Saturday, January 31, 2009

Blue and Discouraged

That's how I'm feeling today.

Partly it's because M. is working and I am alone here. He's working a long day: he was gone before I woke up and won't be home until nine or ten tonight, at last report. He picked up some temp hours helping move the MSC book store into its temporary new lodgings in "The Pavilion"--a tent they set up to house all the things that are going to be out of homes once the construction on a brand new student center commences. A book store in a tent in Colorado in the dead of winter: how dumb its that? Anyway, it's some work hours. And though they don't pay much, I should be happy about it. Income is something we've seen WAY too little of in the past year. But I'm not happy. I just want my boo home with me. I don't care if we're even doing anything together. I just feel better when he's here. I know I should be more independent of him, but I'm not yet. And there it is.

But mostly I'm thinking about music. I tried practicing on my Irish flute both yesterday and today and just when I thought I was getting better at playing it, all of a sudden I find I'm not so great after all. I keep hearing the little voice in my head that says, "You can't do this." This is the same voice I heard when I was playing in BSS and I actually was a pretty good flute player. Granted, that was on a silver flute and the two are very different. So different, in fact, that now I can't play the silver flute; the embouchure change is just too challenging. So I feel where, at least I had one thing I was good at now I have nothing at all.

I want to play music again. I want to sing again. Both these things I have wanted since I can remember and I also feel that I have been blocked from expressing myself muscially from many different sources, most recently the bad shit in BSS. It's taken me six years to begin to get over that and start playing again. And I was happy that I was doing it. But today...I just don't feel the joy in music. I only feel the discouragement.

I played a band I knew a little (Beltaine, from Durango, CO...I wonder whatever happened to them? I tried Googling them today and the most recent reference I could find was from 2004.) on my radio show the other night. And I found myself thinking, "Why could we not have been that good?" Why did we have to go through all this horrible dysfunction? Why couldn't I have been that good? Why did I have to let the dysfunction get me down to the point where now I feel as though I am starting all over again?

Because that's what it is: starting all over again. I am trying to remind myself of the first Celtic band I was in, a one-shot put together over the space of two weeks for a St. Patrick's Day gig. (Actually, I think we did end up playing together a little longer than that; I remember doing a Celtic festival with the same folks.) And I was just starting out and I wasn't very good, and I had to keep swabbing my flute out every few tunes just to give my lips a rest. That's what it's like now. I'd like to blame my difficulties on the instrument and say the build-up of condensation isn't flowing properly or something, but it's not that. It's me. I haven't played in six years and now that's coming back to me. also, I'm trying to play on a new instrument in a new style and I can't get my fingers in the proper position unless I take things very slowly and carefully.

I tell myself these things should not matter to me. I tell myself we're just playing in our living room for our own enjoyment and the speed of our playing is not a factor we should worry about. but I do worry about it. I want to play out again. I want to do it now, or at least soon. I want to see some progress that I'm not seeing.

I want to feel like a musician again. i want to merit the name.

Over and out.


Ann said...

That voice is one of the reasons it's hard for me to write. I know that it comes up no matter what, and I know it isn't true and sometimes I can push past it, but that "pushing past" is a kind of energy I sometimes have in short supply.

I've noticed recently that when I interact with music I want to have a certain kind of experience. It's an experience that is sort of like the one I get when listening to really good music, but it's enhanced by playing or singing the music at the same time. I sort of "fall into" the music. But if I am not very good at the instrument or am not singing well, I get a different experience.

That's what I noticed about trying to play the piano the other day after not touching one for decades. About 3 hours of practice over a couple of days included about 30 seconds of the "fall into" feeling.

I hope you can find it, or the equivalent for you.

Stef said...

Duh, I was signed into the wrong account.