Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Reading

I do a tarot card reflection/meditation most mornings.

This was the first card I pulled out on Thanksgiving day.

Oh no!  Catastrophe.

Feeling some foreboding, I did a full reading.

Turned out to be pretty spot on.  All's well that ends well.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Friday, March 29, 2013

Seeking Balance.

Dancing Shiva (Consort of Kali)

She is mad, her lover is mad, and I am mad for loving her!
This world is bewitched by the lovely goddess.  
No on can describe how lovely she is, how glorious,
how perfect her gestures, how sudden her moods.
Her lover, poisoned with love for her, calls out her name
endlessly, singing Kali's name over and over and over.  

Life has currents, cycles, tides which ebb and flow.  
She looks upon them all with equanimity.
Nothing is opposite in her mind: not life, not death;
not love, not hate; not self, not the void.
Your raft, the poet said, floats upon the sea of life.  
It drifts up with the tide, and down with the ebb.  
But the goddess is there.  The goddess is always there.  

-Indian poet Ramakrishna 
(excerpted from Monaghan, Patricia.  The Goddess Companion: Daily Meditations on the Feminine Spirit.  St. Paul, Minnesota: Llewellyn Publications, 2000)

It was the Vernal Equinox a little over a week ago.  There are probably many astronomical reasons why equinoxes are of import and have been interesting to humans for generations, but for me, the importance in the Equinox is that of balance.  It is one of two days a year when the darkness and light are equal, in balance.  It is a meaningful day for me, as the seasons' turns mirrors my own search for balance.  Underlying this search is the belief that with that balance, one finds contentment.  And I am ever searching for peace, contentment, and serenity.  

I'm closer now than I've ever been to peace.  I feel more centered and grounded than I have in years.  But with the contentment I have now, I also recognize that this will change.  This too shall pass.  But that's okay, because the seasons' turn, and I'll come back to balance again.  Maybe I'm finally beginning to understand what my mother has been trying to tell me for years:  This too shall pass.  "Life has currents, cycles, tides which ebb and flow.... Nothing is opposite in her mind...." 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Fear and the Creative Process...

This blog has been a bit dead of late. 

I've been struggling to figure out the purpose of this blog.  What areas do I want this blog to cover?  How personal am I willing to be?  And so forth.  Though I haven't reached any conclusions, I've decided that the best way to figure this out is through the process of writing itself.  Because, personally, I find insight into problems by writing it out in words.  

It might be the decade-plus of therapy, but I'm a big fan of journaling.  It's more than just emotional and situational venting.  I find that through writing out the words to describe my "current" situation, I will begin to recognize my problems from more of a distance.  And with that emotional distance, I'm able to approach everything a bit more rationally.  

And as I started to write this post, I realized that I was having the same emotional block in writing for this blog as I was having in my creative writing.  


This seems to be the feeling I get before starting any writing project.  While I was in graduate school, writing my thesis, I had to play mind games with myself to just start writing.  Once I had started writing, I would generally continue.  But fear held me back from starting.  Fear of failure.  Fear of not meeting expectations--mine or my advisors.  Fears that would multiply, like a snowball rolling down a hill, preventing me from starting my thesis. 

And now I recognize this same feeling, this same fear, holding me back when I start my creative writing.  

I finished my thesis.  I received my MA.  I worked past the fear that held me back in graduate school by slowly, but surely, sitting down and writing.  Inch by inch, moving forward.  

Hopefully the fear that holds me back in my writing now will work itself out the same way.  

Friday, December 7, 2012

More on music!

Given my musical mood this morning....

A great post from a talented writer (and a medievalist!)

Fencing Bear at Prayer: Hey Diddle Diddle: I'm learning the fiddle!  I know, I know, what is it with me and things that you do with pointy sticks?  What can I say?  It's an aesthetic....

Speaking through the centuries...

This may wander a bit.  I need caffeine...

I have been reflecting on music this morning.  Specifically, in the peculiar power to translate notes on a page--sometimes written centuries earlier--into sounds that have the power to affect modern listeners.  Heady stuff, that.  I am filled with awe when I listen to the music of Guillaume de Machaut or Josquin des Prez, knowing that centuries later, I still find something powerful in their music.  (And no, I am not a music historian, and I realize there is probably tomes written, arguing over variations and interpretations.  Nevertheless, I choose to believe that the essence of the music is still there).

I often feel the history of the music I'm playing.  I am aware of the history of piece I'm trying to learn--whether Mozart's Flute and Harp Concerto to a more modern piece by Carlos Salzedo.  When I'm starting to learn a new piece of music, I want to research it, learn where it fits in the composer's corpus.  I want to absorb other harpist's interpretation of the piece of music, learning through a kind of aural osmosis.

I'm also aware of the history of my own chosen instrument, the pedal harp.  And this isn't just because I've written papers on the evolution of the pedal harp.  I am aware of where I "fit" in the various schools of harp technique.  (I was initially trained by a strict Salzedo harpist, and spent a summer at the Salzedo Harp School in Camden, studying under Alice Chalifoux as a teenager).  While my Salzedo technique has relaxed, I love following the history, gossip and drama of the community of musicians who have devoted themselves to the harp.  

In other words, I have my first harp lesson in over a year today.

My excitement knows no bounds.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Art and Inspiration

All art is inspiration.

What is currently causing fireworks to go off in my brain--dance.  Specifically, ballet.

As a former competitive figure skater, I thought it was fascinating to hear principal Megan Fairchild say she thought SKATING would be "daunting!"  Exactly how I feel about ballet!