Saturday, October 17, 2009

In the Moment

I have to say that I'm feeling pretty upset these days. I am not used to being called names, and having my integrity questioned. I am upset with the media more than the people doing the name-calling, for delivering half of the story. It is demeaning to everyone, and is wounding our community. I'm not going to comment further on it, but I have to say that the way people are reacting is breaking my heart. I love teaching, and my students, and I give more than I get, by choice. After 22 years in the profession, I'm feeling pretty low. That's me, by the way...the unfashionably dressed one in the teal jacket, with the river hat on. I'm always so stylistically ignorant that I can be counted on to dress differently than everyone else...and not on purpose.
Once, about 10 years ago, I was on a river trip in my kayak with the Lehigh Valley Canoe Club. We were in class 3 rapids, and I was getting pushed around a bit, being a fairly new boater. As we were descending a particularly rocky rapid, my entire boat got pushed up onto a rock...not on purpose. I was high and dry, just sitting there. A buddy went by, and said "nice move!". I explained that I had nothing to do with it; I was just flotsam. He said "you SHOULD say TA-DAAA!!!". So, as far as the lack of style goes...TA DAAA!
Below, you'll see two goats in "love"...he's whispering sweet nothings in her ear. They always bring me back into the present moment. I call it "barn therapy". As Martha Stewart would say, "It's a Good Thing".
Peter and I had a romantic evening of our own. He won two tickets to see David Jacobs-Strain at Godfrey Daniel's Coffeehouse in Bethlehem, PA. Now, as you can imagine, we're watching our money, as I'm on an involuntary vacation right now. Our schedules had us both obligated elsewhere before dinner, so I carried a thermos of ratatouille with bread and turkey turnovers to his building on the Lehigh University campus. We were the only ones in the building, and ate dinner on a little table in the hall. It reminded me of was sweet.
Peter is a researcher there. He's a mechanical engineer, and loves to tinker. I have to call him to remind him to come home, most days. Like today...Saturday, 7 PM. No Peter. I'm glad he's happy.
Inside at Godfrey Daniels
The space is intimate; it's a BYOB, though they serve coffee, tea and some snacks on site. It's dark, and comfortable, and the oldest non-profit musical venue in the United States. I love Godfrey's...and even though I'll admit to being musically challenged, I have ALWAYS enjoyed myself there. Every artist I have seen there has been well met by the audience, and has left me changed somehow.
David Jacobs-Strain was no exception. This young artist from Oregon is the most versatile, talented new blues musician I have seen. Despite my challenges, I have experienced many years of the Philadelphia Folk Festival, I used to go to Grendel's Lair near Philly, I've been to Warmdaddy's and the Deerhead Inn (though they're mainly jazz...which I actually prefer these days), and many other places in my almost-52 years of life. I cut my teeth on blues. I attend the Pocono Blues Festival occasionally, and have enjoyed parts of the Easton Blues Festival; past boyfriends were musicians, even if I wasn't. I get it; I love it. And this guy was GOOD.
So Peter and I enjoyed a night out, free of charge except for the bottle of wine he brought. We had a great time, and I realized just how much I've missed music. Like visual art, like my goats, like spending time in nature, it brings us to the moment, and clarifies what is real. Angst goes away. We celebrate being alive.
I slept well last night for the first time since the strike was called. I dreamt I was in a different place, a place where we could manipulate the world directly with our minds. There were wonderful details, too rich to go into right now, but the key to surviving in this world as a "foreigner" was to live experientially, in the moment, as I described above.
The mind and our working dreams are wonderful things. All of the answers are there, if we can just find them.

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