Sunday, September 23, 2012

Just after the Autumn Equinox: In the Middle of the Night

Waking at 2am....the sound of the cars on the freeway like breaking waves....

I went to the chiropractor on Friday and hoped he put my rib back in place, but it still hurts.  I'm sure that had something to do with me waking up at 2. But even as I began to come up from sleep, words appeared. Three words, specifically--catastrophe. legacy. lucidity. I better write those down, I told myself, knowing that they might belong in a song I just wrote a couple of weeks ago.

That song is currently titled Can't Remember Shit. It will be sung by a man in the early stages of Alzheimer's. I didn't want to get into writing a song about Alzheimer's in A New Wrinkle, the musical revue I started writing 3 years ago. But now that we've decided to add a second act, it seemed inevitable, and also important, to include it. It's an ironic and of course heartbreaking song.

We'll see if those three words make their way into it soon enough. I'm not going to do anything about it tonight, but I will soon.

I had lunch the other day with Carolyn Myers at Taj, an Indian restaurant with statues of voluptuous goddesses. The walls are painted aubergine, which makes for a mysterious feeling of being cloaked and held by the room. The food is very good. I haven't seen Carolyn for too long. She is one of my dear old friends. We go back. Carolyn has been helping me with script development for the revue since I began the project.

"You might consider adding some more lyrics that show the singer trying to find his way back into the song," she suggested. "I remember my mother trying to do that in some of our conversations," she recalled. I know that those 3 words are a response to her suggestion.

The subconscious likes to play. Its nature is play, its myriad dancing neurons full of radiant color and beautiful ever-changing patterns. To me, creativity means letting go into that surge and flow. I often ask my subconscious to find solutions for me. It's so good at that, far better than the logical mind most of the time. It makes everything so much easier to have a warm, friendly relationship with the subconscious mind.

These days, I am aware of songs waiting nearby.  It's been like that since I began writing A New Wrinkle. And it seems to be even more so these days in this last part of the development process. I can feel their presence. They are waiting until I turn my attention to each of them. But sometimes one of them gets impatient, and wakes me up. Not like tonight, with just a few words. A song will show up in the middle of the night and just start talking to me. I have to pay attention. To ignore it is not only rude but artistically inadvisable. So I get up and spend some time with whichever one of them is visiting.

I have always happily enjoyed deep restful sleep. But in the midst of the creative process, sleep sometimes gets happily interrupted. So be it.  I am sure not going to complain about it.

Tonight, after I made a cup of tea with umeboshi and honey, I thought about the autumn equinox. How fast the summer sped by. Now the leaves are already starting to fall. I hope that all the seeds I planted for winter greens flourish.  Spinach, chard, mustard greens. They are still so small.

There is a lot to do in the garden. The garden is always a mess at the end of summer. Straggly. It's fun to take breaks from writing, to get out in the dirt and transplant, weed, rake things up.

I don't like to say goodby to summer, but I really have no say in the matter. Now we're headed into bundling up in more clothes to keep warm. I'm glad I will have a respite from winter in December when Serena and I head to Mayan ruins in Mexico on a cruise ship.

It's been a month since you wrote a blog, woman, I told myself. So here I am, drinking a little tea and talking to you far away strangers in the night.

 I had a reading with astrologer Salina Rain recently, and she told me that I would be working very hard for the next year. I know that to be true. The songs are only one aspect of my creative work right now.

I am developing a brochure and self-evaluation form for Retirement and Refirement Coaching, which I plan to launch soon. I want to develop a curriculum for creative and conscious aging, too. I am creating some presentations and classes for OLLI, the life long learning program at our local university. I feel a whole new level of creativity opening up, and with it, new ways of connecting with others. Plus I really want to work with photographer Mary Landberg on a book.

Of course, there's more/other  to life than work, no matter how much that work seems to be the harvest of decades of experience.

I had a visit yesterday with another dear old friend, Kate Maloney. We had a splendid time as usual. This period of our lives we are closer than we have ever been and it is rich, and because it is transient, it is poignant, too. Then after I brought Kate home I stopped by to visit dear Frannie, whom I love very much. She is one big-hearted, brave woman.

When I acknowledge how full my life is with incredibly deep and beautiful friends, I feel amazed and grateful.

I hope that each of your lives is full of love and beauty.  Read some poetry. Dance around. Bask in the delight of being with dear old friends. Be silly sometimes. Laugh. That's my advice.

Now I hie me back to bed.

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