Friday, April 30, 2010

Happy making music

It was my first time playing there, and it's been a dream of mine for a long time. I have been there many times to take in concerts of all stripes but I still wanted to see what it's like to be on that stage. I was part of the string section in a great program of contemporary gospel music, "A Night of Inspiration." I put in the practice, got there. Surely, the practice is never over. That's part of the challenge and the joy of being a musician. I had a great time being part of the show and maybe someday I'll be there again.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Happy with flowers

Here it is! I am quite excited to have finished my very first knitting project. Although I have vague memories of knitting little 4 x 4 sampler squares in my youth, I never endeavored to follow a pattern to actually MAKE something specific. I finally listened to my heart, and then followed the message to completion of a tea cosy or tea cozy -- depending on what part of the English speaking world you hail from! I'm especially proud of myself for (re)learning to knit from the wealth of how-to videos on the web, and for finding a pattern on the web, and for having the guts to alter the pattern to fit a smaller teapot, and the guts for trying a whole bunch of new techniques that fell in the "someday I want to try" category. I am very happy with the results, and I joyfully gave it to my good, tea-drinking friend.

Funny, now that it's all done and I don't have an ongoing knitting project, I feel a sense of missing something. I no longer have a little bag to open up at the end of the day to knit another couple of rows. Have I stepped on the path of becoming a knitting addict? :)

What kind of flowers are these?

This week I went on a walk with a friend and the park was blooming everywhere we looked. In a way, I feel like things are starting to move in my life after the quiet, internal phase of winter. I got a couple of very interesting music gigs this week. Happy, happy for the chance to do what I love.

You can see what others are saying about what makes them happy at

Friday, April 9, 2010

Walking happy

This week's happy included a nice, long walk in Central Park. We've been having a freakishly warm week here and the sunshine and the chance to walk around without a jacket on were irresistible. It is still very early in the season, so the trees were just starting to release tiny, tender leaves. I love the different shades of green in springtime.

The delight of children crowded around the giant soap bubbles made me smile. I stopped and took it all in, including the beautiful plaza around the fountain. No water yet, but it hardly diminished the beauty. I just miss the sounds of the fountain. I snapped some pictures and felt like a tourist in my own city.

And also this week, I finally gave in to the urge to start knitting. I didn't want to knit a scarf as my first project, and I couldn't think of anyone who really wants one, especially as the weather is warming. I found something I really WANT to make, and because it is a surprise for a friend I won't describe it.

Entering that yarn store and then leaving with the bag of goodies, I felt a surge of happiness. I was giving in to the urge I'd felt since December. The yarns were soft and a pleasure to touch, and all those colors! I showed the sales assistant the pattern so she could help me find the right yarns and needles, but I didn't tell her I'm a beginner. Suffice it to say, the project is not typically what one would choose for their first real knitting project. It involves circular knitting, crochet, and piecing parts together. No peeking! You'll see it when it's done.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Happy outlet

This photo is from my honey, who went to plug in his laptop computer and found three happy faces beaming at him from under the desk in his hotel room. His email made me smile, though thousands of miles away.

Here are some other "happy outlet" moments this week:
  • Baking a loaf of whole wheat bread
  • Making a delicious roasted squash soup
  • Skype video so I can still see my honey even when he's away
  • Beautiful sunny weather (after days of gray skies and rain)
  • Seeing cool, inspiring, thought-provoking art at MOMA
  • Having dinner with a close friend
  • A sense-memory of playing in an inverted quartet (2 cellos, 1 viola, 1 violin)
At rehearsal with the trio yesterday we had a visitor who happens to be a cellist. She knew the song we were working on, so we all played it together. I was not prepared for the powerful sense-memory of hearing two cellos with a viola and violin. You see, for ten years I was part of just such a string quartet, Invert. For ten years my body and soul vibrated with that particular combination of sound frequencies. It was a powerful reminder to me of just how much music can evoke memories and emotions.