O.K. Just a little note to keep you up to date. No waxing philosophical, just the facts! I had my little meeting with my friend yesterday and as I expected…”the heat is on.” We talked about bringing another producer on board. I am really letting go here and trusting that I am on the right path. Spent so much of last night fighting off my daemons but I believe I was successful. It is a little like fighting off a giant with a slingshot but I feel like I have someone on my team who really believes in my music and will let me know when I am giving into my fear. All this is really exciting and nerve racking at the same time. I will keep you posted.
My trips up the mountain have proven to be quite powerful and really helpful in a practical way. I have waited for so long to actually write something of fact about making a C D and up to this point it has all felt a little less than tangible. I have written of my fears and the many turns my life has taken. Truly, aside from an evening spent in the studio almost two years ago, I haven’t done anything that would indicate that I was really very serious about getting it done……until today!
As I wrote in my previous post, I have been walking up my little mountain for a few weeks now. In so many ways it has paralleled my uphill battle with myself and my path to a finished CD. I know and have known for some time that I was really standing in my own way. I have looked at it over and over again trying to figure out what it was that was stopping me. I have made the excuses and then over analyzed my reasons for making excuses. I have done so much self analysis and other than perhaps prompting me from time to time, to pick up my guitar, it hasn’t produced much activity. Recently, on my way up my mountain, I realized that none of it mattered. No excuses, no fear, just get it done.
Today was the perfect day for such realizations. Normally I would have been teaching today but because the students had an early dismissal, music class was cancelled. I chose to see this as an opportunity to squeeze in one more walk this week. I knew there was a chance that it might rain but it wasn’t when I left so I decided to walk. Lesson number one….you have no control over the future so live in the moment and decide what is best in the moment. As was just into my walk, the slow accent, when it started to sprinkle. There was a moment where I thought about cutting it short and turning back but it was just a sprinkle and I was under the cover of some pretty massive trees and then I saw a tiny red breasted bird taking refuge in the outstretched natural umbrella and I decided to keep going. Lesson number two…..you are never walking alone and you are ultimately taken care of. A little aside here, birds, especially of the small variety like sparrows, are always a sign of my dad’s presence with me, the impetus for my making the CD in the first place. As I came to the next part of my walk, where the tree cover ends, it stopped raining. Lesson number three, faith is always rewarded with assured comfort. I didn’t know it then but the best lesson was yet to come……
I was just reaching the crest of the mountain when I heard the most terrifying sounds. There are always groups of people out with their dogs coming and going from the many hiking paths that wind their way through Griffith Park and I heard what I thought to be an animal in great distress. It was a high pitched bark/howling sort of a sound. I saw someone quickly move their own dog into the back of their truck and move slowly back towards the shrubs where the sound was coming from. I thought perhaps they had another dog with them that had been injured and they were heading back to rescue it. As I got a closer look I realized it was a coyote. It looked right at me. My worst fear about my walk each morning was realized. I never want to run into wild life! I just barely tolerate the squirrels and only if they keep their distance. This was no small animal and it sounded really aggressive. I had never heard anything like it. As I continued to walk, keeping my eye on it and he, on all the human life around him, he stopped yelping and quietly disappeared up into the hills. I knew then that it was a gift. Lesson number three…..do not get stuck in fear. Acknowledge it and keep on moving…..be brave and finish what you started. So what does this all mean in a practical way you might be asking???
I called a friend who I had been thinking about over these last two years. She is a musician whom I have great respect for and have had the great privilege to work with. She has done several CD’s of her own and had lots of success. She knows me very well and loves my music. She knows my strengths and my fears very well. I called her today and asked her to come on board and produce this CD for me. She has agreed! She is on board and ready to help me bring it to fruition. For now we have a plan to get together so she can hear the songs and we can talk about where to go next. I know she will be a huge asset and that I will have my CD soon and hopefully you will have it as well. Today was a good day!
I have a mountain. Literally speaking it is not mine but figuratively, I own every inch of it. Everyday I walk about a mile and a half straight up hill into Griffith park. As hills go, it is quite steep and while not treacherous, challenging. I pass lots of people with dogs along the way and I do mean pass. I often challenge myself to pass them up as we cross the same land marks. I walk a total of three miles in about 40 minutes. I have been doing it for a few weeks now and am still quite surprised that it hasn’t gotten any easier. I try to walk in the cool of the morning and on an empty stomach. I don’t want anything to weigh me down.
My mountain has come to represent so much in my life. I talk to myself as I go along. I have chosen not to use any ear buds pumping music into my head and distracting me from the task at hand. I noticed today that most of what I say to myself on this morning jaunt is positive. I have become quite used to the negative banter that seems to be on an eternal loop in my mind but not on my morning trek. I say things like ” You are doing it!” sometimes I give myself a pat on the back for not giving into the little voice that says “cut it short today….you have laundry.” I don’t give into panic about limited time or too many other things to do. This is “my time” I will not give it away. I was saying to myself just yesterday while I was really struggling “don’t quit now. You will have let yourself down and you deserve this.” I cannot overstate this…..this is not my normal voice. It leaves me wondering “Why now? Why here? Why this? Why don’t I employ this method in the rest of my life. I do I break the promises I make to myself? I have decided not to over think it but to just relish in that 40 minutes a day when I tell myself all the right things.
I will however, try and apply it to the life of a CD. I climb the mountain and keep my eye on the next land mark and I know the translation is quite clear. I just have to reevaluate the land marks. I will reach the top of this mountain and I feel renewed and recharged. Stay tuned!
We lost a legend this week and because he is so profoundly intertwined in my childhood, it bears two postings in one day. Andy Williams has left this physical world but his voice and his music is the blessing that remains.
While I did not know him personally he will be forever locked in my memory as the one who was there on Saturday nights when I was still small enough to crawl into my dad’s lap after the ritual Saturday night bath. Clean and scrubbed I would sit so still and listen to my dad hum along to the songs that he sang and feel his chest rise and lower with a gentle chuckle over some silly sketch. I know those vibrations in the depths of my soul and try to pass those comforts along to my own children. Those things that are constant and there for us with out fail. Music so profoundly moves me and with this loss this week it digs deep into that which makes us all feel human and connected…… whether we “knew” him or not.
I do have friends who knew him quite well and for them my heart aches. It feels good to be able to reach out to them and truly say “I know your ache” We grieve what we have lost and look around to those we know are on the precipice. The challenge is to remember not to grieve them while they are still here and yet we try to brace ourselves for that very ache we know we cannot stop from coming. The grace comes when we can stop for a moment and remember to be grateful that we have “loved and lost”
I am grateful for the memories and youtube that allows me to relive just a little of that joy and comfort. Here’s to Andy Williams our “Huckleberry friend.” Andy Williams: Moon River