action · courage · dating · performance · singing

Once More, With Feeling*

The sun is officially moving in a higher arc around the
building which shadows it, making for more hours of sunlit sofa warming and
fewer minutes of chilly “come out come out wherever you are.”
I actually hurt my back crawling into bed yesterday –er, this
morning. it’s true. something went crunch. or perhaps crack. i think it was the
final sprint in high heels up the bernal heights’ hill a few minutes before
midnight. the *clink clonk* one hears as a woman approaches in heels is also
the sound of her spinal vertebrae collapsing ;P
That said, it was a pretty wonderful evening. friends,
laughter, small talk, awkwardness, zipcar, east bay, sf, fireworks, dancing,
redbull, hilarious mystery science theater 3000 fireworks commentary, old friends, new
friends, a candle-lit lantern floating generously up the hill with new year’s
wishes alight upon it.
I do look forward to getting back to putting this blog up
earlier in the morning. It’s been delayed this week because of sickness … and
today because of new years’ revelry recuperation.
Those of you who click here through my facebook may already
have seen, but I had an early morning dream last night/this morning, which,
though odd, I also count as a portend of things to come. Well, some things.
I dreamt that actor paul giamatti with laryngitis
offered me to play a gig on Thursday, January 17th at the Loriah
Room on Geary and/or Market and 8th. We can pull some of this apart on a
number of counts: a) I watched a dvd with Paul Giamatti in it on Friday; b) my
school friend’s girlfriend’s name is Mariah; c) i’ve been contemplating “gigs”
To address b, Mariah’s name is likely on my mind because I’m
going on a date tomorrow. My friend’s girlfriend (Mariah)’s college friend’s
husband’s best friend… asked me out. Yes, we call that degrees of separation
for sure. Basically, it’s two couples in between the two of us. Apparently, he
came up to visit over Thanksgiving, and my school friend thought we might be
good together, so I told her sure, give him my info. Last week, he emailed me,
and we’re meeting up for coffee and possibly lunch tomorrow. So, yes, her name
has been on my mind in reference to this set-up. And yes, I’m excited, and no I
also have no clue what this guy looks like either! Lol.
Unlike the disastrous blind date of a month or two ago,
however, this one comes with good references! 😉 So, we’ll see. Coffee, not china
patterns. And I enjoy the practice.
As to “c”, I was taking a class last year in which for the
end of the year project, we each had the opportunity to do a little “open mic”
action if we wanted. Some spoke poetry, or read from their personal manifestos.
I sang.
I sang with accompaniment from a classmate, Ivan, who I
found out that day is a really wonderful guitarist. I was going to play the
chords myself as I sang, but I’m not that great a guitarist, and asked him if
he’d play. He picked up the tabs right then, and within a half hour, we were
ready to go “on stage.” It was in the Dean of Student’s house on campus, and
there were about 50 or so people in attendance, mostly school mates, people’s
families. And I sang. He played. We ruled. 😛
Well, maybe we didn’t *rule* but actually, we were pretty
good. And Ivan has been popping up in my mindbrain over the last week or so as
someone to contact to maybe begin doing little open mics with around town.
See, I’ve had this belief that I can’t really do music because I can’t play any instruments well. I can
sort of plunk out some very basic guitar chords, and I often do, alone in my
apartment. I can also plunk out some semi-nonsense on my bass guitar, which I
sometimes do, alone in my apartment. And, finally, I can sort of plunk out some
chords on a piano, which I sometimes do alone in my apartment on a USB plug-in
keyboard, on any piano I may pass in my travels, or alone at the piano in the chapel at
school. There’s a sign on that piano which says for any music student looking to practice, go to the Music Department; for anyone looking for spiritual enrichment and outlet, play on, sister. I’ve been known to sit there for several half hours on end to unload
whatever is happening in my brain. And, sometimes then, I sing too. 
Piano was always my brother’s forte. He was the musician, I
was perhaps the singer, perhaps the silent writer. He’s actually quite good,
self-taught, and I admire his skill. He’s been playing our grandfather’s piano
ever since it came to our house when my brother was 8 and I was 11. The most
I’d tend to play then was one or the other part of Heart & Soul. And he and
I still play it for old time’s sake. But, sitting alone in the circular stone
chapel at school, I find the songs that want to be played. And I am moved, relieved, happy.
Alone in my car, when I had one, I’d invent all kinds of
songs and lyrics. Which would flit out of my head as soon as my seatbelt
unfastened. The thing for me about music, about singing, and apparently about
piano, is that I get to find out what mood I’m in. That may sound strange, but
it sort of puts me in touch with a non-verbal mood ring or divining rod. The
tone will be major or minor; slow and dirge-like; upbeat and syncopated. How am
I feeling today? I’ll open my throat and find out. I’ll place my fingertips
against the cool ivory and show you.
So, here we are, back to performance. As, if you may have
gathered, all of the above dabblings into music happen alone. This morning, then, after my very unusual dream, I
was nudged again. And I emailed Ivan to ask if he’d be interested in
collaborating on some very low-key, no pressure, key word fun openmics.
This way, I don’t have to be Jimi Hendrix to get out there. I don’t have to be
Van Halen, or Slash, or Stevie Ray Vaughn. I can be Molly, tentative soul and
creative, with a voice and a melody that will tell me where I want to be led. 

*shout out to KatieB with reference to the Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s musical episode. if you haven’t seen it, it’s worth it. 😉

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