I've been sitting here all week fighting. Day after day.
It struck me a while ago, the
times I've worked with somebody professional, or at least
quasi professional have brought me really close to a sense that as
a performer I'm permanently limited. Like the assistant music
director/movement maven who said I want balls to the walls,
give me balls to the walls and then after a performance I saw him in the lobby and I said so was it balls to the walls? He smiled but I'll never know if he was lying.
I'm torturing myself over
this current retirement choir project. I don't like it, I
disliked it on sight and still I'm struggling with a sense of
obligation. I can't drop out, I can't enjoy it, I
can't get it into my bones in a way that'll make it
fabulous for me. Which of course I have experience of doing, I
know what it's like.
Am I too old for this shit?
Is it finally working down to what I thought today: those old
so-called qualitative thresholds coinciding with the breakdown of
my physical ability to do the work? I hear people talking about
choreography and I just, it makes me want to scream.
And what's even worse, this exploration of travel insurance and pre-existing
conditions for crying out loud means not only am I piggybacking this miserable project on top of the month-long summer choir tour, during which I put myself in frankly dangerous conditions--not only covid but random accident on a 300 year old stone stairway? Come on, what am I doing? So okay let's say I buy the insurance and then what? How much joy can you get out of a trip in the works for 2 years finally reaching the point where it's actually going to happen and all I can think about is if I drop out of this stupid project then I have four weeks to spend with the guy who's going away party it was. Jesus Christ.
So no, I'm not having a
good time and on top of everything my middle son tested positive
this week. I talked to a friend about this. First off she
wasn't really with me she was busy watering plants and she
insists on walking back and forth from her phone while she's
doing this instead of just keeping it in her freaking pocket so
her voice goes way close and then way far away and then way close
and then way far away. Not exactly optimum. And then she reacts
emotionally by proceeding to tell me what I'm supposed to be
doing. Made me feel like I'm kind of stupid or inept. It
wasn't a great conversation. We haven't had any incidents
of COVID in the household up until now. But it's not like we
don't know the protocols, it's just different when
it's right there in front of you. Why did I even open my big
I've had a
year-and-a-half of therapy to wrestle with all kinds of demons and
sit with the feeling it is all kinda pointless because we're
all human and this is all just so common, I'm not unique in
any way. And then very recently I was sitting in front of my
computer, I can't say exactly what it was. Shopping? Or
reading emails? Or the news? Whatever it was, it was suddenly
accompanied by a very peculiar feeling. I'm not able to
recapture enough detail to really bring it to life but I will say
this: it felt odd enough to bring me up short. As the Good Ol
Advaita guys would say I was observing myself observing. I saw
myself quizzically thinking wow is this what it feels like to
actually recognize you're losing your mind? Damn. I wish I
could nail down the parameters of it, it was so deadening. Like
watching what you have always thought was your actual identity hop
up on a little trolley car and begin its descent toward the
Then Miss Thing phones me
back two days after the Plant Incident only this time she's with
the dog and they've driven off somewhere trying to catch a glimpse
of the Lunar Blood Moon. I can't see anything on my
end—completely hazy—but, again, what am I doing? She's
absorbed in this to the extent that she's checking her phone while she's talking to me, getting data on the Eclipse times & locations & wants me to do the same since I made the mistake of telling her I'm on the computer (running music drills, see dratted project above). Then out of nowhere comes a booming male voice. 10 minutes later he identifies himself as Kevin.
I can hear him so much better than I can her; it's a strangely
one-sided conversation in this order: me, friend, KEVIN.
I have no desire to compete.
Another 10 minutes goes by and I've closed the Eclipse browser,
put my headphones half back on so I can at least work on the
score, finishing up making notes as I go through minutia and
fashion something I will at least be able to make sense of in
Kevin is now taking friend's
enthusiastic cues to talk about various breeds of dogs. And his
I hang up.
But you know what? Here's
something nice. My oldest son inexplicably approached me with
concerns about my sleep Quality and then authoritatively installed
an app on my phone and then showed me how to use it. It's been
a week and by God, it actually works. Something to look forward
to. It tells me when it heard snoring and talking and deep sleep. Each morning I am awakened by the sound of rainfall. It's quite pleasant.
Tap twice to snooze.