It’s…wow. I don’t know what to say. What a year, what a world we’re living in.
Wrote one of my favorite albums since the last post…Upward: a Quarandream.
Released music for George Floyd and grew on a few personally important topics…one of which led to writing a 4 song EP on Instagram Live…that’s called Known / Unknown.
Everything is on Bandcamp for now (Spotify, Apple Music someday…)
Right now, I’m working on follow-through…which I also worked on for the Quarandream album…
Realized I can be VERY all or nothing, when it comes to effort…and maybe I’m just tired, like a tired bird with wings it regrew but, not scared just…not seeing the point? In flying too far or trying too hard?
That’s not defeatism, just exhaustion…42 releases on Bandcamp, a few more under my name on a different site (from when I lived in Chicago and made music under my name)…
I always said I’ll make albums / music til I’m in my 80s, if I get to live that long.
And I will, I think I will. Seems like I will.
I love leaving songs in places, both physical places and in time.
I have a crazy vibrant memory, that is full of detail and scope, so when I “leave a song” somewhere…it, becomes part of a personal history, and helps me mark progress or process (not sure we’re “progressing” anywhere really, other than a return to the light, to the sky, to God, if that’s what we choose…it’s a choice, I choose it every day, because the alternative scares me far more)
I’m a big believer in the Lord’s Prayer, and not needing to complicate things. I say Psalm 23 a lot. There’s a lot of darkness and destructive fear all around now. I try to stay out of it. I tried to get involved, for about 3 years, and I definitely wasn’t useful …it destroyed my mental health, and those I wanted to help probably ended up needing to help me more than I was helping them. (in their ways)
The world is still beautiful to me, but mostly because it’s made up of searching seeking beautiful restorative hopeful yearning souls…looking for answers, mostly in wrong places (like me like me), but…we try, or we fly. That’s a big thing I talk about in Upward: a quarandream (“Flying and trying aren’t the same”)
Well, I hope you are doing okay. I am tiptoeing out of my fear, while remaining respectful and cautious…been teaching lessons online now, always open to take more new students, if you ever need a piano teacher and don’t mind FaceTime lessons, I love my virtual teacher life, to be honest. In person was great, but this has more flexibility and is so direct, and I have perfect pitch so I can hear mistakes easily and explain/demonstrate, without risking closeness and touching the same piano etc. One of my students had COVID last month, so that would have been a 14 day quarantine and testing for ALLLL my students, were it not virtual still. Grateful to have the courage to make tough choices, I can’t imagine what those with much tougher choices are doing right now…wow. This world. So much pain, so much decision making, so much importance, who is going to DO all the work, for all the important things everyone is shouting about? I don’t know, I tried…I think it’s why I’m not very judgemental anymore (even tho my politics and beliefs are clear…perhaps being a Christian who skews liberal is strange, but I honestly don’t understand how the opposite even came to be, eye of the needle and all…I believe God can use us in a number of ways, rich or poor, travelling or rooted, speaking-out or actions-only, etc …but wow I don’t understand the abundance of Christians who seem to turn their back on the poor and disadvantaged…)
Then again, actually, I DO understand it.
Almost no one comes to Christianity because they’ve “got their shit together.” We come because we’re broken. Life killed us. People betrayed or destroyed us. My life was an ABSOLUTE MESS when I became a born-again at 17. Before that I was Presbyterian but we stopped going to church in 8th grade cuz busyness among other things, I liked it but it was one of many things we did. But that 17 year old broken, heart-broken, destroyed by lies and rape and other things Jess…whew. Thank God for God. That’s all I gotta say on that.
But then I later became an Atheist once I realized I’d destroyed my social life by loving God…
Agnostic for awhile too… it was cooler to laugh at God, and laugh at Christians…
I turned my back on God also because I sensed God needed me to walk away from the man I was dating…and I wouldn’t do it. (finally did) Laid under the stars, 17 year old born-again Jess but dating a very controling-of-me Atheist who was harder on me than even some later boyfriends were (the ones who really abused and scared me). This one just wasn’t good for me. He needed to be in control, and as you can see from my life, I’m the wrong candidate for that (later had a boyfriend with a similar streak, just out of college…truly, I say to all men, if you’re having to work too hard to control your partner, women too, it might be a sign it’s not a right fit)
I digress. Oh wait, from what? haha…well, I’m no preacher. Not even really a teacher*. I mean, I’m passionate about music theory, and piano theory, and circle of fifths and patterns and tricks that make you sound more advanced than you are (i.e. warp speed pop piano lessons 🙂 And I love helping people. To be honest, I prefer helping with feelings stuff most of all. But that’s not really something in demand (I’m not cut out to be a counselor btw…too much paperwork…same with official teachers…I love my flexible I’m-my-own-boss private lesson tutor/mentor life)
Welp, hope you’re having a lovely end of summer…oh wait, there’s lots more…Michigan stays nice til at least late September…and I teach thru summer so it’s just weekends anyway…go kayak, or like I did for a bunch of years just get a $4 inner tube from Target or something, I had a rainbow one and it made me happy in tiny lakes and ponds.
*note: I AM really a teacher, lol it’s what I am, in my music in my writing in how I teach in Instagram posts and speeches to students in lessons online…I guess I just don’t ‘feel like’ a teacher, in my soul. More like a mystic guru friend who intuits things that are unspoken…I’m not the best listener either, when someone has excuses for not practicing, because I can usually sense the unspoken reasons and redirect lessons to match personality and vibe, which works far better than listening to someone try to explain their confusion or unmotivated feelings…I think we are often stuck inside our own bubbles, and people outside ourselves can see things more clearly than we ourselves can…case in point, I’d gotten too sloppy with edits, like on Michigan Dreams and Tiny Traumas III (partly for 12 Albums in 12 Months deadlines), and I regret it but didn’t feel I could change…but a few well timed conversations with Bryan altered my workflow completely, and now I don’t mind editing again. I’m tougher on myself, working harder, but still letting go wayyyy before that radio-level ‘perfection’ mark. Like right now, I’m in the last 2 days of edits on Make-Believe (2020 remix) and I care more than I did for awhile…partly because I’m expected less from myself, in terms of number of albums. My output was stupidly dense for awhile. Not sure why I don’t focus on how amazing it is that I wrote and released so many, and instead focus on the sloppy bits…like HA! I wrote a shit ton of albums!!! Did you? Did anyone else? NO! Not that I know of, so yay I’m great! (been workin on my self-esteem and noticing that joy and positive feelings come when I speak in favor of myself, most people speak against themselves all the time, so as to not be unlikeable…but funny enough, too much self-deprecation might be the most unlikeable trait of all…trust me, I’ve done intense research on this, accidentally…like I have an MFA and BA from a music conservatory, and all these albums I love, but because I didn’t end up celebrated the world over, I thought I should feel bad about myself…so no one thought I didn’t see it, the lack of response…so no one could laugh at me for being a failure…like, that middle school thing, if I say it first then I can’t get made fun of…like “I know I’m not ____, but…” It’s a terrible habit, don’t start it. Just love yourself. And if it annoys people (it will, you’ll be too positive, or too confident, or too ____), then just know those maybe aren’t your people. Or they’re goin thru somethin. Anyway, night. xo ❤