Particles of Wisdom

IMG_0004I don’t know if it’s something to do with getting older or maybe it’s just that time of year, but I find myself searching for something.  I don’t know what that “something” is yet.  So I’m doing my best to be in a mindful state as much as possible, waiting for the universe to reveal particles of wisdom.  I hope I’ll recognize them when they appear.

Writing has always been a passion of mine.  I used to write a blog every Sunday morning back when MySpace was the cool place to be.  I’d write about anything and everything on my mind, including some of the guys I was dating after my divorce.  A few of the guys I wrote of were flattered; others not so much.

Years later I find I don’t know what to write about.  I took an online blogging course to help me find direction and gather tools for posting blogs.  People (like Seth Godin) come along with some very insightful blogs which prompt deep thought.  I find myself wondering what it really is I’m trying to do.  What is my purpose in blogging?  What wisdom am I trying to impart?  And I’m lost – I don’t really know.

I feel like the universe is nudging me along.  Since last summer I have reacquainted myself with things I used to love when I was much younger.  Metaphysical things.  Reading about different religions.  Reminding myself how much I love music and writing.

So maybe my purpose is to write about my journey?  I’m not sure yet.  I’m hoping the universe, and time, will tell.

Until then, I’ll sip my morning coffee on Sundays and work on redeveloping the weekly blog posts.  See you next week?

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Thankful … Day 5

Well, I have to be thankful for a most magnificent moon again, big and orange as we headed downtown Westminster for Common Ground on the Town. Christopher James was playing at Johanssons, and I really like his playing, singing, and songwriting.

We were at Common Ground’s Roots Festival all day. The music was awesome, and it was really nice to get a few minutes of chat in with some of the people who were in the songwriting class I took a couple of weeks ago. I got to hear Josh Hisle and Dan Collins again (fantastic!). Hot Tuna was phenominal, as you can imagine. I’m thankful that the day was so spectacular. I feel connected to music and musicians in a whole new way.

A Blog for Conflicted Women

I feel like something is missing, and I can’t put my finger on it. Do you ever feel that way? So I’m considering starting a new blog targeted towards women in their 40’s, 50’s, and beyond – a blog that simply discusses the challenges, thoughts, desires – whatever- that some (if not most) of us experience as we age.

As for me, I feel like there’s a hole I need to plug. I’m looking into meditation, yoga, music, writing – various things to ease that feeling. They go in waves, these odd feelings. Some days they’re wispy, some days they’re an anvil.

Scotch, cigars, pipes, rediscovering Sherlock Holmes, listening to Mozart and Bach … ethereal things I’m enjoying on this journey.

Come join me.

Common Ground on the Hill’s Music & Arts Festival

We spent last weekend at the Carroll County Farm Museum attending the Music & Arts Festival. Yes, it was terribly hot, especially on Saturday, but we had a god time. The variety of live music was exceptional. Bluegrass, blues, Celtic, old time, classic rock … just about anything. Here are some pictures with more to follow in a separate post (these were taken with the iPad; the others on my phone).

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The Only Living Gal in the 70’s

Honda is using the Simon and Garfunkel song THE ONLY LIVING BOY IN NEW YORK in one of their commercials. I think it is so awesome when a company picks an old song like that. When I first saw the commercial it stopped me in my tracks. I was like, “I know that song – what the heck is it?” And after running it through in my head a few times, I figured it out.

Of course, then I had to download my S&G 4 CD box set. Previously, I had only downloaded a few of their songs onto my iTunes. You know how it is (maybe) – you want to put the new songs on your iPod and show how cool and current you are with today’s music – especially when your kids are going to peruse your playlist. Right?

It takes something like Honda’s commercial to jolt me back to the music I loved when I was growing up. Once I get started with a tune in my head like THE ONY LIVING BOY IN NEW YORK it is only a matter of time before I’m reliving the days when I used to listen endlessly to groups like S&G, The Beatles, Elton John, Neil Young, The Rolling Stones, Boston, Cat Stevens, and all those other wonderful artists. Oh, for the old days of putting an LP on the record player, flopping into my yellow beanbag chair, gazing endlessly at my yellow and orange bedroom walls, burning incense, and singing along ‘til I was exhausted. Where have those days gone? If I tried doing half of those things today, would it feel the same as it did back then?

Sounds like a good segue to songwriting itself. Come on, people – pull out your guitars or pianos or whatever and start writing a song about the old days and reliving them through music. Pump yourselves up – put on some great old tunes and remember what you were doing when you first heard them. Put yourself into the song and then let yourself out and then start writing that song!

Yeah, man … cool! Maybe I’m THE ONLY LIVING GAL IN THE 70’S!

What More can I Say (or Sing)?

I love music.  Most genres (rock, classic rock, alternative, bluegrass, folk, classical, new age, some country), not all – although I’m not so closed-minded as to not listen to something if it’s striking in any way.  I admit I used to be one of those who just said no to hip-hop and rap, but then one of the results of having a child (if you’re anything like me) is that you listen to what your son or daughter listens to.  And that can change your mind if you’re open to listening, if just for one or two songs.

I remember growing up with the music of The Beatles and how my parents (especially my dad) tried desperately to keep my sister and me from listening to them.  Luckily, my uncle (only four years older than me) would play Beatles and Rolling Stones until the LPs and 45s (yes, LPs and 45s) would, I assumed, get scratched and unplayable.  I understand what my parents went through because I almost fell into the same trap – I wanted to keep my son from listening to what I categorized as “not worth listening to.”   But do you find that if kids what to do something they will, no matter what their parents say?  Well, one day I found myself listening to my son’s music and thinking, “hmm … that’s not really so bad.”

I admit that sometimes I can find messages in music I would have ignored years ago.  Eminem is a prime example.  My pre-teen son was adamant about listening to him, and at first I blocked the music out, but slowly, I started listening to the words.  Read that again – to the words.  Maybe you don’t particularly enjoy the type of music others do, but sometimes you might find that there really is a message behind the “noise.”

Of course, some people like rap but hate bluegrass.  Or like country and despise heavy metal.  But if you can open your mind for even one or two songs, a new dimension of the music may find its way into your mind.

So why the theme of music for this blog?  Well, last Saturday night I was at Birdie’s Café in Westminster waiting for Transcendent Third to take the stage.  Okay, it’s more a corner of the room than a stage, but all the same … in my opinion, T3 is really, really good.  Check out their website if you’re so inclined (www.t3music.com).  What makes them good?  They write their own music; they play multiple instruments (guitar, violin, bass); their lyrics are insightful; and just as important – they know how to connect with the audience.  Did I mention that they’re identical twins?  Matthew and Michael.  Folksy.  Simon and Garfunkel-ly.  Good music, good lyrics.  Time well spent.

But even more than all of that, I’ve got the bug.  I want to play the guitar and sing and connect with an audience.  I used to love doing that when I was in my late teens and early twenties.  There is something so damn cool about connecting with people.  The hesitation to get up there and do it is that I don’t know if I can any more.  It’s been thirty years and I’ve changed a lot.  I have to give presentations at work sometimes and I get nervous in front of people I work with everyday.  So what would it be like getting up in front of strangers?  Is it that it’s easier to perform in front of people who I don’t know and may never see again than it is to give a presentation in front of people I know?

In 2006 I was making plans to take the guitar out if its case and sing at The Pour House (now Birdie’s Café).  I was pulling myself up and out of a shell I crawled into in 2005 (a very long story for another time).  But The Pour House closed towards the end of 2008 and I was devastated.  I put the thoughts of singing back into the case with guitar and stood them all against the wall in my living room.

Now Birdie’s is open and T3 is singing and the bug is back.  Will it become a reality this time?  Time will tell, I suppose.