Wednesday, April 27, 2011

April Dreamboard for the Full Pink Moon

The birds have been pecking at what's left of last summer's basil plant. Pulling at the dried leaves and stripping bits of stem to line or construct their nests. Their little bodies jump into the pot and beaks pull at the bits left. Maybe the chive plant did not lose its dried leaves to a strong wind after all. I imagine how the little birds just plucked them cleanly off, as if a pair of scissors had given the chive plant a haircut.

I love thinking about how our windowsill has become a bit of a natural world, in this clattering city. The birds are frightened when I come to the window, but if I stay back and move very slowly, they are so absorbed in their work.

The tree that was stripped of bark seems to be coming back somewhat. I don't know how strong it will be, or if the stripping has now hardened enough so that there won't be that much loss of moisture. It was hard to see that happen, and it made me so angry last summer.

I've been directing a lot of disappointment at myself lately. But I realize that so much of this is a kind of mental noise. Not helpful. How do I turn it off? I look at the dreamboard for the Full Pink Moon, and one of the most prominent images is that wooly brain. I've had knitting on my mind, as I've suffered a couple of weeks with no knitting project in progress. Perhaps that's part of the message. But also, I felt that this airy, wooly brain was a message that I need to see beyond it, I need to escape the tyranny. It's not so scary as it wants me to believe. I know that nature helps, I know that adventure helps, I know that going to quiet inspiration helps. Maybe even the two go together. I can find my peace by knitting. Perhaps even knitting to music can be helpful. I can study music and get the overall flow of the Brahms by listening to it over and over, and knitting knitting knitting.

I've been in a dark place about my own playing lately. I feel I suck. I feel that I am not playing what I want to be playing. But perhaps that is the message and the challenge. The next challenge could be to find a place, discomfort allowed, that I am pushing toward something I can't quite do yet, and I am also at peace with myself and where I am at the moment. It is kind of like the Kenny Werner book. I can't even remember the title, but I remember that idea of "fear-based" practicing, playing, composing. I have a need to move beyond that. If I don't loathe and fear myself, perhaps I can just accept and love what beauty issues from my mind and my instrument. I am a beautiful musician too. There is no need for me to be stuck in a place of hating my own sound. I know it's not helpful. I've been doing a lot of recording lately, and it feels really disappointing to feel that my best stuff is not getting down on tape. But what does this really mean? If I can get to my 80% place on tape consistently, that is pretty good. I know there's internal work to do.

I feel I am okay, but I want to be great. I want to be able to achieve these wonderful phrases and jazzy sounds, and classical-like sound and expression, and folky expression. It takes a lot of work and a lot of internal wisdom and patience. How do I get there? What can I do to help myself reach this place? Perhaps my dreamboard can show me the answers as I'm ready to see them.

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