At the close of a rough day…

What are you doing right now?

Can I play ukulele to you?

I’m feeling a bit lonesome and useless, and that would be a quality purpose

I considered guitar, but the strings really need to be replaced :/

Those were the messages I sent.

And then she called me…, and I played ukulele and sang to her, and we talked a bit afterward about some things, and it was great.

My mission was accomplished, and I felt so much more at ease than beforehand… service given, art made, purpose felt, love shared.

Friends are wonderful, even when they are all the way across the country.

🙂

P.S. I spoke briefly with a friend in D.C. earlier, and then this one in Oregon tonight… I really do span the country with my closest friends… it’s almost as though one must live farther away in order to deepen our friendship more. 😛

Post-a-day 2019

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Music tonight

I pulled out my guitar tonight and played.

I had thought that it had been maybe a month or so since I last played, and then another couple weeks or few since I had been playing regularly.

However…, I did some calculations and checking (mainly here), and discovered that I have played my guitar a maximum of a handful of times since September, the most recent one being in December…

It’s mid-March right now.

That means that I was absurdly off on my passive calculations, and it has actually been almost half a year since I played guitar regularly, and only a max of five occasions in there – though, probably more like three – have found me playing it for, say, ten minutes.

Granted, I have played a bit of ukulele since then, but that has been rather sparse, too… and my last regular playing of ukulele on the daily was actually a year ago.

I did a while of playing/making music every day for myself, no matter what, back in early Fall, but I somehow stopped…, which I usually don’t do, when I come up with something like that… (I’m thinking I reached my goal of 40 days, or else I hit moving and the absurdity that was involved with that, and so I didn’t have any instruments with me for a while, and was too distracted and exhausted by everything else either to notice or to bother with it, if I did notice.)

Part of it is as I have known for years: If I don’t have the guitar out (e.g. on a stand, from which I need only to pick up the waiting guitar in order to play it), I end up rarely playing, with the reverse being true, also – if the guitar is out, I will play it often.

Another part of it is that I miss my other guitars, and somehow feel something like being unfair to them, or like I have abandoned them, and therefore am cautious about spending too much time and energy with the Japan guitar I have with me.

Granted, the idea is totally absurd… however, that in no way changes the fact that I am experiencing it.

So, I sent a message a bit ago to the person who took temporary charge of my guitars when I moved to Japan.

He lives here in Houston, but is gone during the school year, so I might have to wait for summer… hopefully, though, his spring break will be the same as mine, and we’ll get to have coffee and then go pick up my guitars from his home, to take them to my new home.

And maybe I’ll get to pet his family cat then, too.

(On a related note, I have been missing my cat all evening, yet also totally not missing having a cat – I love animals; I just don’t want to live with any right now. I mean, let’s be real, I think this raccoon is enough for the time being.) 😛

Anyway… I played parts of two Shake Russell songs tonight, and they both were awesome.

The guitar totally needs new strings, but that is for another day’s/night’s tasks – for now, it has done its job of getting me strumming around and creating music again. 🙂

I’m hoping that, while with family tomorrow, my uncle will play some Shake Russell songs with me, since we often all end up doing music stuff, anyway, when together, and our families (my mom’s and her sister’s) love Shake Russell music.

Okay, I’m stopping now, before I continue on to talk about how I love Shake Russell’s concerts, where here are only sixty-ish people, and how that’s my kind of concert, and how Japan was like that at times, too, and now I’m suddenly super sentimental, and tears this and tears that, another hour has passed, and I’m still not asleep in bed. 😛

Therefore, I bid you wonderful nights and days and mornings and evenings and everything in between. ❤

Peace

Hannah

P.S. (Aha!) I’ve remembered: I stopped the daily music because it was something I was aiming to do daily, but not something I’d committed to doing daily… it is a small distinction between the two, but it is important to note – life got busy, and I opted for sleep over music… :/ …, but I didn’t break my word on anything there. 🙂 (Phew!)

Post-a-day 2019

Rainy Day Winter Vibes

“Banana Pancakes” is such a nice song.  It epitomizes my feelings on a rainy day, and just playing or listening to it brings me to that wonderful feeling that comes with a cold, rainy day… like magic awaits.

And yes, I do mentally correct the last line, though I never say it out loud, because that -ly doesn’t rhyme…  😛

Post-a-day 2018

Phew…

I’m a little off today from all the back-and-forth wth emotions.  Things were super positive this morning, which was an extreme contrast to yesterday evening and last night.  And then things were dreadful for a little while, and then tolerably comfortable for a bit, and then frustrating, and then quite good, and then wonderful, and then mediocre, followed by a burst of totally awesome tonight, and then back down to this near-numbness of right now, absorbing it all as I review the day.  I’m not ready to sleep yet, so I don’t want to do my sleep stuff yet.

I guess that means it’s a good time to play some ukulele.  Let it all go.  Pull an Elsa, but in a warm, island-y way.  Yeah.

Post-a-day 2018

ukulele and hula

I started ukulele lessons today.  It also included a reunion and a brief lesson on Hawaiian, the language, which were both a fabulous bonus.

I’ve always had a sort of passive affinity for Hawaiian culture – that wonderful island life, about which I knew almost nothing.  I was almost afraid to go to Hawaiʻi, for fear of finding that the wonderful world I’d imagined was no longer in existence.  After living in Japan, even being in the countryside, I have learned the sort of balance that likely exists in the culture today.  It is like cowboys in Texas.  We have our big buildings and fancy cars and billboards, but you can still find, here and there, the true tradition.  Sometimes, it is only seen in ceremonies.  And sometimes it is part of someone’s everyday life.

My brother, though he rides and owns no horses, spends his days working on his land.  Physical labor in jeans and surrounded by grass, trees, and animals is his life most days.  And he grew up in the city.  There are plenty of others who grew up living his kind of life, and who still do the ranching on horseback.  Inside our city limits, no one would guess that that kind of life is just beyond our little area.  The average person wouldn’t even cross it knowingly, if he went driving outside the city, either.  You have to know how to find it.  And that’s just how Japan was… When I think of Hawaiʻi now, that’s how I imagine it must be to a certain degree.

Anyway, ukulele is fun.  I started it back in Japan, because I was lonely and didn’t have music in my life.  Plus, Hawaiian culture seemed to be prominent in Japan (the reasons for which I hadn’t understood at first), so ukulele seemed an appropriate way to bring music into my life while in Japan.  I even took a few hula lessons.  (Yes, they were awesome.)

Actually, what really spawned my desire to learn hula and ukulele – not just the casual interest with which I first bought the ukulele, but the real desire that got me into lessons for hula and then, finally, for ukulele now – was a film.  It was based in Hawaiʻi, and the caucasian daughter, maybe about 14 years old (I forget), did hula.  The way she moved her arms in the dance had me gazing, melting, it was just so beautiful to me.  Watching her dance, I had something happen within me.  I guess, because she was not Japanese or Hawaiian, but like me went through me head… I was able to see hula differently.  It was, at last, something that it was acceptable for me to do.

I had seen Japanese friends perform wonderfully, and plenty of other Japanese women I don’t even know, too.  But their close ties to Hawaiʻi made it okay for them to do it.  It was regular and standard for them to be doing hula.  But what – it isn’t “right”, but something like that, “reason” perhaps – reason does a German-heritage girl from Texas have for doing hula, without an extreme, intense love for it?

Maybe this is just my own brain that had me stuck in this thought process, but it just didn’t make enough sense to me to feel comfortable with pursuing hula.  It felt to me like visiting a religious building for a region to which one does not belong and about which one knows very little.  It isn’t that the person is not allowed.  Not at all.  It is just that the person can feel a little lost and uncertain when visiting, and so it can be difficult to visit in the first place, without having a sort of invitation.  That’s kind of how I felt about hula.

And that movie helped alter that for me.  I started attending hula classes whenever I could, and began somewhat seeking out a ukulele teacher.

Eventually, nude in a hot spring bath in the mountains, I found one.  And now, almost a year later, we finally are in the same country and with the same currency (that was the issue before), so we can do lessons.  We aren’t anywhere near one another, of course, because I’m in Texas and she’s in Hawaiʻi, but it’s going well so far.  Playing together is a bit weird, because of the lag, but I’ve worked with it for years with other things, so I’m somewhat accustomed to being slightly ahead of the beat and to hearing the clash of notes and timing, so that it sounds good on the other side.  All-in-all, it was fun, and I look forward to the next lesson next week.  😀

So, go listen to a ukulele song today, and think of me, yeah?  😉

P.S.  Icicles were crashing outside my window during our lesson today.  And this is Houston.  How cool is that?!  Or warming, I guess…

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Post-a-day 2018

Christmas Music and Photos at the Beach

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This afternoon, I headed down to Galveston to visit my cousin.  We had discussed meeting at Dickens on the Strand, but I didn’t have a costume, and I was too far behind schedule for that really to work.  However, we could still hang out when she finished at the little festival.  Plus, I felt that I could really use some time in Galveston, and preferably some time on the beach.

I arrived about two hours before sunset, and as much time before my cousin would be finishing, so I headed straight for the beach.  We made these advent calendars for one another, with a tea for each day, as well as a quote/bible verse and a sort of task for the day.  My tea yesterday was spectacular, but today’s flavor was not to my liking.  However, the task for today was fabulous.  It read, “Learn a Christmas song on a string instrument”.  And so, seeing as I had a phone for the research and a ukulele in my trunk, instead of reading my book, I headed down to the sunny sand to play some ukulele.

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While playing, people passed by, going about their business.  Some just walking in light jackets, others exercising with the dog, and one family had three little boys sprinting into the edge of the water, playing.  After a while, it started getting quite cool, thanks to the wind and the setting sun.  My fingers began to struggle against stiffness.  As I paused to warm them (I think that’s what it was, anyway), I glanced out to my left.  The rising moon was spectacular.  I had noticed it big and sneaky a while before, hiding behind the haze so close to Earth’s surface, but now it was beginning to glow.

And what was just under the now-glowing moon, but the three frolicking boys, looking quite adorable.  The scene was set, and I had to take a photo.

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Unfortunately, they were just far enough away that I needed to zoom, if I wanted to have the photo focus on what I was naturally focusing…, and the zoom is not so great on a phone.

So, I made another essay, and went for a different perspective.  To get it to be perfectly straight, I would have had to get down on my belly and align it, and that just felt a little too conspicuous.

Nonetheless, after I took the photos, I really enjoyed them.  I knew that I would have loved for someone to take an awesome shot of me and then actually give it to me.  So, I checked out the parents to see if they seemed at all of similar minds to mine.

And they did.  They looked young and open to things.  They even were taking photos of the kids and of themselves on their own phones, so they were likely to understand the value of a good photo.  Or, a neat one, anyway.

I figured I might as well go for it, so I set my stuff carefully to the side, and stood on up.  I approached them comfortably and confidently and in my best ‘I am a sane person, please don’t freak out,’ manner.  They gave me odd looks when I mentioned how this might be a bit odd, – wouldn’t you, if a stranger walked up and started saying something like that? – but their brows cleared and they were all about it, when I showed them the photos I’d taken.  The mom asked me if I could send them to her, if she gave me her number.*  Of course, of course… And so, I sent them to her, and she was incredibly grateful.  They had been seeing about doing a Christmas card, using their beach photos they were taking then, so they completely understood fun and neat photos, and they were not at all weirded out.  phew

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And so, I went back to my ukulele for a little bit longer, until the sun was almost hidden, and the wind was too chilly, and I headed back to the car and over to my cousin’s house to wait for her there.

As I ast on the beach, and then again after I was back in my car, I contemplated the experience of being on a beach.  I hadn’t gone into the water, and I hadn’t even touched the sand, really – just to wipe off the bottom of my bag afterward.  What was beautiful and almost magical about it, though, was the wind and the air and salt, the feeling of it all on my skin, and the view.  I love the feeling of my hair after time at the beach (not to touch, but the feeling from within), that salty, windblown feeling.  I had that today, and it was truly refreshing.  And it had me wonder, if I didn’t want to give a brief time living there.  I at least need to go down there, just to hang around the wind and the ocean more often than I have done lately.  At least once a month, if not once a week or every two weeks… that would be brilliant…

Anyway, that’s what I’ve got to share for now.  Sweet dreams, world (and good afternoon and evening to the other side of it)!

 

*I chuckled inside at this when she asked.  Let’s be real, why else would I have been showing her the photos?  ‘No, you can’t have them.  I just wanted to show you these awesome photos I took of your children, and then leave you to wonder if there’s something wrong with me.’

 

Post-a-day 2017