Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mood Swing

After tossing and turning until quite late last night, I awoke too early to the dull light shining into my bedroom. Unsatisfied with the time I read on my phone, I tried unsuccessfully to roll over and fall back asleep. I reluctantly pulled myself out of bed and opened the blinds to see yet another low-ceilinged, grey day. The sun has shone through the clouds perhaps a total of three days since I arrived here, and – perhaps because of grumpiness due to fatigue – I hit my limit today. I rubbed my eyes and sighed, fantasizing about sunny beaches, my heart aching for the cheer of sunshine.

My funk continued throughout the day. I slogged through some very whiny, anxiety-ridden morning pages. I very grudgingly cleaned up the mess in the kitchen from my culinary excursion last night (tagliatelle bolognese, in an effort to use up the rest of the plethora of carrots and celery that was sitting in my fridge). I half-heartedly made an attempt to empty out my email's inbox. I tried to lay down for a short nap, again unsuccessfully finding sleep. Giving up, I opted to try a short yoga session instead, my tired muscles protesting in earnest as I tried to get blood flowing through them.

My day started to change when I went out to meet a friend and colleague who, much to my surprise and delight, was in town to do an audition. We chatted and caught up on each other's lives over coffees, not having seen each other in a year a half. As we talked, I felt my mood start to lift slowly. We agreed to meet up again after her audition, and then I headed off to the Opera for a coaching to work on some music for upcoming concerts. The minute I started to warm up, I felt myself crack a smile. My mind drifted randomly back to some of my first lessons with Ted Puffer during my early Manhattan School days, and I remembered him telling me to envision a big 'H' in my throat so that it would stay open. His advice suddenly made sense to me in a new way as I had a mini-epiphany physically, and I felt myself cheer some more. The pianist I was to work with came in shortly after, and we started to crash through Bach arias for a concert in a couple of weeks, working his twisting, instrumental lines into my voice and body, finding endless possibilities in the shapes of the phrase and enjoying their flexibility. Our music-making started to feel spontaneous and fun, and I felt myself smiling from the deepest part of my being.

I walked the short path to my home away from home, my step considerably lighter, beaming and marveling for the millionth time at the amazing power music has to bring unbridled joy into our lives.

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