Thursday, 27 October 2011

My top 5

A few of posts back I shared a link with a site where people post their top 5 rules for life. In the intervening weeks I've given this some thought off and on, as I work through another set of small personal but important projects.

So to break all tradition there is some overt structure to this email  - won't be making a habit of this, its my blog to say arbitrarily what I feel like saying when I feel like saying it, how I feel like saying it at the time ;-)

1) What are my top 5 rules ?

2) Are they really rules ?( I dont like rules!) they shape my life.. they do get broken, I feel the nuances at times and appreciate them differently as I get older. I doubt the essence has changed much in the last few decades, but the words I use as I currently understand them do change.

3)These things that arent really rules, what happens when I forget them?... well it ranges from mild unhappiness to serious illness.

It turns out that question number 3 proved to be the test for membership of the top 5. Or to put it another way, when I remember these 5 things, I am a nicer person to know, even for me!

So here they are:

1)  Trust your instincts to be true to yourself

Ultimately the only person who influences you, is yourself. It is your voice in your head, even if you have inherited some of the ideas from others and sometimes suffer the emotional contagion of other people's feelings. If you are having a reaction to something it is important to pay attention. Your instinct doesn't tell you what is wrong, it tells you that something is not right. Your observation and investigation might tell you what and why. Your instincts tell you to check it out. This is biology's calibration system, sometimes it is an alarm, sometimes its a big loud "go on" signal. Be respectful of Mother Nature and pay attention

2) Forgiveness is liberating for others of course AND  for yourself. A good memory does not make forgiveness even harder, just less accidental and more conscious. What greater compliment than to forgive and be forgiven?

1 and 2 are entwined somehow, inextricable but still distinct.  I learned 1 from my Mother and 2 from my Father.  Lifelong gifts. Thank you both

3) Remember you are an animal get in touch with your inner animals.. Cats have nine lives cos they are curious, they also sleep a lot! Dogs approach the world with a nose for fun. Toddlers are lovely animals and instinctively seek. It is the best way to learn, aware of the world but not made self consciousness by it.. They just do it and enjoy. Some might call this playing.

I dont know who gave me this one  Playing is Joy in action.

4) There will always be a way for you to contribute and be you, find it and do so.

This came from my Granny who saw everything and loved anyway.

5) Spend time under a big sky every day, AND night. Star light and the moon provide a different illumination on life, the universe and everything. It is a place to breathe.

Breathing is good :-)

Note: I used the word YOU all over this. I am talking to myself

Monday, 17 October 2011

WhipLEASH experimentation

The Hound excited by his play with his friend the Ridgeback decided to leap over the ditch.

However I was not ready and still climbing under the fence, the lead was inadequately around my hand. He leaped. I tried to grab, failed, but felt the sensation of sinews stretching unnaturally and fast. I now have a VERY bruised left hand. I was told that it would be better if the hound was wearing a choke collar. I demur, I don't like them  AND my fingers would almost certainly have been broken had I been using one.

The mistake was mine, NOT Primo's.

I know this pain I've had it from a horse and rein accident too.. It is painkillers and pain and swelling and temporary sausage fingers (UGH!)

I wonder about violin practice, but other practical matters like putting clothes on to go outside are more pressing right now. Tentatively the car was tested this morning. I can drive safely because the middle fingers  and thumb are unaffected for gear changes. I won't be driving far though.

Stupid things catch me out, like holding a jar whilst taking the lid off. More experimenting as per a month or so ago, this time through necessity.  The natural rhythms are upset. All food making is hampered by my one armed ineffectualness. Typing... hmmm not for long.

Try pulling on and off socks one handed, or putting on a bra!  Or taking it off. I can use the forearm as a sort of counterbalance but I find I catch my fingers unexpectedly and I yelp. It makes the animals jump when I do that and I get reproachful looks from them as I disturb an afternoon siesta. Selfish chatelaine, they think.

My sister, made me laugh out loud on Skype in the coffee shop this afternoon, with her comment about how much the earth needed my violin playing. Even digitally delivered in words I heard the tone of voice. This was not a comment hidden by the post modernist cloak of "irony."

This was first order  Sarcasm similar to the honesty of my other sibling who said he wanted me to practice for a very long time before he wanted to hear me!

To them I say two things - in order.

THANK YOU and Bassoon.


Thursday, 6 October 2011

This is NOT about Primo at all.

Primo is not sure he likes Robert Redford yet. He was very interested as I approached Mr R and he gave him a good sniff. Mistletoe has met Mr R before and was prepared a long time ago.  Squidgey returned to her place under the workbox behind the radiator. Mistletoe looked at the pink ribbon Mr R was wearing around his neck and gave me a look that said "oh really is that dignified even for him"

Dalmatians are interested but sensitive souls. So he stood alert wagging his tail as I ran my hands all over Robert, and tidied him up. Up until this point Primo was prepared to give MR R a chance. And then I pulled the bow over the strings and Primo ran away.

Now that's feedback!

Its funny how things once you start looking for them collide in front of you. Of course sometimes you don't know what it is exactly you are looking for. You've mislaid it somewhere and are on the alert but you've also forgotten what you've mislaid. Like going into the kitchen and making vague gestures with your hands for an implement you need but can't remember the name of.

We all are many people, thank goodness, with the unique essence of us  in each of them. We define ourselves by our relationships, (or dangerously others attempt to define us by our relationships) we define ourselves by what we do, our jobs, our aspirations, our feelings. Definitions happen even when we decide we won't define.

An identity I have held in the past is one of musician and every so often it whispers to me. Sometimes.  For a long time I was too preoccupied to hear, until eventually the whisper becomes assertive, gets hold of your hands and your fingers and there in front of you is a website that has non copyright musical scores to access. When did they arrive there? Why hadn't I thought to even look.Obviously they would be there, the activity and attitude of the Internet would make that such an obvious candidate.. Why WHY WHY didn't I look before. Just finding them and looking at some of them made me smile inside for over a week. Knowing I could go back and have a quite look whenever I wanted.

Then I stumbled across something else.

So last night I found myself sitting in a room with about 40 other musicians none of whom I had met before. I was greeted by the leader and found myself sitting down in the section with the first violins. How did that happen? Last time I played 1st Violin I was 18 ( A V LONG TIME AGO). Eeek. The first piece of music in front of me after all this time was Schubert's Unfinished Symphony. EVERYONE else in the room knows it and has played it. Bugger its in a minor key, what time is it in, what does that Latin word mean, is that an 8th or a 16th note, which way up is my bow. Oh hell that notes high up, What IS IT? Ooo do I even know this piece, oh that bits familiar, no don't know that bit. So all this is going on in my head. My hands, wisely, choose to ignore it and get on with it. I got through it

The Musician is OUT...(she needs A LOT  of practice before she stops being a sonic hazard though)

Of course I am not stumbling. "Stumbling across" is just a short hand for  "somewhere part of me was ready to get out and declare herself again."