I’m currently seated at my desk and finding myself homebound for the immediate future with my daughter, wife and two dogs. Aside for the occasional foray for groceries, this will be my situation for at least the next month. My college level English classes that I teach are being moved from the classroom to online for the rest of the semester, as have my daughter’s high school classes, and my wife’s meetings have been moved to the virtual world. The world continues to spin despite COVID-19, our 21st century plague. Musically I’m at a stand-still, as every venue is closed and rehearsals really should not happen. I’m trying to count my blessings but am quite depressed (as in clinically) so the counting has been difficult thus far.
The real question that I’m tussling with is what to do creatively. This has been something that has been an issue for some time anyway but now is exacerbated by forced “social distancing.” I’m having difficulties figuring where to head musically to the point where it’s difficult to pick up an instrument, and from a writing perspective I’m faced with the same dilemma. I’m also seeing friends that I have all over the country who make their living from performing lose their income sources at the same time that they’re health is threatened. Then comes the question of what venues will survive the forced closures and loss of revenue.
So, what to do, what to do. A therapist I knew some years ago once said to me that when we don’t make a decision, we are actually making the decision. To clarify, say you live in the desert and can’t decide whether to take swimming lessons or not, so you spend your time at the pool-side afraid to go in because you might drown. There’s some risk in taking the lessons that you’ll drown while learning (quite unlikely), and you’d really like to learn, but you can’t decide whether the reward outweighs the risk. So you push back making the decision, which in reality makes the decision not to learn while telling yourself that you’re not ready to make the decision and move forward.
I guess that the big “take away” from this is to do something, anything at all, just something because otherwise NOTHING happens. So, given this I’m going to start shedding my right and left hand technique. Not the most interesting approach, but it’s a start and is past due anyway. Another thing that needs my attention during this forced hiatus is focusing on my solo performance capacity, i.e. what can I do that doesn’t rely on other people. I enjoy working with other people in bands and such, but I need to be able to rely upon myself in the absence thereof.
I will also attempt to chronicle my journey as it develops, posting updates as I go. I hope that this provides others with incentive while doing the same for yours truly. Life needs to continue and so does the spirit. I know that my spirit is in dire need of bolstering, and I have a strong desire to see some progress after a too-long holding pattern. I’ll just have to map it out as I go.