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Live and Learn
July 2, 2012
You’d think I’d learn: don’t work maniacally at your desk all day and then expect to sleep well afterwards. Yesterday, after being mostly away from what I lovingly call my clerical work for over two weeks, it was time for me to get stuff done. I’m producing and teaching a writing workshop here in three weeks and there are a million details to organize and act on. Brent and I put a big white poster board on a tri-pod yesterday and mapped-out everything we need to tend to, and then we started tending. Once you open that can of worms, though, the list-making can go on forever and that’s what I did last night when I should have been sleeping.
It occurs to me this morning that the true challenge of my life is finding time to do all of the things I love to do without doing them with such intensity that I exhaust myself. Sometimes I wish I had 36 hours a day to play with, but if I did, I’d probably busy myself for that many more hours. I’m not complaining. I feel lucky that I love my work. As I get older, though, I like the times when I’m not working just as much. The dogs help me with this. They need me to stop what I’m doing to walk them or feed them or simply pay attention to them. They remind me that there’s more to my life than getting things done. One of the great things that’s happened since I moved to Colorado is that I generally don’t feel as pressed to get things done as I did back east. It’s a huge relief. I didn’t realize until I got here how much pressure I’d put on myself when I lived in New York. Back there, I needed to be doing something all of the time. I needed to be pursuing radio stations or press contacts or venues that I might perform in. All of that has fallen away in the last year and I’m relieved. The only down side is that I worry about how I’ll get my new music out to people who might enjoy hearing it when the time comes. I don’t have to do anything about that just yet, though. For now, all I have to do is write the songs and enjoy the process of recording them. For me, that’s a much more relaxed and natural way to create.
Today, my hope is to get 2 or 3 piano parts recorded well enough (which is to say, in time enough) so that others can play along with me and not pull their hair out. That means, setting up a metronome and sticking to it. Hard to do!! (For me anyway) Harder still because I’ll be wearing headphones (unnatural) and playing an electric piano rather than the acoustic piano that I love and which responds the way I want it to. For all kinds of technical reasons, it’s going to be easier for others if I use the electric, so I’ll do it. When they’re done recording their parts, I’ll go back in and record mine over again on the piano that I know and love. Even after 30 years of making music, recording new songs includes a very big learning curve.
One of the lines from a new song I’m writing that I can’t let go of even though part of me thinks it’s too corny to stick with is:
I live the life I love
I love the life I life
And that’s the truth.
Love to all of you,