Of Growing Up

May 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

This post should be known of the post where my inner Petara Pan burst from my chest like a face-hugger from Alien and forcibly drags me from my desk into the wilderness.

That title, however, was too long.

I have always adored summer breaks. My family spent most of our July in Leavenworth, WA and August in Pacific City, OR enjoying all things campy, including the small town vibe and formulaic resort-style RV camping complete with maintained chlorinated pools.

Ah yes, those were the halcyon days. Arriving home, all tan and relaxed, we’d be just in time to pick up our school supplies and new outfits before September started.

Why didn’t anyone ever tell me that those days wouldn’t last forever?

I think I would have appreciated them more if I had known.

I feel swindled.

Needless to say, it wasn’t like I actually worked last summer. I was on-call at the shelter I currently work full-time at. I played my harp on weekends at the farmer’s markets to support my habit of living comfortably in a modest-sized apartment. I did a lot of bike activities, camping and far too much imbibing in many, many things.

This summer looks bleak.

The beau and I keep talking enthusiastically about all sorts of plans that we are going to make. Both avid cyclists, we plan to take his custom-built recumbent tandem to the coast, desert, hot springs – all the places that everyone should ride their bikes to. As we are making these plans, I keep ticking off in my head when I am able to take vacation time from work, what conflicts with other commitments I have made, my schedule for going back to school, etc.

This is depressing talk.

So how do I balance work and play? Especially when my play intends to take me out of town for a couple days at a time? It’s difficult, I think, when one partner works from home and relatively sets their own schedule while the other has rigid work routines and Union guidelines on vacation and sick-time to follow.

There are all sorts of articles on the web writing about this. Of course, I don’t feel that any support me in this particular situation. The only thing that I can come up with is. . . careful planning.

Being the freakishly controlling planner that I am, you’d think this would be easier than it is. I seem to have commitments until mid-June that leave me with little room to run out of town for the weekend and enjoy myself naked in near boiling water.

Such is life.

So, I am sitting here, proverbially pulling my hair trying to figure out how I can work, enjoy my life and still be healthy when I realize. . . all this stressing out about things is just going to make the whole situation worse.

Deep breaths.

I’ve decided to take things as they come. It’s my god-damned summer, and if I want to spend my days soaking up some rays and my nights working the graveyard shift without much sleep in between, then that’s my own business.

We’ll see how long this lasts.


Of Money for Passion

April 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

I would like to record a CD.

The problem with recording the CD is that only some of the music that I play on my folk harp is open source. Also, it’s traditional Celtic and folk music, which I don’t really find inspiring as desirable to a large audience including my peers. Adults want to listen to soft Celtic harp music. Yes, yes – I am an adult, but not in the way that I am thinking about it. These people have children. They have held down jobs for a long time. Careers, even. They drive cars that they have actually paid off and live in houses that they own and celebrate Christmas around the tree with extended families and maybe little grandchildren. In my mind, that is my demographic, and while I love those people just as much as my peers when I meet them on the street, they’re just not. . . fun.

So, I would like to record a CD.

In my mind, I hear the music of my songs – my low alto voice crooning harshly and smoothly in and out of the jagged arpeggios. Perhaps an accompanying guitar for a few of the songs. Lyrics from my life of rain and bars and love.

I have these songs.

Scribbled on note paper, crumpled into folders, tucked in the back of my mind – waiting for the opportunity to become a reality.

There’s this new website. It’s kind of a trendy thing right now called Kickstarter. Some of my friends have had success with it, and so for shits and giggles, I went ahead and applied to see if they would be cool with my trying to raise money selfishly so that I could produce a CD. Of course, they did accept my proposal, and now I am left with this empty page just begging for me to fill out and begin asking my friends and family to fund my project.

This means I will have to practice.

This brings about some guilt. Harp playing and music in general is a passion of mine and to ask for money for it, seems a slightly wrong. I look to Charles DeLint in these matters, a fantastic author who also is quite knowledged as a performer and street musician. “So long as you apply yourself with honesty and create from the heart, the end result is truthful.” One of his characters, with which I self-identify greatly, says in his book; Memory and Dream, followed up by, “It might not be good, per se, but it still has worth. And I think that goes for any creative endeavor.” Always the realist.

In another of DeLint’s books, The Onion Girl, a busking character, not unlike myself says: “It keeps me honest. If people like what you’re doing, they stop and listen, maybe throw you a few coins. If they don’t, they just walk on by. Where else can you get such an honest reaction to your music?” That is exactly my philosophy about busking, and why it makes it so difficult for me when I take on wedding gigs and don’t necessarily get to play whatever bursts from my heart to my finger tips.

Asking for money when they haven’t heard the finished project is difficult for me. I am definitely going to sit down and think long and hard if this is something that I want to commit to. After all, if the donation procurement succeeds, I will have to provide a product.

I just don’t want to feel like a harpstitute, peddling my wares all over the internet.

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