Yesterday I took advantage of the perfect lighting and acoustics in a stairwell by *almost* spontaneously giving a little concert via the killer website, Concert Window! These shows are always so crazy. It blows my mind that I can press a couple buttons and send myself to the moon and back down for ANYONE, ANYWHERE to see!
- I have an editor. (Hi Lisa!)
- She read her first draft, (my 8th draft) of a book I wrote.
- I still have a lot of slicing, dicing, and revisions left to complete.
If I was wearing three layers of socks, each of those statements would blow all three layers off. I am absolutely flabbergasted that I've gotten this far, especially during this month in particular.
I returned home yesterday afternoon from a gorgeous 10-day Artist Residency on Orcas Island, WA.
It was sooooo needed.
There is a framed poem sitting on a table in the house I'll stay for the next 10 days. Behind this poem is the above view of Orcas Island...
For the last 7 years I've done what I call an "Annual Review." It's kinda involved. I basically look at my entire year financially, relationally, time-wise, artistcally, etc. I get out old receipts, look through the whole calendar, scan through emails, and more... I'm asking myself... "What went well? & What didn't go so well?"
It's as if all the questioning and the struggle somehow validates the reasoning and the why of going on this amazingly terrifying journey. Perhaps the struggle & questioning is the heart’s way of forcing the head to remember the ‘Why's.’
Some of you may already know this, but I was diagnosed with an Essential Tremor in my right hand (my cello bow arm) in December of 2013. The day the neurologist told me, I was moving out of my beloved apartment for financial reasons, so I was too stressed to really let the news sink in...
"There was a moment when I was back at home after the concert, I hit me like a ton of bricks. I could never take back what had just happened that evening. Those songs and what I contributed to the evening was forever engrained in our audiences' memory bank."
I am eternally grateful to whoever is in charge 'out there' for placing me in such a nurturing location, as the Grünewald Guild. I am literally protected by mountains. MOUNTAINS!!! and find myself in the midst of such wonderful folks. They aren't asking me, as an artist, to do or be anyone else other than who I am and want to be.
If I hear any other good news during my time here during my Artist Residency, I might just keel over from too much. Goodness. too much goodness.
If I'm being honest, it was the first full-set of sit-down-and-listen-to-this concert that I'd performed absolutely solo. And considering I've been a musician for years and years and years - that is kind of shocking. Like really shocking. At least to me. Why has it taken me so long?!
The first day of writing this particular song I was suuuuper aware of the 'infant stage' of the songwriting process. It was clear to me that previously I'd allowed songs to "die" because I wasn't protecting them from the harsh elements of criticism or wasn't taking care to nurture their growth and progress. Instead I would start a song and just look at it, or show it to someone who would stomp on it's potential.
I'm pooped. and I can't tell if it's because I arrived totally and utterly exhausted. (I most certainly did.) or if it's because the adjustment to new community, environment, climate change, wardrobe alterations, and daily schedule have drained me...
This morning I found myself writing the following... "A lot of the furniture has been here for awhile, I can tell. It’s all kinda wonderful to think about. I am here because so many people helped me. They supported me and gifted me the tools I needed. and here I am. Sitting on a couch that someone donated, under a blanket that a previous artist left..."
I've been preparing for the this adventure in the "wilderness" for the past 8 months. Phew! I mean talk about a roller-coaster ride! I'm beat. I'm tired. I'm almost burnt out. & It's hard to believe I'm the same person that applied for Artist Residencies almost a year ago. I feel so different - not to mention, my everyday life now looks pretty different too.