Two things about music

The first:

It is funny, the things that get us, that get to us… I have been mostly totally fine with all of the splatters of chaos going on in the world around me these past weeks (the past one especially), and my life has been rather normal-ish… I have been bummed for many a people who have had work closed (and, therefore, no pay) or canceled (performers who, of course, now will not be paid for unperformed shows), but that is it… I have been bummed about it.

Today, as I read the lovely e-mail from Houston Grand Opera, stating clearly and beautifully that they are cancelling their remaining shows, both paid and free to the public, of the season (four altogether, with many performances of each) and that they are still paying 50% to all workers and performers who were hired to work on the shows, and, if we would like, we could β€˜click here’ to donate our ticket prices to help them do this (instead of being refunded or having it apply to next season or something), I found myself full on crying… tears overflowing, body shaking slightly, a feeling of failed, helpless distress filling me…

Perhaps it was the first thing that 100% affected me directly, and not merely indirectly…, and perhaps it was that they were doing it all so kindly, handling it so well for the performers and workers they knew would be out of income probably entirely until the public returns to a life that includes theatres and performances and people…, whatever the case, it helped me to experience all the feelings I had been avoiding inside myself about all of this… I am terrified for my friends, these people I love, who work in these industries that have closed, and I am distraught for my performer friends, the people who light up my life for me with their every moment of work – their entire job serves the higher good in my life, lifts my spirits, heals my soul… how can I tell them that everything will be okay, when it very possibly will be quite terrible for them for a while?

I cannot…, but I can love them and value them nonetheless for all that they do, for all that they are, both in the world as a whole and in my life specifically…

I don’t know how I would be in life without them and all that they do and are committed to doing…, perhaps that is why it is so hard for me to know and accept the current absolute halt of their work… they mean more to me and my life than they ever could know or understand.

And I believe they might be feeling entirely useless and stupid and helpless right now…, I want the to know that they are not – they are as amazing as ever, and will be even more so amazing when we move forward through all of this, and they stick to doing what they do so spectacularly, both for themselves and for the world around them.

::big siiiigggghhhhh…

Second thing:

I discovered today that one of my absolute favorite places to sing is in a parking garage… I have turned unconsciously to singing this past week, and unabashedly so.

Walking through the parking garage today, I couldn’t help but marvel at how spectacular my voice sounded, reverberating so majestically around the concrete and air that surrounded me… it was beautiful.

And I am not exactly a fancy or trained singer or anything – very much an average, so far as people who understand and play at least some music go.

It was just so amazing a space for singing, it made my own singing sound worthy of being on a soundtrack…

Crazy, right?

Anyway, I look forward to gathering with friends for music dates in the future, in which we feel not so unlike drug dealers, when we meet up in various parking garages at all hours, like it is totally normal. πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2020

ΒΏPor quΓ© no los dos?

We met a lovely and true-to-form German man at the opera the other night. Β He was so practical, 6’7″, very kind, and totally straightforward. Β He was very docile and calm, but he was definitely German to the core, and in the most delightful of ways for us – it felt like interacting with family, despite the obvious distance between us.

He asked me at one point what I had studied while in Europe – my mom had mentioned my having studied in Wien and Germany. Β I replied, “Language and Culture.”

He considered it, gave a small smile, and replied, “Language and culture… It sounds like everything and nothing.”

I considered his words, and chuckled heartily. Β It was, indeed, true.

Conversation went to a bit of something else, and then returned to my studies and what “language and culture” meant. Β “Grammar, history, arts, religion, social change, music, poetry, writing, dialects, politics…,” I listed easily, trailing off slightly by the end, all of us understanding that there obviously were many more I could list.

“So, it sounds like you are qualified for just about everything, then,” declared honestly the German.

I smiled. Β “Everything and nothing…” Β And we all smiled, gave a bit of a chuckle, and felt the irony of it together, to varying degrees.

I understood the turn of phrase best of all, having experienced most acutely the struggles of the truth of this joint statement of ours… I am qualified for just about everything, then,… everything and nothing…

Thus, the question remains: What, of all of that everything and nothing, do I choose to pursue right now, for now?

I think my recent thoughts have been accurate: I need some more art in my life – self-made art. Β πŸ™‚

So, let’s art… for now… and let’s be comfortable and secure in the fact that it is okay to have this beΒ for now, and to have something else, something presently unknown, be theΒ what’s next… Β Yes, indeed.

Everything and nothing, my dear… you can do it, Banana. Β πŸ™‚

Post-a-day 2020

To write love on her arms

Well, it isn’t on my arms, but it is on my hand!

I hadn’t exactly intended to put the words on my hands when I started out, but they somehow happened anyway… I still find it an odd place to place them, but it does well to remind me constantly, because I always see the palms of my hands… which I’m not sure I knew before this week, and my constantly seeing the words on my palms.

People always use the phrase of knowing someone/something “like the back of my hand,” but I never understood it fully, because I don’t know the backs of my hands very well.

But I do know my palms, it turns out… I see them all the time. πŸ˜›

Also, this: The San Jacinto Monument, marking the location of the Battle of San Jacinto, which gave Texas its independence from Mexico in 1836.

Post-a-day 2020

Okay, I think I need to go to Italy.

At this point, the only thing left would be for someone to meet me and offer me a place to stay in Italy, in order for my trip to be made certain.

(That, or someone offering me passage to Italy…, though I had kind of planned on managing that one myself, I don’t mind letting someone else handle it… again…[I just remembered that I actually did have a free trip to Italy that one time I went for a long weekend…yes… anyway…])

Italy just keeps popping up around me: in conversations unbidden, in my calendar (it is a page-a-day with Italian phrases and culture, and it genuinely was the only one on Amazon that seemed even remotely interesting… I mean seriously, Amazon?), in a whole handful of conversation partners reaching out, in comments from others, and even in the book I spontaneously started reading today (It’s the first in a series and it has “gelato” in the title, but the second book has nothing Italian about the title, and that‘s the one that got me interested in reading the series!), where the girl up and moves to Italy from the US… I mean…. wow… the world really wants Italia to be on my mind right now.

And so, I am letting it.

I am embracing all the Italia I can, and am beginning to look for more around me.

I have a friend to whom I plan to reach out (not in the middle of the night) about finding a conversation partner/tutor here in town, I have begun a challenge on Duolingo, I am reaching out to the online conversation partner offers, and I have a whole plan for how to practice my Italian.

What’s funny is that, whenever I ask the whole “Why now?” to the world, though I get no distinct answer, I suddenly start thinking of what it might be like there, and I think of all the Italian men, and I suddenly have an almost overwhelming thought of, “Well, I can probably handle the Italian men now,” and I suddenly have my answer.

I just wasn’t ready for Italian men before.

Now, I actually am ready to take them on and run my own way.

If you don’t know anything about Italian men, I don’t have the words to teach you much about them, nor can I fully speak on them, for I have not truly spent time with them in Italy.

However, everything I have been told about them from others has proven exactly true with the Italian men I’ve come to know here… even just the Italian heritage ones… oof… anyway.

So, now, I think I’m about ready to take them on, and, by the time I actually get there, I’ll have had enough mental prep (and physical prep from the gym) to take them with a grain of salt, and to smile about it. πŸ˜‰

This is going to be fun and absolutely amazing – I can feel it in the humidity around me… yes…

Italia awaits… me. πŸ˜€

P.S. And I don’t mean just for a short visit – we’re talking a month plus here…. just FYI.

Post-a-day 2020

Dreams

Last night, I dreamed that I was in a live-in minimester course at UT (Austin) with the temporary professor Johnny Depp.

The class began beautifully (though a couple people almost got hit by cars in the road), and was about learning to pinpoint pieces of perfection within one’s artistic expression in various aspects of art and life.

He was a very good teacher and quite a silly, introvert-esque guy who really didn’t seem to be too bothered by anything negative, and who was a good teacher naturally, without really trying or having to think things through too much.

It was a great class and very non-professional-like in terms of traditional school, but the activities and approaches were spectacular from a learning standpoint – he really got us getting in touch with everything within our inner core, and challenged us beautifully.

He commented multiple times about how he doesn’t really have many/any friends, and that it mostly because 1) he was weird and 2) he was busy working on stuff and being silly, and most people had normal jobs and weren’t interested enough in doing something like a paint swimming day with trampolines and dogs instead of going to the office.

They aren’t too interested in hooky…

Thus began my brief time of befriending Johnny Depp…

And then the dream ended, and I awoke wanting donuts…

I still want those donuts…

… hmm…

Post-a-day 2020

Nakey-Nakey

I have two things I want to discuss tonight: getting naked and, well, getting naked.

I hadn’t really realized this seemingly blatantly obvious link between the two, until just now…

***Note: These are not standard nothings tonight, but actual open thoughts and descriptions of two separate scenarios involving human nudity… so, be forewarned that it isn’t exactly PG13 material tonight… ***

Anyway, so the first getting naked…

I had my final appointment today at the laser hair removal place.

It was for laser hair removal on my bikini line.

—— Side note: The appointment was actually for tomorrow, but I somehow got it wrong in my calendar… the girl who showed up while we were sorting it at the counter turned out to be the same girl who had been behind me and had helped me after my fall on the road the other week(!)… we had a fun time of evaluating the crazy odds of our meeting like this, mere blocks from where we had first met, though under entirely different circumstances – actually for both of us, as she worded it, to ‘have our pubes lasered off’… ——-

So, anyway… laser hair removal…. bikini line…. final treatment…. As usual, the technician asked during my lasering session whether I had considered doing a full Brazilian.

First off, Ouch!(!!!).

Second off, mmm, I want to keep a semblance of natural to my body, thank you…. plus, no offense intended here, but it kind of freaks me out to see no pelvic hair on adult bodies…. it reminds me too much of children’s lack of pubic hair, and is in no way attractive to me… and makes me not even want to consider for too long, because it starts freaking me out having sexual attraction and children be in the same line of thinking, despite their being technically separated in the thoughts…. anyway…

However, I didn’t say all of this – it was just my regular thoughts that arose at the idea of having a Brazilian lasering session done to remove all of that hair.

I did tell her, though, that I had considered it, that I wouldn’t mind having the hair in the back be gone – I mean, who likes butt crack hair?… eww… – but that I wanted to keep the hair in the front.

‘We can do that,’ she tells me, ‘just the back strip.’

‘Really?’ I ask, surprised that it is an option, since I have never seen it listed among the many area options these laser hair removal places all offer.

She gives me some details, and I follow up with the girl at the counter, after we finish with the session.

It is extremely affordable to do the ‘add-on’, as they call it, and so I sign myself up for it.

(Then, they get me in on the other part of the last day of their Black Friday sale, and I go ahead and sign myself up for the final area I had been considering to have lasered for quite some time now… and the price is so good, I know it won’t happen again before I’m ready to seek out doing it later on, so I accept, and gladly so…, but that is beside the point here… moving on…)

Rather than wait for my next appointment – turns it I had one more I could do for bikini line, so we scheduled me for that, and just included the others in that future appointment – in January to start the two new areas, they gave me a razor, I went and shaved myself freshly, and the same technician and I went back into the room together, and quickly did the other two areas.

Now, I was mentally prepared for this back strip of Brazilian, because a friend and I had just been discussing her Brazilian waxing seasons of the past and laser hair removal of the present last night.

She was comfortable with someone touching her buttocks in that context, because she had been doing it for so long, and, well, that’s why she’s there – it involves being handled in private areas.

We got into talking about how context allows for lots of things in one situation that would be absurd in another.

For example, I shared about how I was on a topless beach in Barcelona with or mutual acquaintance Bryan.

“You did not go topless on a beach with Bryan,” she says, almost panicked, eyes wide, turning to face me directly.

“No, I didn’t,” I laugh, “but, once he left, I was totally fine going topless.”

Because the context of topless beaches in Barcelona had it be totally normal for the Spaniards around me.

e.g. The family of Mom, Dad, and two boys, aged about 12 and 8, in which even Mom was topless as they sat together on their blanket.

But it is not normal in our home culture, so there was basically no chance I was going to be topless around Bryan.

Fast-forward to my second session within my laser hair removal appointment today.

In the first session, I was lying on the table in my t-shirt and underwear, when the technician, clicking at buttons on the machine, says to hang on, it’s not working.

She then tells me that I can relax, because it’ll be a minute.

And then, quite casually, ‘We’ll have to go to another room – this one’s not working.’

She asks while standing at the door, almost as an afterthought, but not quite, if I want to put my own clothes back on, or if I want her to grab me a robe.

I quickly remove the sheet covering me, as I tell her that I can just put on my shorts, and then do so.

I leave my belongings there, and go with her to a different room next door.

Without giving her a chance to leave – they always leave, even though I am keeping on my underwear, per their recommendation, but the way, and they are going to see me without the sheet anyway as soon as they start doing the treatment… – I drop my shorts on the floor, and plop on the bed.

She seems unconcerned in every way.

As she talks to me, she is so casual and blasΓ©e, and says everything like an almost afterthought, as though she had just caught herself daydreaming, and realized that she was supposed to be talking pleasantly to the client.

Her lumbering drawl, at such a slowed rate from the traditional, “Hi! I’m Kimberley!” waitress or general service industry young female, ready to serve You! way of high-energy speaking, is soothing, but also almost comical.

Compared to Kimberly!, she seems to be drugged with super-chill pills…

(But not actually drugged.)

I personally am very comfortable with silence, so I didn’t mind her lack of conversation, but I can imagine that their training tells them to talk to the clients, and so I accept her after-thought-ish comments with sense of wry humor.

– It’s funny having a conversation with someone when you both know that you definitely are okay not talking with one another, but that also the conversation is necessarily by royal decree, so to speak. –

So her comments always seem to be ever so slightly delayed, giving her a very laid-back and chill vibe, though differently so from typical laid-backedness and chillness…

Now, as mentioned, we go back in the room for our second session together, after I talk with and pay the girl at the front desk.

I am expecting, in the room, to be put on my belly or something, and to have her move my cheeks to the sides – since that was something specifically mentioned by my friend about her Brazilians, and she is the only ‘experience’ I have with them – but that, of course, does not happen.

She tells me, still in her passive and casual, slow meter, “Okay, so, for the butt, you’re just gonna pull both your knees up to your chest and hold them there with your arms.”

I have a moment to process the words and what they mean, and then another to verify with myself that I’m okay with fulfilling the suggested request, and then I do it.

And she, as with all the rest, casually, as though she’s barely even aware of what actually is in front of her, but is instead thinking about that blue and purple drink she saw in the store yesterday and what was it made of?…, lasers the back strip of a Brazilian, and I consider laughing at the whole thing, as I recall Sophie Kinsella’s I’ve Got Your Number comment of, “Mind your own Brazilian!!”*

But I was totally comfortable.

The context of the situation – a laser hair removal place where getting Brazilians is totally normal in the first place – combined with the oh-so-blasΓ©e way of the technician allowed me to be super comfortable, despite the fact that I was lying on my back on a table, wearing only a bra, hugging my knees, and showing all my lower parts to a woman I don’t even know…

I am still grateful for her.

And I am grateful for all that has transformed in me, which has allowed me to enjoy and participate in such a scenario, as opposed to long for it but be too terrified of it even to consider doing it.

Okay, nakey situation number two time!

I’ve begun reading the book To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, after falling little girl in love with the Netflix original film by the same name, which is based on the book.

So far, as usual, some is exactly the same and some it totally different, but I am enjoying the book, nonetheless.

Tonight, I read the following passage, which really had me start thinking:

I wonder, though: What would it be like? To be that close to a boy, and have him see all of you… no holding back. Would it be scary only for a second or two, or would it be scary the whole time?

There is more to the thought that the character is having, but this was the part that stuck out for me.

What would it be like to be naked with someone we love wholly and who wholly loves us?

Would there be embarrassment at all -even if we both are totally for, let’s say – or would we be shy, at least on the inside, concerned by the exposure and the prospect of… of what exactly?

Of being hurt?

Being naked doesn’t mean we’ll be hurt, but being exposed emotionally always seems to carry with it a fear of being hurt, and so does our physical nakedness and exposure somehow also carry that same fear and discomfort?

Is that why we struggle to be naked in front of people Period?

Are we so afraid of being hurt?

And I don’t mean physical hurt… purely emotional, psychological, stuff with the head.

Are we so afraid in our heads that we would be afraid to show everything openly and comfortably to the one we love most?

How often do couples just be naked together, without it being sex?

Do they take the time to explore the physical beauty of one another’s bodies without haste and without avoidance or hiding anything?

As Sophie Kinsella’s same book says, “including the dodgy bits.”

But, even then, she only mentions that her man has seen them, not that he has embraced them, nor that she has.

Does the comfort of being seen fully and embraced naked by another stem first from our being able to see ourselves naked and to embrace all parts of our naked selves?

I think so.

And I think it would be a wonderful and powerful experience for couples to take the time just to see fully on another’s bodies, and to learn to embrace them just as they are.

Like how we can take the time just to sit and to gaze into one another’s eyes and be with one another fully – what if we did that with our whole bodies?

I think it would be not only beautiful but beneficial – for the individuals, for the couple, and for the world as a whole.

Expanding our love in such a way could only be a good thing for the world around us…

So, yeah… those are my two things about getting naked tonight… I think I went a little off the trail here and there, and I might have used some poor wording – I definitely did – but I hope the points made it across, anyway. πŸ™‚

Sweet dreams, World.

*Look it up… it’s a great book and an awesome scenario around the comment. ;D

Accountability Partner?

What would happen if I had an accountability partner?

My room would be cleaned, completely organized, and kept that way – it would be glorious.

I would write quality pieces, just about every day (maybe something like an average of five to six days a week, with about eight days off per month).

I would take photos every month, and have them ready within a week of taking them.

I probably would take photos about once a week.

I would meditate intentionally, and often.

I would do laundry weekly, and put al my clothes away almost immediately.

I would be working actively on writing a book.

I would learn the extra details of sewing clothes that I have wanted to learn for years now.

I would paint.

I would bicycle-ride.

I would teach my art and yoga class I have wanted to teach.

I would read an average of 30-40 books per year. (Actually doing well in this one without a buddy, but the official book challenge on GoodReads has kind of been like an accountability partner…. so yeah…)

I would play music often.

I probably would do some acting and performing.

I probably would wake up early on most days.

I probably would spend more time with friends.

I would be doing all sorts of wonderful things I have only imagined and haven’t even imagined yet, and it would be awesome.

Yet I have no accountability partner.

Perhaps it is time to find one, already…

Hmm…

Post-a-day 2019