of stuff...plus the going home to see family, and the various conflicting feelings that brings up. On the one hand, I cannot imagine living where my family is at this point in my life - I would revert to that restless 13-year-old who spent her days daydreaming about skylines and sidewalks. On the other hand, there's a closeness and warmth of family that I just don't have right now. I don't have that automatic backup social circle; I don't have that network of people who know me. Part of me feels strange and shut out when I *do* go home, as if they've all forgotten me and I'm some random stranger.
Le sigh. Fucking holidays.
When I think of what it is I want my life to be, though....it just gets confusing. I mean, I have the old standby wandering troubadour in an RV fantasy. I have the rock star living on a yacht in the Med with Sven and Olaf, my beefy Swedish kilt-wearing masseurs, fantasy. I have the aging hippie retiring to organic farm and live in an off-grid eco-cabin in the woods fantasy. But, really, I not only have no idea what my life *will* be like in ten or fifteen years....I don't even really have a clue what the fuck I *want* it to be like.
And so I come back to this moment. Every day. I eat well. I make time for yoga. I write, every single damn day, even if it's just two lines that I wind up erasing or deleting or not touching for another nine months. I play music. I listen to music, read books, look around and find something in the world that incites whatever it is in me that creates. I try to remember to breathe. I learn something. I try on new ideas to see if the fit. I figure out new ways my choices can help, not harm, the world.
Life isn't ten year plans or next year's calendar, it is this moment. And this moment. And the one after that. There's only so much future-thinking can get you out of each moment.
I just ran across this site today, and I think I'm in love. This is someone who gets what music is all about, and has taken a really spot-on position about how music and the internet feed each other. Not only is this a great source for free-and-legal digital downloads (brilliant!), it's also a great source for insightful thoughts on the artists whose music is showcased, and music in general.
Over the holiday, I went home to Michigan and the family. It was a relatively calm trip, as these things go, and I am grateful for my luck when it comes to family.
A really interesting moment came when I was at my mom's on Christmas Day, fiddling around on guitar and playing some tunes until the clock said it was time to catch Greyhound back to the city.
In between songs, I played a random sequence of chords, as I am wont to do. My mom asks me, "Oh, that sounds new. What song is that?"
And, just like that, I was writing a song.
As it happens, it turned out to be a song about someone whose love has gone (died, we think), who is so caught up in misery that he/she burns their house down around themselves.
I know. It just screams Christmas Day, doesn't it??
That's just the way it works sometimes, though. Sometimes the song shows up in an unexpected way...but it's calling the shots, and any attempts to make it something it's not will only add suck. And I have enough suck already.
My mom recorded the whole process on a cassette. I'm sure it will make for scintillating listening.
And now, dear readers, as we turn the final page on 2007, I hope you are all safe and warm and healthy and happy. I hope your dearest dreams are coming true in just the right time - not too soon! I hope your fondest wishes are waiing around every corner, and that karma is gentle with you in her lessoning. I wish you and yours only the very best in 2008.
Food for the hungry, sleep for the weary, and peace in every corner of the earth.
Loud-mouthed liberal feminist. Anarchist knitter. Tequila-drinking artsy-smartsy fat chick. Bluesy folk-rock singer-songwriter. Rebel with too many causes. Quirky eclectic pagan poet. Paradoxical intuitive smartass. Sarcastic brainiac insomniac. You know, for starters.