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Archive for January, 2013

I do love writing my blog.  But I do not write quickly.  And editing is always a long, long rumination over every sentence before I can bring myself to click “publish.” [Edit note: over 2 hours for this post.]

So rewind if you will to the beginning of the new year, and that magical 24 hour period in which we all make our resolutions.  I love resolutions.  I make them on January 1, on my birthday, at the beginning of September, and just about any other time I think of something that will improve my life. I know that this sort of fanatical self-improvement is not for everyone, but it seems to flood my brain with endorphins.  And I tend to keep my resolutions, unless they become irrelevant.


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Resolutions can be tricky though, since they almost always involve giving something up. Case in point, there is something new I want to do this year (more on that in a moment), and I must give up something else to make time for it.

The glaringly obvious candidate for schedule-pruning was “Computer Time.”  (That’s often the case with me. I don’t watch TV, so computer time is the only thing that seems frivolous to me.)  So on January 1, I applied my discipline to make a new start!  But next thing I knew, I had 30 pages of unread Facebook posts on my feed, and zero new blog posts in 2013.  Great. Now I have guilt.

I am really not sure what the answer is.  Facebook is a hard one, because it has this addictive quality; vows to limit oneself to 10 minutes, for example, don’t usually work out.  But if I ignore it altogether, I miss news about friends and family. I’d like to invent a Facebook Intervention Circuit that will shut down my home’s electricity after 15 minutes on that URL.

My blog is a different sort of problem. There is no way, no hope whatsoever, that I could limit the time it takes for me to post something here. (See first paragraph.)  For a time, I considered writing an official Closing The Blog post and giving it up. There would be no more guilt over the long silences, and besides, I like closure. On reflection, however, I think I’d better just let it live. There will be a place to collect and publish the occasional thoughts, stories, or pictures, even if it is infrequent.

So, what am I taking on in 2013 for which I need more time?  Back in December, my husband (who is also a fine musician) and I had a wonderful discussion about  musicality and the nature of musical performance.  We agreed that the music which one memorizes is usually played with much more expression and sensitivity than the music one performs while reading it off the page, even if the latter is something one has played for years.

I have memorized over 50% of my repertoire, but there are lots of pieces I never planned to memorize because they are so easy to read.  Moreover, I used to be less secure about memorization and liked the idea of keeping that page in front of me.  Did I mention I also have beautiful music stand?

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As so often happens in my marriage, my husband’s insights gave me a lot to think about.  (He is an incredibly smart guy.) I decided to start the long, slow process of memorizing my whole repertoire in 2013 (with the exception of ensemble parts). It goes slowly because I want to really internalize each piece. In some ways it is like relearning them.  Thank goodness I already have so many memorized. I am really looking forward to playing them with a fresh perspective, and hopefully with greater expression and richer musical ideas.

And my second harp goal for 2013 is to make more YouTube videos. Now that I have done it once and the ice is broken, I feel more confident about the whole process.  And speaking of ice…

In weather news, we had the weirdest stretch of cold, winter sunshine I have ever seen. I think it lasted nearly two weeks.  Most of the Puget Sound area was blanketed by fog day after day, but my house was above the fog most days. At night, however, the fog would roll up and lay a fresh layer of frost on everything. Nighttime temps were in the 20s, daytime in the low 30s.  The ice got so bad that I stopped running. Desperate to get my exercise (I will not use the Dreadmill!), I climbed Mt. Si, lifted weights, and even dragged out some of my old step aerobics videos, with the hilarious 80s-90s leotards.

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In places where tall trees blocked the low winter sun, the frost built up so much that it looked just like snow.

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I prefer the real stuff. Less slippery.

Lastly, I just have to share this picture of the Chicken Chess Board I saw this week. Those of you who know me are probably aware of how much I would like to have some chickens if our Homeowners Association would allow it. Alas, I will content myself with all things chicken-themed.

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