Just heard Gretchen Peters' music and interview on NPR...she's kind of great, had a crazy ass year in 2010 and her album is called Hello, Cruel World. Sounds melodramatic but her songs and voice are not...somehow seems to relate to a project I may be creating ultimately from this blog...
Also had a revelation listening to her, as she described event after event as 'disorienting' - Oh, Yeah, that's what it is...my life in this case I mean, disorienting - That's why I haven't been able to move forward like a shot through this or that project I planned, writing or otherwise. There have been massive tectonic shifts and I can't just expect to build the old designs on new ground. That's why I haven't done these things yet, not because I'm a slug...anyway, this is an important thing somehow...also I think we are doing a good thing looking at this project from many perspectives...because the ground is still settling or has re-jigged.
If anyone out there has been in an earthquake, I know you can understand this metaphor...Gretchen Peters experienced a flood in Nashville, the oil spill in the gulf and her son telling her he was transgender (he was born female but she refers to him now as her son, which is just great). I think there may have been other things, but this is what I remember. She has already managed to make an album from all that (not literally but working with emotional reality of this), and at first I was about to go down the envy road, but then realized I've had tectonic shifts going on for a couple years now, and the ground is still settling.
These changes, which are so profound and involve things like who I am on very deep levels, are going to affect how I make work...and as these changes began right after my PhD was complete, affects even the so-called more straight-forward academic work, it even affects that. Until listening to Peters, lying down and doing some minor league yoga, I had not really appreciated this.
Who knew a country music star would affect me so much? Fantastic surprise.
I think this realization may also be another benefit of working with Sharon Salzberg's meditation book, which encourages a kind of spaciousness when encountering emotions or thoughts, which involves Recognition, Acceptance, Investigation and Non-Identification. Not that I was doing that directly but had been last night while snuffling and coughing and I think that may have opened me to this moment. This ability to see something from a different angle. It's also a product of working on detachment in a certain group I attend where that is the watchword. Not detachment as in: I'm not here, but as in that spaciousness, that ability to choose, to not be a victim of emotions or thoughts nor to repress them or judge them as wrong or bad or best and good...but as the proverbial clouds in the sky, which is not, ever, The Sky...but are always part of it...and give it its unique flavor...
I'm still coughing away, fever down, voice now audible but quite literally sotto voce, but managed to make it out of the house for a short walk and bring my laundry, which may also have helped open my mind...However, walking along consisted of moments of coughing fits that made people look at me like I was a tubercular lunatic who managed to escape from the 19th Century...but the laundry lady gave me a lollipop, which in my dazed state seemed quite nice. Mind you, I had not seen another person for 2 days. If I didn't have Ugo the Rescue Cat, I would have probably stark raving mad...but he's here, sitting next to me, purring away. He deeply prefers when I type on the sofa rather than the ergonomic desk area. Ah...cat love...(hey give this to me folks, it's all I got right now...)