So many things
I've been in Los Angeles again, trying to take stock, thinking about what my next step might be musically. I've been reading an old worn favorite called "You Must Revise Your Life," by William Stafford. I'm also working on ideas for a songwriting class I'm going to teach next year at SQUAM ART WORKSHOPS. And whenever I start digging deep, I remember the seemingly random events that led me to my beloved job.
I've always been musical. I sang along, played along with whatever I could. I was a huge fan of whatever my older brothers would bring home. My dad got me a guitar for Christmas when I was thirteen; my science teacher in eighth grade had a McCartney bass and a great sense of humor so we started a band called "Science Function." (our big hit was "She's a Fool to be Cool") I was in the choirs, the a cappella groupsÃÂ . But my sophomore year of college, I took a composition course with the coolest professor on campus, Dave Reck. Our first assignment was to choose an e.e. cummings poem and set it to music. This was struck-by-lightning revelation. WRITING. I could corral all the crazy notes in my head into new choreography, perfect little three minute dances of songs. I found a poem called "love is more thicker than forget." And it evolved from that moment.
These little pieces have all led me back today to my fierce belief that random things can be THE thing. And also, it may be our most galling limitations that make us unique. Our quirks and stumblings lead us to our exact voices. I am untrained as a musician. I'm actually technically more qualified to be a dancer. But when I teach I always come back to the serendipity of the writing being at the core of who I have become. This poem I've read it a thousand times, but today it's the right one:
You and Art
Your exact errors make a music
that nobody hears.
Your straying feet find the great dance,
And you live on a world where stumbling
always leads home.
Year after year fits over your face
when there was youth, your talent
later, you find your way by touch
where moss redeems the stone;
And you discover where music begins
before it makes any sound,
far in the mountains where canyons go
still as the always-falling, ever-new flakes of snow.
On the completely other side of the spectrum. I was actually here in LA to shoot a video for the song I wrote for the new Joss Whedon show: DOLLHOUSE.
The lovely Vicki and Avalon made me feel so pretty even after thirty takes in those kickass high boots that seemed like a good idea at the time. OWWWW!
I also got a chance to visit the sweet gallery: Peachtree Pottery in Venice, CA. They have gorgeous hand made ceramics, jewelry, books, woven, luscious scarves. I couldn&8217;t resist, I mean it is Christmas!
Here is Barbara Ryan, the gorgeous weaver:
And, of course, her trusty assistant, "sweet pea."
Linda Mechanic is the ringleader and main potter at Peachtree:
me, Linda, and Christin Mason Miller of ORDINARY SPARKLING MOMENTS
(another great gift idea!!!)
On to the wilds of Maine in the middle of an ice storm. More soon. Travel safe, stay warm!!