Thursday, February 05, 2009

Groundhog Daze

Old Punxy Phil told us this week that we've got another six weeks -- or better--of this mess of winter. We're all exhausted as it is. 'Tween the snow, my addiction to Facebook, and constantly wondering when the other shoe will drop, I've not sat down to blog in a while. My sense of urgency -- about life, music, my children, whether or not I'm going to lose any more income -- has a serious case of ADHD. Everything is a crisis, so nothing is a priority. We're on to yet another great idea at work, but I'm starting to fray around the edges. Among the few bright spots in the week, however: there are in fact a few jobs out there that I could actually compete for, a couple of folks have asked my boss for permission to approach me, and the big finance execs won't get any bonuses until after we get our money back.

Another bright spot was the Dixie Bee-Liners show last Saturday. They're doing swell! It was terrific to hear the band pull off some instrumentals, and one heckuva take on "Workin' on A Building." My little girl got to hear one of her favorite tunes first hand while snapping photos, and the kids got a kick out of the shake-and-howdy. The buzz is that there's a concept recording coming out sometime this year.

My older kid took me out for a ski lesson on Sunday. It was my first time, since I wouldn't count my one previous attempt more than 20 years ago at Seven Springs, a resort near Pittsburgh, PA. Son of Mando was quite patient and I managed to get through the afternoon without incident or injury. Even X pitched in a moment or two. As reluctant as I have been to join up with this activity, it was exhilarating, and despite the reports my Son doled out, by the end of the day I was doing reasonably well, and without poles.

I think that's how life is right now. No poles, a slippery slope, someone waxed the soles of our shoes, and we're going uphill--and pushing a boulder.

I will admit that at times I wish I had help with my boulder. But, I don't. So it's inhale, exhale, and keep on moving. Thank golly I know spring is coming, and with it warmer weather and hopefully happier times when I'll feel more motivated to enjoy the things I love, like music, visiting friends and family, maybe a little time away.

I am at the point where I feel downright guilty about not playing music. I haven't picked up an instrument in two weeks. At this rate, I'll never learn any of them. It's a sign to me that I'm really much more overwhelmed and out of sync than I have admitted -- learning new tunes and playing old ones always brought real relief from my bouts of anger and frustration and sadness. Like making it down the hill on skis while still standing up, it's time to bring the music back and put my brain and fingers to work on creating something while other parts of my brain work out these other problems. Couldn't we all use an extra sense of accomplishment?

I think on my list for this weekend will be a fiddle tune by Bill Monroe, one I dearly love, called Roanoke. Most versions are just a little faster than I like, but it's a sweet double-fiddle number. Oh my, but how I long for sweet Virginia. When I make it through the proverbial forest of my trials, I'll be heading down old Interstate 81 to wander off the beaten path along the Crooked Road when it's about 85 degrees in the shade. If I'm lucky, maybe I'll be lost there forever among the great ghosts of Bluegrass, and my snow-shovelin' days will be over.

Performed hear by Herschel Sizemore.


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