Saturday, May 16, 2009

Passing in the Aisle

This week I have several times stared at my yellow pad and left the page blank, or worse, moved on with scribbles crossed out and nothing productive to bring over to the computer or launch to this site. With this chicken is combined an egg of a stuffed head and scratchy throat, and the fear that my life has come to a standstill.

On Sunday, I felt great, painting a friend’s office and looking forward to a week of high points as numerous and multiplying as the weeks before, no hint of any body drag. The next morning my throat clenched with an ache that woke me startled and remained in varying intensity throughout the week. Not horribly sick, I am just swollen headed, lethargic, coughing and whining.

It was not enough to stop me from a great evening of music, sitting in with a jam band as part of my quest for compatible musicians. I was exuberantly able to write a grant that will probably lead to a satisfying part-time job. From the mouth of my cave, I could look out on the world to find numerous ways to promote my activities so that they can become full time work. In a strange sort of way, there are numerous small piles for which I can account, though it feels as if I have done nothing at all.

Given the excitement of emotional energy and physical stamina expended in these last weeks between band changes, writing projects, the trip to Oregon, and friendships new and old, I am not surprised to collapse and day dream in lackluster colors. In some respects, pushing so hard, it takes a sniffling malfunction to enforce a rest, but having been so productive lately, I bristle at less.

Regularly, friends who read this blog comment that they could never feel comfortable exposing so much inner dialogue, fear and wonder to public scrutiny. Plenty of times my own embarrassment or sense of decorum provides some censorship, but I have never been shy about answering truthfully when asked in passing, “How are you?”

This has led to long conversations in grocery store aisles, stepping forward and back to accommodate the people who actually are shopping, while I vomit forth the latest adventures. My redster shows scars where I lean against it for an hour, stopped on my way, but sharing a lesson listening to some one else.

Too often we scurry and scatter, unconnected with ourselves and others, little busy bodies who promise to make time later and never get there. Our hearts are full, but our schedules make it so easy to dance alone, blowing kisses and throwing one-handed hugs.

Stopping to tell a story, beautiful and sad, risking a tear in the middle of the aisle, connects hearts and creates another strand of that wonderful web that makes life worth living. In being so open and honest, so rarely have I felt regret, earning instead most often a solid and lingering hug. Revisiting old friends in Oregon after twenty years was an astounding affirmation that no matter the size of my bank account, some risks have paid off handsomely.

So with head stuffed and throat sore, I recognize my symptoms are from a cause far deeper than a simple virus. I openly feel the fear that this journey towards creativity which I have undertaken is an ill-advised mountain to climb, likely unattainable to the degree I desire, given the need for tuition and braces I face. I wrestle with the joy and pain of opening my heart and settling this week for a song, the writing of which leaves me slumped, sick and emotionally exhausted, but relishing the sweet mixture of rain and sun that washes over us every day.

And I am so grateful to have such friends with whom I can share the truth of how I feel.

How are you today?

Please share with your friends


Zannah said...

I was sick too! We must be related! :)

Laurie said...

You make me feel human and not so alone with some of my feelings. Thanks for being open with yourself, Kip. It is a refreshing experience to over and be showered with your authentic voice.

Hope you feel better soon!

Hayden Tompkins said...

The thing about music is that, much of the time, what you are creating is a direct window on to how you are doing.

I feel that way about much of TTi and I love that you share your journey and process here. Cultivating openness without fear is beautiful.