From Thanksgiving 2017 to Memorial Day 2018 I lost 26 pounds. Since the end of May I’ve gained back nearly ten. I can feel it where my clothes are rubbing me again, I can feel it in the rolls that reappeared to mock me in the mirror, I can feel it in my knees. I know I will work to slough it back off again, but right now I can’t be bothered to care. I just don’t give half a golden shit.
The world is a roiling cesspool of burning hatred and anger these days. I don’t know what kind of Large Hadron Collider alternate universe hellhole we’re in, but could someone go jiggle the handle on that thing? Turn it off and back on? See if that restarts humanity? Because my god, my surprised face is cracked and bleeding from overuse and the whole family is sick of shouting WHAT THE FUCK??? Yes, the boys too. Also the plants and furniture and I swear I hear whines of woofthefuck? from Rosie’s urn.
This past week alone. Jesus. And you know it’s only going to get worse and uglier over the next couple of weeks, until the midterm election is over and the waves from it start to calm. If they calm.
I am weary. There is no other word to describe it. I am weary of the news, of society, of the future and of the past, of incessant worry, of recognizing my own privilege and inability to cope. I am weary of having almost zero hope for the future, because costs are ever climbing and income is not. I am weary of trying to manage bodily systems that decided decades ago that they just didn’t want to do their one job and the associated rising costs for that ongoing management. I am weary of so much of life, and this weariness finally took physical form in the shape of ten lost and found pounds on my ass. And gut. And back.
Yes, I am managing anxiety and depression as best I can. Trust me, I could be waaaaaay worse, and have been. There’s no need to worry, I’m just…weary. I think many of us are.
So, because I work hard on self-care and encouraging others that they’re worth the effort of their own self-care, I’ve been flailing around trying to find something, anything, to counteract this soul-deep weariness. I already have a gratitude practice, and it’s barely keeping my head above water. It finally hit me.
I can’t do much, but I can put a little beauty out into the world. We all can. What it looks like will be different for everyone, but for me it’s music. It’s always music. I tell my students to make beauty when they do their tone exercises; I hope it eventually sinks in for them.
I’m pretty sure I’ve never posted me playing my flute here. There are so many incredible flutists out there, and also an enormous number of competitive flutists; the Venn diagram isn’t entirely a complete circle, but it’s pretty close. We’re a competitive bunch, flutists. But in the interest of throwing some beauty into the roiling cesspool of the world, I’m posting a short video I recorded at the end of June to share with friends. It’s a short segment of the Allemande from the Partita in a minor by JS Bach. Bach, that magnificent bastard, was an organist and wrote for flute as though we didn’t need to breathe. This is my Stranded On A Desert Island piece; I always discover something new when I play it, and my battered copy lives in my gig bag.
Please. Please. Go throw some beauty around in your corner of the world. It’s not going to fix what’s broken, but at least it’s something we can do.
Yes, the quality ain’t great, and I look like crap, and I have no idea how to record from my phone and flip the image, and it’s vertical video, and I’m in and out of the frame. I just do not have it in me to care.
That said, please to enjoy.