Me, again! Getting My Sh*t Together!!

I forgot to mention in my post last night that if you’re on your phone and you want to view the photo gallery of Villa Monte Malbe, where the writer’s retreat will be held, you have to turn your phone sideways. The photos are  down below the song lyrics.

My life got a lot better as the evening wore on, btw. Or at least more interesting.

Sandra eventually called and we spoke for about an hour. I can’t really post to my blog the details of what she said, but I’m still not sure if rehearsals for the play are being moved up to July or not. It sounds like there is a very good chance that they are, though. I still have to hear from the director.

But this of course means that I have to finish Blessed By Light really soon. Like, posthaste. This also means that frustrating days like yesterday simply have to stop.

I wrote 2 fucking words yesterday.

But part of that is because I’m starting to stress a little about the play (as well as the other play I’m writing with Sandra), and up until yesterday, I was getting good at keeping each project sort of “compartmentalized” in my brain and not letting them bleed into each other.

However, now I feel like all my projects are starting to look like this in my brain (I’m the strong, capable gal in the middle, soon to be eaten alive by all her thoughts):

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This sort of reminds me that, lately, I’ve been missing my furry little boy like crazy. He died 2 months ago, already. The time just flies. I can’t believe it.

This morning, when I awoke, I truly thought I felt him jump up onto the bed to visit me.  I turned and said, “Hi!” but there wasn’t any cat there. It was so strange. I mean, it really felt like he was physically there.

It makes me want to cry, but, you know, that doesn’t solve anything. So on we go.

After the phone call from Sandra, I worked on the new music material for teaching that guy piano, and the material is starting to go into some very interesting places. They throw out anything you ever knew about Theory & Composition (yay!), and simply distill music down to 7 notes.  (I’m paraphrasing, but not by much.)

I can readily see, from what I’m learning, that if this guy who wants to learn piano, really has music in his head, then he’s going to be playing piano really quickly. He’s not going to have to get bogged down in all the stuff that I got bogged down in straight out of the gate.

I’m not going to waste time regretting anything I learned, especially since I’m still alive and can still learn this new stuff and have a new approach to music myself, even after all these decades. But it sure does feel like I wasted a lot of time on that piano, when it could have been so much more productive for me. Because ALL I had was music and rhythm in my head. And ALL of it wanted to get out. I did not understand what any of what I felt inside had to do with Bach or any of those others.

By the time I was 14, I had maybe written 3 songs on the piano, but I had written about a hundred already on my guitar. Complete songs, too: Verse/chorus, verse/chorus, bridge/chorus/out. I had a 3-ring notebook full of completed songs. Because on guitar, I was not bogged down by Theory & Composition in any way.  For me, guitar was all about the rhythm and that facilitated the melodies and then the lyrics sort of cascaded down and attached themselves to the notes, you know?

I once turned in a song as an English assignment in 7th grade, and my teacher really liked it. And he said, “Do you write a lot of songs?”  And when I told him about my 3-ring notebook, he asked if he could see it and then was sort astounded by it. The size & scope of it. I could not stop writing songs if I tried.

He was a published poet, with a PhD., and after seeing that notebook, he would spend time after class with me, helping me learn how to write poems, which in turn helped me gain clarity in lyric writing overnight. I had access to truly wonderful teachers, so it wasn’t that people didn’t care about my talent.

My songs were my whole life, though, whereas the piano had become the sort of underlying nightmare of my life. I knew how to play what they wanted me to play. And I knew how to deliver to them what they wanted to hear- tone, nuance, syncopation, feeling; but it in no way spoke to the music that was going on inside me.  And I couldn’t understand why it didn’t connect, because I loved the piano, but it became a very stressful, frightening thing to me. It truly did.

And I see now that this current approach to music that I’m learning in order to try to help this other guy learn — it would have saved me 45 years ago. My stress-load would have disappeared. (Well, with that, and if those boys at the high school would have stopped raping me for 5 minutes…)

However! If wishes were horses…. (Yes! Then this would’ve been me! Prairie Rose! Lady Champion Rider!!) All right!

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Meanwhile, on Earth…

I better get started on the novel here, gang. It’s gonna be July in a heart beat! I’m hopeful that I’ll get more than 2 words written today.

Tonight Nick Cave is having another Conversation somewhere in Europe, but in a truly odd turn of events, I can’t recall where!! I guess I finally have too much on my fucking mind… I’m sure it’s gonna be great, though. (And I’ll be darned if yet another person from the Netherlands didn’t post another photo on Instagram yesterday, calling him God….) (Wouldn’t it be funny, though, if, you know, it turned out I was wrong??  And he was God?? I guess I’d have to eat my hat. ) (I’d have to find it first…)

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c- Jon Klassen

Okay! More coffee is on my immediate horizon! I’m gonna go grab it and get to work here.

I hope you have a really good day out there, gang. Wherever you are in the world and with whatever it is that is currently occupying you!

I leave you with this! It was my pre-breakfast-listening music today.  I listened to it while feeding the cats. But then realized that the  musicians who live next door to me were either awake very early or hadn’t been to sleep yet (Methinks the latter!), and they were out on their porch, smoking at 5am. And I didn’t want to annoy them so early in the morning with my music wafting through the open windows… (Although they play death metal and practice out in their garage and are pretty much the champions at annoying people with their music.) (Although they don’t annoy me. I honestly love living next door to them and listening to them practice because they remind me of my fair & bonny girlhood as a musician in NYC and all those wonderful cigarette-smoking musician guys – and I mean that truly, in the nicest way.)

But I leave you with this. A different song about boys, and summer, and everything that they can’t deal with anymore! Thanks for visiting! I love you guys. See ya.

She grew up in an Indiana town
Had a good-lookin’ mama who never was around
But she grew up tall and she grew up right
With them Indiana boys on them Indiana nights

Well, she moved down here at the age of eighteen
She blew the boys away, was more than they’d seen
I was introduced and we both started groovin’
She said, “I dig you baby, but I got to keep movin’ on
Keep movin’ on”

Last dance with Mary Jane, one more time to kill the pain
I feel summer creepin’ in and I’m tired of this town again

Well, I don’t know, but I’ve been told
You never slow down, you never grow old
I’m tired of screwin’ up, tired of going down
Tired of myself, tired of this town

Oh, my my, oh, hell yes
Honey, put on that party dress
Buy me a drink, sing me a song
Take me as I come ’cause I can’t stay long

Last dance with Mary Jane, one more time to kill the pain
I feel summer creepin’ in and I’m tired of this town again

There’s pigeons down on Market Square
She’s standin’ in her underwear
Lookin’ down from a hotel room
Nightfall will be comin’ soon

Oh, my my, oh, hell yes.
You got to put on that party dress
It was too cold to cry when I woke up alone
I hit my last number and walked to the road

Last dance with Mary Jane, one more time to kill the pain
I feel summer creepin’ in and I’m tired of this town again

c- 1993 Tom Petty

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