I had a bit of a weird week last week. We came back from the trip to my parent’s to a week with almost no teaching. I distinctly remember that there was a lot of laundry and grocery shopping at the beginning of the week.
On Wednesday we all went to a fabulous concert, WeBe3 at the Unterfahrt. It was my son’s first time ever attending a jazz concert. We didn’t have a babysitter, and since he didn’t have to go to school this week too we decided it might be fun to have him with us for the first part. He behaved marvelous even thought the concert didn’t start until his usual bedtime. At first he was a bit disappointed because he had expected to go to a big concert like the rock concerts he has seen on TV in big stadiums but we were at a nice little jazz club. He was very interested (and well prepared, we had been listening to WEBe3 CDs all day long. At one point he said, “I wish this were on CD, and I could listen to it in my bed.” but he didn’t fall asleep. In the break my husband took him back home, and I got to stay and see the second set as well.
I always feel a bit strange at these concerts. I have been to many WeBe3 and Rhiannon (who is a member of WeBe3) concerts over the years. Just that day I met someone who told me he had attended one of Rhiannon’s workshops 12 years ago. I remember being at that workshop with him, and I doubt that it was my first with her. So, I know the singers on stage very well, and I know about two thirds of the audience as well, since there are a lot of singers who come back again, and again.
I know those singers, and I like them but we only meet for the workshops and concerts. It’s not like we were a community or friends or anything. So I get to experience a very familiar feeling, being part of something, and being apart at the same time.
Everything was wonderful until after the concert when I decided to say hello to Rhiannon because this year I didn’t attend the workshop. I waited and waited, and then waited some more, and then got to say hello, and then waited some more, and then talked some, and waited, until I had missed my train by four minutes. Blah.
That experience, combined with PMS and heavy sleep deprivation because I had been up until half past three, only to be woken up by my son at 8, sent me back to a feeling of not being an artist, and not being a real musician, and that crappy familiar mindset.
I decided to not take those feelings seriously, to just write my story for my writer’s meeting on the same evening. Of course I could have written that story two months ago, or one month ago but, as usual, I chose to procrastinate about it until the very last minute. I wrote about half of the story with gnashing teeth, then I hit a wall, and then I had to leave in order to get to the meeting.
That was one of the most interesting writer’s group meetings ever because besides me nobody else showed up. You can imagine how I felt at first, sitting in a café at a table on the sidewalk, waiting for one of my fellow writers to show up so that I could discuss my writer’s block, and general lack of creativity with them, and waiting, andcursing myself for being too busy to send out my usual “I’m coming who else will be there”-e-mail.
Fortunately I had taken the book “Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance” by Julia Cameron with me. I hadn’t want to at first because it’s heavy and I was already running a bit late. In fact I had left home with my hair still damp and no make-up in order to catch my train. I didn’t quite know why I wanted to lug that heavy book around but then I got to read for an hour, and I found myself just a bit more grounded, and a bit more optimistic, and I made a plan.
I decided that each, and every day I’d play the piano for ten minutes before switching on my computer. And I decided to, somehow, find the time to write three pages of longhand on something fictional.
I’ve done that two times already and I can say that: a) I feel much better, b) if I do that I don’t have time for doing something on the computer before three in the afternoon, this will be interesting when tomorrow my regular teaching starts again, c) the story I started for the meeting, and that I had wanted to be about 1,000 words long, now stands at 1,800 and has barely started, and d) I’m really excited, and am looking forward to even doing housework.
So, now I’m praying for the strength and discipline to continue with that. I also tackled things that have been laying around for ages, I have weaved in the ends of two lace shawls, and two pairs of socks, some of them had been laying around, finished, since the beginning of the year. I also finished a pair of socks, and finished spinning the yarn for a cardigan. I had started spinning that in August or September of last year.
And the most startling thing that I have been doing was that I helped my husband with moving and turning the compost yesterday. We worked in the garden, all three of us together. You probably can’t imagine the novelty of that, the last time I did any yard work (and that was before my son was born, mind you) my husband took a picture as proof.
When I can go on like this I will be able to ease myself into a new routine. A much happier routine. Because when I start my day with morning pages, and a bit of exercise (I’ve been doing morning pages and a bit of T-Tapp in the mornings before even getting out of bed for a couple of weeks now.), I can face the rest of the world, and life, and everything much calmer.