I am writing from “The Fort”. I’m here in Texas for my friend’s wedding. I got in yesterday for the bachelorette party. We went to dinner and then to Pete’s Piano Bar. Many memorable moments. But today, my Gigi friend told me about moments in our lives when we feel infinite. And I know what she means. When it happens for me, it feels like I sort of step away from myself and see me in the moment. Like a part of consciousness sees it from an arial perspective. It happened at Pete’s.
The second-story bar was smoky, but spacious with small tables crowded around the stage. Two pianos faced each other, drums behind them and a fiddle hanging on the wall. The players “dueled” and took turns accompanying each other, hopping off the piano bench and taking up the drumsticks, and back again. These musicians were incredible. Their whole bodies moved across the instruments, the smoke in the room lifted with the notes they sent up, and we all swayed in time. There was not a speck of written music in the place, but they played every requested song as if they had authored it themselves.
Perhaps more than any other gift, I am in awe of performing talent. I felt the same way when I saw Lion King performed on Broadway. Doing what they love, they can bring so much unnameable magic and life to their audience.
But my infinite moments are always, always accompanied by some sadness. Sadness because I know the moment isn’t really endless. It will be over and the feeling will leave with it. Sadness because I know I’ll never be a dueling piano player or a Broadway actress. My own gifts seem so boring in comparison. And so… un-share-able. I’m not sure I can give to them, through intellect or insight, what they give me through performance.
Dictionary.com, a website I frequent, defines resolution as “the act of resolving or determining upon an action, course of action, method or procedure.” Some synonyms are perseverance, tenacity and fortitude.
I’ve been thinking about the New Year and that tradition of setting goals. My track record with New Year’s Resolutions is not so good. I do one of two things: set impossible goals (cut sugar completely out of my diet) or forget about them by February 3rd. And as a tangental point, why do we insist on using absolutes so often and inappropriately? Why do I think that all sugar must go when some sugar would be a worthy improvement? Why is every day the goal when the current routine is never? What is this all-or-nothing mindset and where did it come from? Tangent over.
Anyway, I have already begun one New Year’s Resolution (I actually shook on it in October). I have decided not to buy any books for one year. The heart behind this is that buying books has become an activity in itself rather than a means to an end. I have thousands of books that I have not read, so I have no need to buy books. I also don’t need to own every book I want to read. Have I forgotten about libraries?? It’s also a financial discipline… a really tangible, measurable way for me to spend less. So far, so good.
My next Resolution is a project really. I received a calendar of an artist whose style I like, Wolf Kahn. I am going to reproduce his work for each month. So by this time next year, I should have 12 completed paintings. I’m really excited about this Resolution because I love art and this feels both challenging and attainable.
I have a few other thoughts rolling around in my head, but I don’t want to get carried away. I’ll decide before Friday!
P.S. What if instead of “resolutions,” I called them my New Year’s Fortitudes or Tenacity for Two Thousand Ten? Too silly?
I’ll sit down to write something, but I feel pressure to write something profound. Deep and meaningful and impressive. I want to write something that will be recognized. I’m learning that I am more driven by recognition than I thought.
So this is my confession to crimes of wanting you, badly…
I don’t know how to make it so that you only see the current month’s posts when you visit the site and see little parentheses by each month with how many posts are from that month. Boo.