Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Spending more time on music lately...

I'm finding that music is giving me more satisfaction lately.  It also forces me to use my mouth, which keeps me from obsessing over the condition of my teeth, which I know really aren't that bad.  I'm just getting older and they are starting to show their age.  Like right now, I have a very slight, almost imperceptible twinge in that sore spot between my teeth that has been bugging me for the past few days.  I go look at it in the mirror and there's no redness or bleeding, though the large molar next to the spot has a big amalgam filling in it that probably needs to be replaced.  I think it might be irritating the gum.  It doesn't hurt, really… it's really more of a very minor soreness that is driving me batty.  I'm really trying not to call the dentist, though.  I think we need a break from each other.

Last night, I got some correspondence from a musician in Scotland whose YouTube videos I have been enjoying.  He's one of a few folks subscribed to my channel and yesterday, we mutually proposed perhaps collaborating on something.  He could play a track on keyboards or guitar and send it to me in an MP3; then I could do a vocal part.  We seem to like the same type of music.  One of the songs he proposed was "Who Knows Where The Time Goes", a song I had always known as a Judy Collins hit.  But then last night, I learned that it was actually written by an English singer named Sandy Denny who died in 1978.  I blogged about that on Dungeon Of The Past.  Anyway, listening to that song and being alone this week prompted me to give it a try myself.

That song reminds me of college.  It was actually written and popular in the late 60s, but I went through a Judy Collins phase when I was about 20 and listened to her album Colors of the Day over and over again.  So now when I hear her music, it takes me back to college.  It seems crazy that that was 21 years ago… and 21 years ago, I was less than half my age now.  Time really flies, just as Sandy Denny's song suggests.

I look at my friends who are having babies now-- there are SO many of them.  At age 41, I feel too old for a baby.  But at 31, I felt too young and not ready, certainly not financially.  At age 21, I felt barely ready for adulthood, even though I had always pretty much taken care of myself.  At age 21, I had only just discovered I had any musical ability, since only three years prior, I had landed in a voice class my very first semester in college and my very first voice professor told me I really needed to be taking private lessons and developing what she called my "majestic instrument".  She stopped me mid song one time and said, "You have no idea how easy it is for you to sing."

It was one of those situations that makes me wonder if God is real.  After all, I could have chosen another elective for the arts requirement for my degree.  I could have gone to a bigger school, where professors don't have the ability to pay as much attention to and nurture their students.  I could have brushed off the teacher's suggestions.  Instead, music has become a healing tool for me and a very significant part of my life.  It has opened doors for me in unexpected ways and saved me from despair.

Who knows what would have happened if I had started singing when I was younger?  It might have changed the whole course of my life.  I avoided music as a kid because my parents were into it… and my dad, especially, could be very pushy about such things.  My parents didn't know I could sing until I was in college.  I refused to sing in front of them when I was a kid.  I seem to remember not wanting to sing in front of them because I didn't think I had a good voice.  I still cringe sometimes when I hear myself, even though others have told me I have a pleasant voice.

And yet, fifteen years ago, when I was very frustrated and depressed and felt like maybe I should opt out of living, I started studying voice again with a private teacher in Williamsburg, Virginia, who affirmed that singing is easy for me and I do it well.  And it helped me get over the depression and anxiety that was crippling me and preventing me from taking care of myself.  Singing released stress and gave me confidence to strike out on a new path… which ultimately led me to marriage to a wonderful guy when I thought it would take me into a career.

That's another thing…  I went to grad school and studied for two degrees that I was really only marginally interested in.  My goal was to become qualified for a decent paying job so I could support myself.  I didn't think I'd ever get married, since I couldn't seem to find the right man.  About three months into my program, I met Bill online.  Three years after that, we got married… and I entered the Overeducated Housewife lifestyle.  I'm definitely happy to be Bill's wife, despite all the crap we've had to deal with concerning his ex wife and ex kids and the fact that we're paying for an education I don't use much in a professional sense.

But what would have happened if I had really pursued my talents and interests?  What would have happened if I had focused more on becoming a writer or a musician instead of just trying to become employed?  Maybe I wouldn't have a YouTube channel with eleven subscribers and a blog that has a lot of lurkers, but not so many public followers.  Maybe I'd be working somehow out there instead of living my reclusive lifestyle.

On the other hand, I might also be struggling to eke out a living and bitching about Obamacare.  I've been perpetually broke in the past.  There's not much romantic about being poor in my opinion.  In a year, we may be back to that broke lifestyle, but I have a feeling we won't be.  My husband is as attached to financial security as I am and will do his very best to preserve our lifestyle.  Together, we will work to take care of ourselves as best we can.

Lately, I'm finding a lot of satisfaction in making music and discovering people like Sandy Denny… and my new YouTube friend, shargram.  Music is satisfying and healing.  It's something I do just for me and those who want to share it with me.


  1. It's good that music has been such a source of peace to you. I look forward to completing both of my senior recitals so that it can be a source of peace to me as well rather than a source of anxiety as it presently is.

    1. I think music is meant to be enjoyed, but I understand that in an academic setting, you have to have a little stress. I am sure your recitals will go brilliantly and then you can go back to just performing for pleasure and income.


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