when I posted about my hair game being spot on last night, was how much I wished someone would twirl my curls in their fingers while I drifted off to sleep. Maybe trace my jaw and my cheek ever so lightly. Clavicle. Shoulder. Spine.
“You should be angry. You must not be bitter. Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. It doesn’t do anything to the object of its displeasure. So use that anger. You write it. You paint it. You dance it. You march it. You vote it. You do everything about it. You talk it. Never stop talking it.”—
Maya Angelou in a 2006 talk with Dave Chappelle on the Sundance Channel’s Iconoclasts series.
OK, I’ve been practicing by recording myself and it’s almost not painful. SQUEE. I tried it with the music in the background but because the music is coming from inside the computer, it drowns out my voice. I’ve got some work to do on the high parts for sure, but it’s soooo much better than last week. I figure let’s get this courage party started right now, yo.
and seeing so very clearly that it will just continue on like this unless I put the big people pants on and act the heavy. It’s a shitty fucking job, but somebody’s got to do it. Living in limbo like this is not healthy for me, and not healthy for my kid. I can’t decide what is healthy for him, but he’s going to have to figure that out from a different home base, because I can’t do this any more. If he’s trying to get clear and figure out what he wants, doing so by drinking himself into a slaphappy fog every night seems counterintuitive. Spending time every night with this other woman and often her children, with our child, also seems counterintuitive. But what do I know?
Here’s what I know: this behavior, no matter how amicable and friendly the moment to moment interactions are, is hurtful and cruel and damaging. And it will not stop unless I stop accepting it as my personal reality. I may love this man to death, but I’m done being back-burnered and told to wait it out. Go find somewhere else to sleep and just leave me alone with my shit to work out on my own. I’m just done.
I finished the damn Ppt deck. I’ll probably end up tweaking over the weekend as I finish the narrative and time my presentation, but it’s uploaded to their dropbox and good enough.
Now I’m all kinds of fired up about this talk - the photos I chose so beautifully illustrate my storytelling, and I didn’t add any bullet points or words I’ll be speaking. Having the deck to scroll through as I finish the writing will help me narrow my focus and keep me on track.
I hate sitting through a presentation and having this distracting screen full of words that compete for my waning attention that should be on the speaker anyway. Just give me something interesting, attractive, or hilarious to look at while you wow me with your knowledge and experience, please. Don’t read to me like I’m in preschool. I’m a grown ass person.
Now to bang out the market newsletter, which I think I will do with my laptop truly on my lap as I sit on the front porch, because dudes, it is so gorgeous outside again today.
1. For the last three nights I made myself get to sleep without any help (melatonin, weed, bite of pot caramel, alcohol) and this morning it feels like the fog is a little less dense in my brain. I wonder if those things have been screwing with my vision, because everything is so blurry all day the last few weeks. It seems unlikely that my vision could have degraded so much in such a short period of time all on its own. I do think I need to get an eye exam and new glasses, especially for driving. But, yay for sleeping without being drugged into a coma.
2. Two weeks ago I decided that unless I’m entertaining here, I don’t drink at home any more. I’ve had a half a beer here and there, but not this week. That feels like the right thing to do for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is let’s not be a total alcoholic, shall we. The daily drinking was killing my life force, and I’m quite certain it was adding to this situational depression. For years the narrative I’ve told myself in order to make the frequent consumption acceptable to myself and others was that I could not effectively communicate with Chris when he was drinking if I didn’t have a couple myself. So, I’m testing that narrative every day, and while there is an aspect of truth in it, I’m also finding that I can just choose to not communicate, and in these circumstances, that’s probably for the best anyway. We talk about schedules, and maybe a little bit about our day, but I won’t engage in an emotional subject while he’s drinking. I get sloppy when I’m drinking and slide into those difficult topics without even noticing. All of this is making everything at home feel even more sharp and bruised, but I don’t want to muffle my reality any more. The first week I worried I wouldn’t be able to maintain it. I don’t feel worried about that at all any more, because I can already feel the shift in my own mental health, and in my own clarity. I can’t make choices for him, and that’s true about all of this tangled mess we call a life barely together/almost apart, so I must just focus on taking care of myself in whatever ways feel most true and life affirming. I don’t want to self-medicate to that degree ever again.
3. Phew. Long winded much?
4. This morning after Lila put on her sweater before walking to the bus in the sweet early morning light, I gave her a big hug and kiss and told her, Friday, you made it! She asked what I meant. I said, you got through the week. Sometimes it’s hard. She laughed and said, sometimes? It’s always hard when you have to be on the bus this early. It’s stupid. She’s right. It’s totally stupid. Still, she walked out the door with a bounce in her step and a smile on her smart and lovely face. She’s such a great kid.
5. Yeah, I missed my slideshow deadline. But, the director shouldn’t have told me the real deadline is Saturday morning. I’ll get it to them today, and then the deck I end up using on Tuesday will be completely different, and I’m sure that won’t matter because has anyone ever actually loaded up one of those zip drives full of presentations and opened any of them after a conference? I know I haven’t.
It’s so pretty out tonight. I’m feeling low – that tired, dragged down, mentally drained, physically lacking kind of low that seems to be my natural state lately (yeah, I know, go talk to a pro). I had no desire to cook dinner for Chris and Lila, and my own appetite is just nil after a crappy lunch that didn’t set well, but when Chris got home he fired up the grill and I doused some chicken in BBQ sauce, then cut up turnips, potatoes, zucchini, and carrots, which I put in a tin foil boat with butter, salt, and pepper. He’s handling the grilling so I don’t smell like smoke and meat during rehearsal. I wanted something bright and fresh on their plates, so walked down to the garden, thinking about how surreal it is that we can cohabit – coexist – like this without working on our relationship, without any sense of direction. Moving forward. Moving away. Just…limbo… and the sun was so warm and golden, and the air so cool and still, with that end of summer hum in the air, and it made me feel the longing flowing through my veins, and I just started to cry as I picked Sungold and Matt’s Wild Cherry tomatoes, and a few pickling cucumbers to slice up. Walking up the driveway to the house with the sun warming my back, I just wanted to freeze it all right there and hold it, and I wanted to pull back my leg and kick it into oblivion.
Everything is terrible and beautiful always all at the same time.
I spent an hour practicing the songs this morning before I met with the composer to work on them for two hours. The ones in English are working out fairly well, and only one of those really pushes up against the limit of my upper and lower range.
The English version of the Fado is what I sing at the very end of the show, and it’s a beast because I’ve trained my brain to the Portuguese, which has about twice as many syllables, so I have to really stretch out some of the words. The music is a bit of a variation to accommodate the changed vocal structure, too, so I really am learning a whole new song in a way, but it’s close enough that my brain is mixing it up.
About a half hour before we finished, I realized that my voice was totally tapped and sounded like somebody knocking on a tin can, which is definitely not the effect we are going for in this production. Bryan is supremely patient (he says it’s more that he’s 50% competent, but I think he’s just blowing smoke up my ass to try to keep me confident and focused). He says I have got to quit stopping to apologize or laughing when I make a mistake, and just power on through it, and again suggested I really work on singing it every time in character. That’s evolving, so I’m getting there, and hope that by next week when we meet again, I will approximate nailing it. As he said, hit the important parts and the audience will forgive the rest. I still can’t believe they cast me in this role that carries the songs through the whole production. I love to sing, but I’m not much of a singer.
This time we spoke the lyrics, practicing where to put the most emphasis, where to draw the vowels out, where to add more breath, more throatiness, and then we recorded that for me to listen to at home. I just about have the melody down, but there are a few tricky spots that my body seems to always want to take in the opposite direction on the scale. He refuses to change it. Sigh. He also insisted on taking it off piano or mandolin, and played his upright bass (hot!) which took some adjusting at first, but then it clicked and felt great. While we were working, I decided that once this is all over with, I’m going to start taking voice lessons. I’ve always wanted to play an instrument, but I think I’d like to start with the one I carry with me everywhere I go.
I just now tried to run through the Fado again, but my voice is well and truly shot for the moment. Time to sip some hot chamomile tea with honey, and rest it because I’ve got a two hour rehearsal that’s all song work at 7:30 tonight, and let me tell you, if it was right now, I wouldn’t be able to do it. I’m actually a little concerned that the nasty head cold one of the other cast members was sporting last night is trying to take up residence in me. Move along, little bug, there’s no room at the inn.
While I sip my tea, I’ll be listening to Ana Moura and building that damn hell ass monkey slide show that I still haven’t started and is due at midnight.
Or maybe I’ll just skip all of that and go take a little nap.
Yeah. Nap, then tea. The slideshow will magically create itself, yes?