Thursday, February 16, 2006


I had a meeting today with two of the women who responded to my call for songbirds. It was pretty amazing. First, there's the fact that I stepped outside of myself and facilitated a meeting of total strangers. This is VERY unlike me! I can get very hung-up and nervous when it comes to being with people I don't know. So this was sort of like getting ready to jump into the ocean in winter: I was bracing myself, standing on the edge saying I don't wanna I don't wanna I don't wanna but I knew I had to and knew that it would probably be really invigorating once I got past the initial discomfort. And that it was!!

On first impression, the two women could not have been more different from each other and from me. They are both younger than I, one by 10 years (I'm 33, she's 23) and the other is probably in her late 20s. It was especially apparent that there was a generation's difference between us when I remarked (in context) that Eric Clapton was hot stuff - and I meant in his youth, although I still think he's pretty yummy -and they both shuddered and said "Ew, that's like talking about my dad." Uh, hehe...right...

But as we went on talking about what we liked and what form we wanted our musical dreams to take, I got very excited. It was a whole new conversation, with different people in a different language. It was as if I'd been eating cheeseburgers three meals a day, everyday for the past five years and then suddenly, I was eating Indian food. They had never heard of music that I consider essential - stuff I knew they HAD to hear - and they were introducing me to stuff I would ordinarily overlook or dismiss. From Imogen Heap to Bobby McFerrin (wicked cool website, btw) and more. Plus, there were a few artists we solidly bonded over, like Patty Griffin and Alanis. LOVE THIS: I noticed that there was no attitude over the hip-ness (or unhip-ness) of artists; any song or genre was fair game, whether maistream or ecclectic, big name or small, classical or Bjork-ish. It was all there for considering. As it should be.

They both sing and write songs like I do, but in totally different ways. And they both play piano, which I do not, and I'm sooo used to hanging out with all guitar players. Male guitar players. Women just have a different vibe when it comes to collaborating and sharing music. It was quite refreshing.

My agenda is to stir my musical pot by doing something that doesn't look anything like what I usually do musically. (What I usually do is sit around with my guitar and wait for a song to happen. It gets pretty boring after awhile. Then it gets torturous.) I haven't really done any singing, other than singing Tessa to sleep (which -Nerd alert!- gives me a venue for the showtunes I love), since I got pregnant. Eek! That was over a year ago.

I got this news flash from the universe yesterday: I've been looking at all these art blogs, wishing I were artistic, that I could draw, that I had a cool camera, that I had the money to buy batik supplies, whatever. Feeling inadequte and inferior. Totally forgetting about the fact that I SING REALLY WELL AND I LOVE DOING IT. Sorry to shout, but this statement needs to be drilled into my fool head. Being with these women today reminded me and inspired me.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Prodigal Daughter

with giraffeOriginally uploaded by tessa's mom.
A great song by Michelle Shocked, but also a pretty accurate label for moi when it comes to the Artist's Way.

I havn't done mps for (gears grinding...grinding...) almost two weeks and I didn't have an artist date last week at all. Unless you count going to my favorite bakery and sitting in a beautiful window seat with coffee and biscotti. But you really can't count that because it was just one in a series of mini-binges I had that day trying to numb out thoughts that should have been cleared in the morning pages. I haven't even read this week's chapter. And how lame, after I declared myself the Possibility of Self-Discipline last week! Duh!

What the hell is going on with me?
February apathy.
Teething baby.
Unconfronted demons.
Not enough sleep.

I have also been freaking out over money. Lack of it, specifically. Thanks, Sam, for bringing this to my attention, from Finslippy:
"Please don’t tell me I should write a book to make money. Or rather: tell me to write a book, and thank you for having faith in my abilities, really, but understand that such an undertaking takes years, years of nonpaid work, and also no one should write a book for the money. It just doesn’t work that way."

I have been working on some creative projects, however. I have the first meeting with my vocal ensemble on Thursday; I designed a business card (that I'm actually very proud of!) for a business that I'm creating with a friend; I have been playing in Photoshop and writing poetry. (Ha!)

And, this weekend is a big deal because I am going on a date all for me! All by myself, no baby! (Yikes!) It is a three-hour workshop at a local yoga studio with Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love. She will be reading from the book and talking about her experiences and there will be writing and sharing of writing and the whole thing is right up my alley. The book looks so incredibly juicy. It will be the first time I've been away from my bebe for that long. Leaving her is like waving goodbye to a vital organ, then scurrying back ASAP so I don't have a systems meltdown. I know it must sound ridiculous to people who don't have kids, and even to some who do, but it's just now that I feel okay about it. She's 7 months old. I feel pretty broken down from extreme mothering, so I know Saturday's date with myself is just what the doctor ordered.

Maybe I'll take a look at Week Six. Hope you will all still love me despite my blatant non-participation.


Saturday, February 11, 2006


A meme passed on to me by Eliza. (Pronounced meem, sources say.)

4 Wishes, Dreams, Desires
~I wish I could find a way to make money using my talents.
~Alternately, I dream of a world where money isn't so important or necessary.
~I dream of owning a home.
~I wish I could read my husband's mind.

4 Imaginary Lives
~a wacky, wise, bachelorette art teacher living in Nova Scotia
~an Olympic skier
~a chanteuse (the kind who lounges on a piano in a slinky dress and sits at the bar after hours drinking G&Ts and smoking Camels)
~an eccentric, prolific, reclusive novelist living in Ouray, CO

4 Things I Could Change
~I could eat something green every day.
~I could read to Tessa every day.
~I could get up earlier and have me time.
~I could watch less TV.

4 People I Admire
~My father, for his love and devotion, for taking responsibility
~My friend Trish, for her authenticity, for being smart, strong, sexy and entirely unpretentious
~Anne Lamott, for her honesty, empathy and humor
~Jane Siberry, for her originality and creativity and brilliance

4 Things I Like about the Artist's Way
~all y'all!
~an excuse to make lists, which I find so satisfying
~the opportunity to shine a light on my inner conversation
~the reminder that life is to be created, not endured

4 Things I Still Hope to Get Out of the Artist's Way
~disciplne around the morning pages
~the idea(s) that will bloom into my first book
~the courage to follow through and grow my little vocal ensemble
~faith in myself

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

art journal

See more of my art project here. You can watch a slideshow, or just go to my photostream to see the photos individually with some comments.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

W5: I am the Possibility of Self-Discipline

Well hello, all you good doobies who didn't read last week! I confess, although I had a lovely, creative week, I flat out ignored the instruction not to read. That was very unlike me, I am a rule follower almost without exception. I hope everyone will bear with me and my rebellion.

I am going to seize the AW this week wih renewed vigor. See what happens. I am famous for building momentum at the beginning of a project and then walking out on it. Let's see what's possible if I dive back into this. (Aha! Possibility is this week's theme! Uh, Universe to Teri...get with the program!)

In other creative news, I have one really good catch as a result of my craigslist ad. I'm really excited about meeting with her and scared at the same time. This is tyipcal. I led a writing workshop a few years ago and the same thing came up: I was psyched and honored to be doing it but every week I would be filled with dread on the day of the meetings, afraid that I wouldn't be interesting enough, that everyone would conclude I was a fraud or look at me like who-does-she-think-she-is? Same fears here. But I'm just going to show up, be honest and sing.

You can read about my artist date here. Nothin' fancy, but so good for the soul. One thing I got out of it: the reminder that if you slow down and look at the same old scenery from a different vantage point, there is a world of beauty to be discovered.

Welcome back everyone!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

My Ideal Environment

rockport sunset
The ocean is very close. The air must reek of brine and history. The seasons must change. Places I’ve felt very good: the north shore of MA, Cape Cod, the Maine coast. Even Burlington, VT would work because of Lake Champlain. Proximity to Canada is also appealing. Ithaca, NY would work. Mountains and water together are a big plus.

I live in my own house. Must haves: a yard for dog, kidlets and garden, a porch, a large kitchen and at least one large bathroom with a tub big enough for me to immerse my entire body while fully reclined, a soundproof barn for my husband’s amplified noodling, a hammock, an outdoor shower, a plush bedroom with one of these.

I would be able to walk into my ideal town from the house. In town, there would be a good bakery, good coffee, a good used bookstore and a big co-op/farmers market. I would be able to have a good meal, see a movie, rent a movie, buy something to wear, get gas and go to the bank all in the same neighborhood.

That’s about all I require. (!)