Posts Tagged ‘Yo Yo Ma’

Tiny Pockets of Perfect

October 20, 2017

Little precious moment of complete and utter luminosity in my day.

Small things but grand, full of beauty and quiet happiness.

An hour before work with my favorite person in the world having coffee.

Getting a car downtown to meet the family I nanny for and the baby falling asleep in the carrier, I sat and watched the children playing and was warm and snuggled up in a corner and basically got to be still for an hour and a half.

Oh.

I suppose that is not everyone’s cup of tea, but for someone like me, who often moves fast, slowing down is a grand luxury.

Going slow on my scooter and missing the rain that happened.

Although the streets were slick when I went into my internship, they had dried by the time I left and I got home safe and dry.

The best leftovers from a dinner I made last night for my best friend.

Delicious and it reminded me of our time together.

Time that is precious and valuable to me.

Human connection.

Love.

Having a client consult cancel on me and having a full hour to do homework reading and the best, the text is really interesting.

I was a little concerned when I saw that I had to read a 184 pages of a book for just that one class for my next weekend of classes, but the book is quite compelling and I knocked out 58 pages in the hour that I had with no client.

A really good session with another client to end my evening.

And now.

Some Yo Yo Ma playing Beethoven.

I’ll take it.

And tomorrow is Friday.

Oh sure.

It’s still a full day, but it’s payday, which is nice, not that I’m spending any money on anything right now, I am trying to squirrel away for a new car next month, but it’s still nice and I worked over time for the family and when that happens I get it in cash instead of taxed, which is a nice bonus.

So I’ll use that for my “fun” money for the next week.

I’ll work 9 hours tomorrow at work and then take two clients afterward.

But then the weekend.

Yes, I will have group supervision on Saturday and I will also have to sit through an additional hour of supervision since my solo supervisor was away on vacation, but it will feel like a day off, this Saturday.

A day to get in a yoga class, to go do the deal, to not be too pressured to perform.

Group supervision really is just marking time and I don’t have to get highly present for it.

Solo supervision is another thing entirely and that will feel like work, but it will be just an hour.

Then.

Maybe a manicure, maybe a coffee in a cafe, maybe some stickers.

Heh.

I do like my stickers and I discovered a small stash of stickers from Paris this morning when I was doing my Morning Pages.

I had thought I was all out.

It was nice to find a few more.

I have tons of notebooks still from Paris, but yes, the sticker supply is fast dwindling.

I will need to re-up soon.

I am such a girl sometimes, but I’m alright with indulging my inner child, she didn’t get much indulgence growing up and sometimes, hahahahaahaha, I’m writing this sentence and out of the corner of my eye I note my fashionable bunny slippers, I need to indulge her.

Hence stickers and um, ha, bunny slippers.

I did not have slippers growing up.

Hell.

I didn’t have slippers as an adult for a very long time, but man, when I finally indulged, happiness!

Especially now that the seasons are fully turning and it’s getting chilly out there.

I was a touch overdressed on my scooter today, thinking it was going to be colder than it was, but the days grow short, the nights grow long, and the temperatures have dropped.

And now the rain.

A touch of melancholy.

A soft stirring of sadness.

And I remember that I am allowed to hold more than one or two or three emotions.

I can hold many.

Even the painful ones that hide in the pretty ones.

Tender and sad and soft and sweet and let myself have them so they don’t stay stuck.

I can get stuck sometimes and the words don’t come out right and I feel tongue-tied.

All of that too.

Even in the starred days, in the ways that light affects me and the pulling at my heart as it wanders far above in the night sky.

Sings to me this lullaby.

Loss and sorrow and surrender and unmitigated love and struggle and joy all of it.

Perfect in my imperfections, still making mistakes and growing.

Pain, the touch stone of spiritual growth, I remind myself.

The way that I can see all the loveliness and feel all the joy because I have experienced the other side and have something to compare it to.

I made myself sad without meaning too.

And left adrift in my melancholy I will listen again to the sound of the cello, winsome and low against the piano and the story it tells me slides inside my heart and falls like the soft rain outside my door onto my face.

I am not always good at this.

Being human.

But I am always, oh so very.

Very.

Human.

Which is perhaps.

The most perfect of all.

Perhaps.

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Bach Cello Sonata No.1

October 11, 2017

In G.

And 5 and 6 as well.

Yo Yo Ma.

That is what I am listening to.

It was an intense day and I feel it slowly easing out of my body and sliding to the floor in a big puddle.

I could slide to the floor in a big puddle.

When I need to calm down and unwind I like to listen to this in particular.

It is sweet and I find it wistful, God I miss playing the cello.

There’s a spot about 1:50 into the first sonata and I can feel the bow in my hand, I can see my fingers striding over the neck of the cello and I can feel it between my legs.

I can get weepy thinking about it.

One would suppose that I would be past it, this yearning, but somethings stay with me a long time.

I don’t know that I ever really got over the loss of playing cello.

And I have had it suggested too many times to count that maybe I pick it up again.

I think.

Yes!

Let me do that.

In what fucking time?

I could give up writing in the morning.

I could play music for my morning spiritual fix.

I could not buy a car and buy a cello.

I could go over to Roland Feller and blow my heart out on a cello.

Roland Feller is the luthier for the San Francisco Symphony.

I went once, with a friend who worked out of the Burning Man offices when I was nannying there many years ago now.

He is a professional cello player and gigs about and plays with the San Jose Orchestra.

He gave me lessons for a while and one day took me to Roland Feller.

I would have never known that there was a luthier there.

It is an extraordinary nondescript house next to the Popeye’s Chicken on Divisadero Street.

There is no signage.

You have to make an appointment.

There is a gate and a call box and it looks like some cheap apartment, well, it’s in San Francisco so it’s probably not cheap, but the door opens into this gold mine of classical music instruments.

Violins.

Violas.

Stand up Bass.

Cellos.

Oh and the cellos.

I played a few different ones and I remember one in particular, it was luscious, the sound so rich, so vibrant, it made me quiver with delight.

My friend teased me a little that I was passionate and looked as though I might be having the sexy thoughts.

I had never had a cello quite that caliber ever before in my hands.

It was exquisite.

And one day.

Well.

I have written on this topic before, I will have another cello.

I’m not there yet.

But one day.

And in the mean time.

Well.

I have my Yo Yo Ma and I have Bach.

And Debussy.

And Chopin.

Oh the Chopin Cello Sonata in G Minor.

Oof.

So good.

The Bach is my favorite, but that Chopin is glorious too, passionate and brash and stupendous.

I love that I love classical music.

I don’t look the type.

Except, well, maybe that’s not true.

I feel like I might look the type, that there’s a brazen woman cellist in my heart.

Maybe she smashes herself on her music like I smash myself with my poetry.

Maybe one day the two will get back together again.

I don’t expect that I will ever be great, I never was great, but I had heart, yes, I had great big heart and I knew it and so did my most ardent supporter–my orchestra conductor, Mister Ziegler.

Where ever you are, you meant something to me that few teachers do.

He supported me, he was honest with me, he argued for me.

He brought in my mom and my step father, the fuck (egad, maybe I need yet another inventory on the man, christ), and sat them down and tried, oh how hard he tried, to convince them to not let me quit cello.

Quitting cello was not my idea.

It was my stepfathers idea.

We didn’t have enough money and my parents, god I can’t even say that, the man was never a fucking parent to me, he was a violent misogynistic sociopath, but not a parent, had bought a house in Windsor, outside the school system I was in at the time I was playing cello.

There was no thought of a tutor, I had one actually, that my conductor had arranged with the school and I was given said tutoring for free, but to move away from the school system I would lose that.

And the school that was closest to me, the one that I would attend, DeForest, well, they didn’t have an orchestra.

Oh sure.

They had band.

But no orchestra.

They had cut the funding for the orchestra.

You should see the football stadium though, a work of art that.

Anyway.

My conductor tried to argue that my parents continuing my tutoring or that I commute in to Madison for school and still stay with the cello.

Nope.

There were words, there was fire, I could see how hard my conductor was trying to get through to my parents.

My stepfather hated me playing.

He hated me practicing.

I got lost in the cello, I wasn’t there, I was gone, gone, gone, and he wanted me present and not in my fantasy world.

He also did not like that I read as much as I did, I shit you not.

What fucking parent doesn’t want their children to read?

When I was punished some of the worst punishments were being denied those things that I loved most.

Books and my cello.

Cello was first to go.

“Put it away and go clean the bathtub,” he said.

The the books were taken.

I don’t know what I did, I mean, I have absolutely no recollection of what I had done to deserve the grounding to my room one weekend, but he was diabolical.

I had no problem being grounded to my room, fine with me, I won’t have to look at you.

I’ll read, thank you very much.

But.

Oh my fucking god, the man had removed every single book I had in my room, everything was gone, it was stripped.

Thank God I had one underneath the mattress of my bed.

Fucking stashed my back up drugs thank you very much.

So.

It wasn’t much of a surprise, after the cello was taken and my stepfather and my mom left the orchestra room with me sadly in tow, that once we moved to Windsor I was to be denied academic access as well.

“She’s too proud, she needs to be humbled, she’s not allowed to do it,” he told my mom, who had tried in her own way to get him to give his permission to sway him.

I was trailing behind in the snow walking down Windsor Road in the middle of a cold ass night listening to them argue about me and the invitation I had been given to join an advanced English class-accelerated and an accelerated math class.

I didn’t care so much about the math, irony, I was actually able to attend that, I think my mom might have had a hook up or something with the math teacher now that I look back, but the English was resolutely denied.

I can feel rage in my chest when I think about that.

“Too proud, she’s just too fucking proud.”

And maybe I was.

Pride goeth before the fall.

I have been humbled in many ways, but I still like my books and I still love listening to cello.

And I am beyond proud of how I grew and became the woman I am today.

Despite the horrendous odds against me growing up.

I got out.

And you can’t put me down.

Nope.

I will not be ground down.

I will thrive.

I am thriving.

I am alive.

Happy.

Joyous.

Motherfucking.

Free.

And yes.

Proud.

 

 

 

 

Sometimes

September 7, 2017

Music makes me sigh.

Releases some unknown tension and I can relax.

I put on Yo-Yo Ma’s Bach Cello Preludes and it was like I was melting.

I heaved a big sigh and just sank into my chair.

My body hurts today.

My shoulder is a nuisance.

Apparently I pushed too hard in yoga on Monday or maybe it was carrying the baby as much as I did today, but ouch.

Ugh.

Getting old.

I’m sure I will look back at being 44 and laugh at myself thinking that I am old.

The fact is.

I don’t feel my age.

Oh.

I suppose my knees feel twice my age and my shoulder feels like a baseball pitcher being put out to pasture.

But.

Feeling my age?

No.

I don’t think I feel any certain age.

Although I do recall a time when I realized that all people below a certain age annoyed the shit out of me, I don’t subscribe to any particular feeling when I think, “I feel this old.”

The little girl I watch is four.

She likes to ask me about my age, “I’m 44 honey, eleven times older than you.”

And that is intense to contemplate.

I remember being four.

Pivotal things happened.

Then again.

I don’t remember a lot of being four either.

Um.

Pivotal things happened.

For the most part, however, I have an extraordinary memory and I’m good at replaying scenes as I have taken them in.

If I can hone in on a detail I am suddenly filling all the spaces with colors and sounds and emotional movement and music, with narrative, and it is as though I am watching a movie.

As I have gotten older some memories stick more than others.

Certain scenes, images, smells.

Oh.

A smell can carry so much weight in it.

Or a taste of something.

Tomatoes with salt from my grandfather’s garden.

Raspberries and milk with sugar in a green plastic bowl, raspberries I picked with my grandmother.

Apple cider.

The top sweetest part of the 2 gallon milk jug that we would pour the homemade apple cider into after running it through the press.

My grandfather unearthed an old apple press and rigged it to a lawn mower motor and we made cider using that press for years.

The house in Windsor that I moved to in 7th grade had an apple orchard, 4 Red Delicious trees (to this day I always wonder why the fuck they planted such boring ass apples, fodder for the press, all of them, we never ate them they were just such plain Jane apples) and 8 Courtland trees, plus four pear trees and one Golden Delicious–the animals and birds ate most of the Golden Delicious before they could even ripen, they were such amazingly sweet apples, almost translucent with sugar, you could see through the skin in the sunlight.

My mom would pour the cider into milk jugs and then freeze them in a giant freezer we had in the basement of the house.

The sweetest part of the cider would float to the top when it thawed and my mom tried valiantly to not let us drink any of the cider until it defrosted completely, but my sister and I often foiled her.

The cold, achingly sweet, syrupy juice taste will always stick in my memory.

Sometimes it is the smell of strawberries in the morning, reminding me of a very late night that became an early morning and it was warm and summer time in Madison and I was walking home from closing the bar and the after bar and I stopped by a vendor at the farmers market and bought a basket of strawberries and sat in the grass, kicking off my shoes and luxuriating in the feel of the soft, warm, dewy grass.

Sometimes it is a way a certain person smells.

Euphoria.

And I am smote with longing and love and desire.

Or the way someone’s skin feels against mine.

I think too, sensory, I’m going for the senses here, of a warm night, not many of them in San Francisco, a few years ago, when I walked down to the beach and the sand was still warm and the beach was deserted and the smell of bonfires wracked my memories.

And I was suddenly four-years old again, at a beach bonfire, with my mom and sister, who was already asleep, and my mom’s boyfriend, and there was the smell of driftwood fire and sea and that smell is some embossed on me, that to this day it really is one of my fondest smells.

Smell and memory are very tied to each other.

Riding my scooter to work this morning I passed a tavern on Lincoln that must have a popcorn machine, the smell was enticing and it was real popcorn, cooked in that oil that old-fashioned machines use and real butter smell.

I was suddenly in a movie theater, the old 99 cent movie theater on the far East side of Madison, that was probably actually the suburb of Middleton, that only had one screen and I was watching Woody Allen’s The Purple Rose of Cairo.

Which I didn’t get at all, but the movie was 99 cents and that’s why we were there and the popcorn was cheap and plentiful and I sat in that air-conditioned movie house and happily ate popcorn and watched a movie that I was too young to understand, but I remember the feel of the back of the movie seat in front of me on the bottoms of my feet and how I would press my feet hard into the seat to stretch and then curl back up into a ball and eat more popcorn.

Sometimes smells startle me too.

One day not too long ago I was riding up 7th and I smelled the smell of a tree, a tangerine tree in my mind, although I have no idea if it was tangerine or not, but my mom’s boyfriend had an apartment that had a tangerine tree outside of it and I would pick them and peel them sitting on the back cement steps while they got high smoking pot.

I was suddenly a little girl in a sundress with sticky fingers and bare feet and I could see all the tangerines in the tree and felt satiated with the ones I had eaten and sleepy from the sunshine.

Oh.

All the memories.

The best part of getting old, accruing all these luscious things that I get to stock pile in my brain.

In my heart.

In my soul.

All the amazing things.

There are so very many.

And I am grateful for them all.

Yes.

Yes.

I am.

Grateful beyond words.

Soothing Sounds

October 3, 2016

For this Sunday.

I have felt off kilter all weekend.

Could be that it was my first weekend “off” in some time and the need to get out there and do something was in fierce competition with the need to get the fuck caught up on my reading for class.

I did actually get out of the house today but it was not a success.

And.

It was a total success.

I met friends in Cole Valley and we went to Free Gold Watch and played Street Fighter and Addams Family pinball.

It was fantastic.

Then we walked to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass.

Which I shall now proceed to call Hardly Strictly douchebag.

I just can’t handle the crowds.

I want to.

But.

I can’t deal with the jostling, the open containers, the copious pot smoking.

I didn’t even make it into one of the proper stages having started to get freaked out by the closeness of the people and the fact that we didn’t really go at the festival with a strategic entry point and I had left my scooter parked at 7th and Irving.

By the time we had crossed Crossover Drive and were still a way to go I thought I was going to start hyperventilating.

It didn’t help that I had not navigated my timing with meeting up with my friends and lunch and there was a tiny bit of miscommunication and the next thing I know I’m miles away from my scooter, in a big crowd of people, hungry and anxious.

Yuck.

I got my friends to the festival and turned around and started walking back to my scooter.

I tried.

I really did.

I also tried to now beat myself up too much as I got on the phone and called my person and sobbed a little about being overwhelmed.

I have just been tender and I know a lot of it has to do with further changes with my job and negotiating that and feeling unbalanced.

I like structure and my job has become, well, weird.

I’m now helping out the other family twice a week and interviewing this week with a referral from the mom of my original family and it feels a little enmeshed and strange and I am frankly over it.

I just want a clear-cut job.

I also know that my boundaries around job stuff are pretty rigid, I think it gives me some sense of self-control and control over the situation and lends to a false feeling of security.

The change that is happening.

Is.

Well.

Happening.

I can’t actually change that, I can roll with it or get rolled over by it.

I can also get out of it.

And I’m aware that I need to broaden my perspective and see that what is happening, this change-up, is not necessarily a bad thing.

It’s in fact.

A good thing.

But it is change and I’m not always, like never, comfortable with that.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this line of thought, just got lost in the cello music I’ve got on –Yo Yo Ma playing Bach sonatas.

Soothing Sunday sounds.

Other soothing things today.

I made chicken soup.

I made a fresh bed with clean sheets.

Two loads of laundry washed, dried, folded, put away.

And despite my consternation in regards to going to the park for Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, I did get a nice walk in the park, the sky was blue-the brief rain fell early in the afternoon and passed quickly–the sun was out, I saw two red tail hawks and loads of flowers.

When I got home I took my Family Therapy reading and sat on the back porch in the late afternoon sunlight and read for an hour until my friend called to let me know they were at Java Beach.

I went down and sat outside in the last waning minutes of golden sunset and talked about Paris with them and going to Decompression next Sunday.

Decompression is a lot of people too, but not 100s of thousands, more like 10-15,000 and the venue is comfortable to me and I know people there and I know where I can go to chill out and the space is also smaller.

Anyway.

I shouldn’t get overwhelmed with the crowds and I will see folks that I haven’t seen since the event.

It will be a nice way to wrap up the summer for me.

This week will be lots of work, work interview for more work, and a meeting with my school advisor that I was supposed to have this past Friday but had to reschedule after I dropped my phone in the toilet and had to get a new one Friday before work.

I will, fingers crossed, do a lot of reading.

I have a paper to write on Saturday.

Then Decompression with my friends.

I think that’s how it’s going to be, show up, work my ass off, meet up with friends at least once a week and do something, even if it’s small.

I don’t have to go see a huge festival to feel a part of, if anything I usually feel more isolated in a crowd than I do out of one.

I have felt unaccountably sad in spots this weekend and I’m not sure what to attribute that too, but I’m grateful as well for those feelings, ah feelings.

The good news is I get to have them.

The bad news is I get to have them.

At least I’m alive to feel.

And there is so much goodness in the small, sweet, simple acts of self-care that I have done that I’m ok with the sads, they happen, then the happy will happen and all the others in between too.

The sound of the cello soothes me and I soften towards this place, this being, this quietness of self that is fine just exactly how it is.

I don’t need to fix me.

Just accept me.

That’s all.

That’s it.

Pretty fucking simple when I look at it like that.

And.

Easy.

If I let it be.

Easy like Sunday morning.

 


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