Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Keep Calm and Carry On

Propaganda poster from 1939 intended to comfort and inspire the populace should the massed armies of Nazi Germany ever cross the Channel.

Keep Calm and Carry On

I think we can all use a little dose of this idea.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Another week on the journey. What have I learned?

I reconnected with a really close friend of mine, and made a new friend along the way. These two have and will surely in the future be important spiritual seekers and guides.

Someone helped me pinpoint something this week. He told me that he believes I have found out that I have power over my life, over the course of events that unfold, and the ultimate power in how I choose to perceive those things. I think he's definitely onto something, and putting that feeling into a tangible sense makes the vibe that much stronger and more empowering, and it just keeps multiplying upon itself.

Stranger to a seeker you may be,
But no longer dampen the spirit of the learner
Instead seek to quell your own spells of hunger
By breaking bread with the one who asks you questions.

Your answers are not the ultimate truth
But that one is a sneaky fellow
Changing skins to suit the notions that we keep
And in the end, the ultimate is not so useful as we hope.

Through the searching eyes of those who sometimes seek us,
Though we know not why,
We can create a mirror into
The things which we cannot see for ourselves, of ourselves.

peace and much love.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I played with the trio at the Dakota Friday night. Then on Saturday I opened for Tricky with Deep Soul Deities. Best weekend ever.

When you show the universe you want it, the universe will generally lend a hand.

Peace and love to you all.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I want to play music so badly that it makes my stomach do a little turn-y bubbly thing whenever I think about it. Sometimes it makes me sick.

I have fought against being a musician since I started playing the saxophone 13 years ago. I only just recently came around to it in the last couple years. I tried and tried to put it down, leave it behind, do something more economically productive, something that would more likely ensure financial success, something that would put me on an easy path of approval through tangible accomplishments.

I remember growing up how much I fought. I remember one day in particular when I was really upset about a lesson I was supposed to have, and how freaked out I was that I didn't think I was prepared for it, and how hard the music was, how much I sucked, blah blah blah. I worked myself up into a pretty good mess about that one, and told my mom I didn't want to do it anymore, I couldn't handle it, and that music wasn't for me, that I didn't know what I was going to do with my life. She sat me down and we had this conversation:

Mom: "Rachel, how many times have you cried over grades?"
Me: "Um, maybe once."
Mom: "Rachel, how many times have you cried about theater stuff?"
Me: "Never."
Mom: "How many times have you cried about your friends?"
Me: "Don't know. Never."
Mom: "How many times have you cried about boys?"
Me: "Never! No point!"
Mom: "How many times have you cried about your saxophone?"
Me: "Every freaking day. *Sniff**hiccup**"
Mom: "I think you are going to be a musician."

And that's when I told myself to stop fighting it. But I still did, just not with as much conscious effort. But everything up until now has been child's play. My world growing up, and the academic world into which I replanted after graduating high school were cradles, where nothing could really test my relationship with music. But now, scrapping my way through a world where people don't have jobs, homes, or money, let alone the time to think about where musicians fall into line, the fight has suddenly become a lot more important to me. And where I was once fighting against it, I now find myself fighting for it harder than I've ever fought for anything.

I think of music as a very real entity in my life. I consider myself to be married to it, completely committed even on the days when I wake up and think, "I WANT OUT!!". My saxophones are not instruments, they are the only children I ever want to have. I mourn for their injuries and want nothing more than to give them wonderful and exciting lives. I feel a personal responsibility to be the greatest musician I possibly can be, if only to avoid disappointing the entity which is my greatest love.

Yes, there's some cheese there. But eat it. Because it is honestly made.

Now stop wasting time and go give somebody a hug.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ode to Pierre

Work is slow. Yesterday I named my electric stapler and gave him a face, similar to the idea of Tom Hank's volleyball in Castaway, the name of which escapes me at this moment. My stapler's name is Pierre, and this is an ode to him.

You sit and stare
Oh Pierre,
While I type
Useless numbers into a dead machine.

You quietly wait,
Oh Pierre,
For someone to need your glorious power.

Oh Pierre,
You are the binder,
Turning mere sheets of paper into bundles of economy.

How empty this desk would be
Without you,
Dear Pierre.

Somebody save me. On the bright side, I'm leaving tomorrow afternoon for a mini Iowa tour with Deep Soul and don't have to see this desk again until Tuesday. Woot!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Life in all its varieties

My plants, as it turns out, are not dead. They were simply pretending and have recently begun to radiate my windowsill with life. This makes me happy, as I thought I was responsible for the death of five plants that have been with me for the last five years. Turns out they were just really cold.

In other news, just got back from recording some tracks for the Deep Soul demo (we are playing March 7 at the Hub, for those of you in the valley of cedars), and experienced that moment I think (hope, for my selfish sake) every musician recognizes when you hit a wall and are forced to admit you will not scale it immediately. Well, I hit the wall, and it stunned me and even got me a little upset, but I'm just going to go to bed and see how my horn and I are getting along tomorrow.

Ah, Monday. The day when I am forced to reckon with the fact that I have an office job. Some days are harder than others to reckon with my desk, to convince myself that it's just for the rent and won't be my permanent life. I am generally thankful that I have a job at all, as that is more than many can say at this point in time.

Whenever I get down about life I try to take a moment to send some positive vibes to others, to wish them luck in finding employment (as many friends of mine are currently hunting), to help them find peace in their meanings, and to provide a knowledge that I will always be there to lean on, as I would hope they would be there for me. After spending a few minutes focusing my energies towards others, I generally find the day approachable and more welcoming.

Oh yes, and this weekend marks my first six months in the Twin Cities. I couldn't be more pleased and excited about my life here. I think back to my first months here and absolutely cannot believe the progress I've made, not only with my life goals but also the ways that I have grown as a human being. I cannot express how it feels to be writing this right now, but I can express my firm belief that while we all go through some frighteningly trying times, battling life and our own minds and egos, there is so much to be learned through fighting those battles. I thought I knew exactly who I was when I graduated college. I thought I knew exactly who I was until I moved up here, actually. Then I learned that there were many things about me that I hated, that I feared, that I didn't understand at all. I was forced to examine these things and take a proactive role in my life for the first *real* time, ever. And while it still scares me and some days fills me with panic, I know that I have made the right decisions, have led myself down a path filled with surprising and beautiful things.

I wish you all serenity and love.