is wherever the coffee is.
Thursday, Dec 11, 2008
The Gift of Ambiguity
Hey y'all, s'been a while. Been busy. You can't imagine.
It's time to reflect, right? End of the year, Christmas and New Year's closing in, the scramble is on to finish stuff, think about what are goals are for 2009. This year has been truly amazing. In some ways it was a test of perseverance, in other ways it was serendipitous euphoria. But the most obvious fact about 2008, for me, is how little we are in control of external factors. We live as if we had control, but honestly, what happens from day to day (albeit minute by minute), who we meet, who is on the other end of the phone when it rings, what opportunities (or upheavals) may arise, never mind the unpredictable nature of the world at large (watched any news lately?)...it is all so beyond our control it is staggering.
The only response that became do-able this year was increasing my sense of letting-go-ness, that kind of surrender and acceptance of life-on-life's-terms that seems to be the only possible guarantee of personal peace of mind.
So much great stuff has happened to me this year. My activity level is high; I am making a lot of music, for sure. I had to adjust to the fact that Albuquerquians don't know from solo piano gigs (what I did most of in New York), but the gigs I have now are twice as fun because they are NOT solo. I had to adjust to this new reality. Also, the pay scale in New York was about twice what it is here (another reality to adjust to...), but living is cheaper, so I guess you come out OK in the end.
But overwhelmingly, the most amazing thing for me to grasp is how many new friends we've made (that's Ginger and I for those of you who don't know Ginger), the really fine people whom, now, it seems I've known forever. And, it has only been 9 months since we moved here.
Friends...the greatest thing in life, I'm coming to believe. Can you imagine getting through life without friends? In the wild world of ambiguity, friends are there. Community is there. It is how we get through, together. We have so little control over everything else, but we can be, and have, friends, just by being the best "us" we know how to be, and being willing to share that with others who are doing the same. Savor those moments...
Tuesday, Feb 19, 2008
Back in the saddle, for the first time...
As I sit here in my new office/studio in Albuquerque, looking out at the Sandia Mountains (sandia means "watermelon", the color these mountains turn in a sunset), thoughts go in all directions: memories of people I left back at sea level, curiosity about this new area I find myself in, wondering about future activites and relationships. It's not without a certain amount of stress; still, I can't resist the challenge of starting a new life in a new place.
Today, I have no conclusions, only questions. Today, I have no facts, just opinions. Today, I have no directions, only options. It is as wide open as the valley just to the west of here. For those of you who don't know, that's pretty wide open.
As always when things are in flux, life can be a source of anxiety or a source of adventure. I really believe the choice is ours. It can be either, depending on our attitude. So, may we all keep our attitude high today. May we all choose to see life as the gift it is, everyday flowing to us on its own terms. It is not our job to determine, but to appreciate every step of the way, and respond as only we can. IMHO...savor, y'all!
Thursday, Jan 10, 2008
So Long, Long Island
As George Harrison sang, "All things must pass." If change is the only thing that doesn't change, then I join with all others in the inevitable flow of change. That's a fancy way of saying, next month I'm moving to Albuquerque.
I suppose I've been talking about making a move for years, and finally it is coming to pass. Many have asked, "why?" or, "why Albuquerque?" My first reaction is usually, "why not?" but that's kind of flip. Actually, I think I really just need a change, and the southwest U.S. has always had an appeal for me. My feeling about the mountains, the semi-arrid climate, and the wide-open spaces of New Mexico has more to do with a spiritual feeling I get there rather than some business or investment opportunity. And, I like that.
I will miss New York City. I will miss the ocean. I will miss lush greenery. I will miss the familiarity. I will not miss the high taxes, the traffic, the summer humidity.
The hardest thing is leaving the people on Long Island of whom I am so fond, among them my daughters (I hope they can visit often!), my brother and his family, and many dear friends. I have enjoyed deep, enduring connections here, and I hope (in this era of email and unlimited calling plans) that I can stay in touch with as many as possible.
I look forward to continuing webwork for many of you here, and in other parts of the country. Fortunately, webwork is not limited by proximity. I already have accounts in many states. Musically, I look forward to discovering the music scene in Albuquerque and seeing where I fit in. A year from now, perhaps, I will have new friends, friends I've yet to meet, friends whom I may feel I've known forever. Funny how life happens.
Thank you, Long Island, thanks for the memories. Thanks for being a place where I could evolve and grow. For now, I say, so long. Let us wish each other well. As always, savor the moments. It's all we have. Make them splendiferous. See ya 'round the website!
Thursday, Jan 10, 2008
Local (Long Island) News...
My last "official" Long Island gigs will be Saturday, Jan. 26 at Collins & Main in Sayville, and Thursday, Jan. 31 at Meritage Restaurant in Bellport. Come on down...let's have a party!
Tuesday, Aug 28, 2007
Gimme that old time religion
OK, I just commented on politics, so why not put my two cents in on religion? (The last one could be scary!)
There's a lot of debate lately on whether religion is a "good" or "bad" thing. I think that discussion misses the point that religion is unavoidable. It is as close to our psyches as any primal urge. It is the stuff of the unknowable, and there will always be that stuff.
Religion has always been our answer to filling in the gaps. It is, by nature, mysterious. The real problem is how much that clashes with modern living. In our arrogance and impatience, we just don't see the value in mystery and stuff. We'd rather focus on what we can control and make happen. Science and technology give us what we need, right?
Wrong. There will always be the unknowable, always be feelings within us that are unsatisfied with the external world of logical explanation. All the greatest thinkers of the last century knew this. We just need to catch up our religion(s) with the times. Maybe then we'll stop debating whether it is a good or bad thing, and realize it is one of our best things, but we need to allow it to evolve, like the human spirit. IMHO. Stay tuned. Savor, savor.
Wednesday, Aug 15, 2007
Sex, religion and politics
Well, one out of three ain't bad. You won't get me talking about the other two. Not yet, anyhow.
Nonetheless, I'm breaking my silence regarding politics. I'm an Obama guy. I think since the first time I heard him in 2004 at the Democratic Convention, I knew if he ever ran for president he would have my vote. And, I knew in 2003 that I could never cast my vote again for anyone who voted for the war authorization in Iraq. Between those two unwaivering commitments, Obama remains my obvious choice.
Never mind that he's a UCC-er. I'm kind of fond of UCC-ers. But that's religion, and I said I wouldn't go there. What the heck, it's my web page, right?
Peace, y'all. Stay tuned, and savor those moments.
Friday, Aug 10, 2007
Site Back Up
Miracle of miracles...I actually took time out to work on my own site for a change. You know the stories of the plummer with leaky faucets or clogged drains, or perhaps the piano tuner whose piano is painfully out of tune? Those stories, as it winds up, are all true!
Anyhow, after a seven-month downtime period (where does the time go?), I am back up and running. Hopefully I can now start to build a photo gallery and keep my calendar up-to-date! Anyhow, feel free to poke around, and while you're here, please sign up for my email list. If you are into that sort of thing. Peace!