October 2018 has been a whirlwind. Lots of rehearsals and concerts, a couple of weddings, and extra time at work resulted in an insane schedule. That added to working through plenty of mental and emotional stuff as mentioned in the past two entries resulted in some moments that just about broke me. Oh, and that coupled with Seasonal Affective Disorder issues (which I sometimes refer to as “the SADs”) made some days a real picnic.
I reached a point at which all I wanted to do was sell most of my belongings, purchase the smallest and coziest cottage in the woods, quit everything, then sleep ’til death. Some people to whom I told this understood and said I needed rest. Others thought I needed therapy. When having one particularly difficult conversation with a friend, it came up that there is a serious level of self-hatred operating in me, and there always has been. It was sad. I’ve had that going on as long as I can remember. But it got so much worse over the course of the past 15-18 years or so. Letting go of the last vestiges of anything academic in my life has been a self-healing relief and a perpetuation of self-hate via constant failure, simultaneously. Balancing this out is going to be a real trick.
For the last concert done in October, we played in a small venue with art exhibited there. During the concert, when I was listening to the pieces in which I don’t play, I started to fall down a dark and depressing hole (some of the music done was lugubriously minor and plumbed the depths of its own darkness). I was feeling disconnected from my place in music, mainly because I heard some competitive achiever discussions during the break beforehand (ex: “Oh, I went to school here, here, and here. And I published a bunch of things, and I played all the various things I am mentioning now and will continue to reiterate throughout the evening, and I do all the non-related interesting edgy things, so SEE HOW SPECIAL I AM!!!”), and that kind of thing is so off-putting, it drains me in the worst possible way. I concluded that so much of my disgust in the music world has to do with that as well as the bone-dry approach to historical performance. (Or, in the rare flip-side occasion, the let’s-do-something-totally-outlandish-that-doesn’t-make-any-sense-to-possibly-engage-the-audience approach isn’t that much more appealing.) More simply, I want to put good stuff out there and have people enjoy it to the point that they are somewhat (even if only slightly) changed by it. Back in 2007, I heard Robert Barto perform a solo lute recital that was just like that. And it was life-changing for me. I remember tearing up and being so grateful that I could experience something as beautiful as that. And I wanted to do something like that, too.
But, oh, the bullshit.
Anyway, back to the concert I was playing and attending: I started to tear up there because I didn’t know if I’d ever get to a point at which I could make peace with music. And I was on the verge of bursting into ugly-crying. So to diffuse those feels, I looked at the artwork displayed in the venue. The pieces closest to my seat had messages on them such as “You are adored.” and “You are worthy!” and I felt this tentative feeling of love and acceptance envelop me. It was like something was telling me, “Well, you’ve tried self-hatred for 44 years. Don’t you think it’s time to try a little self-love?” And my brain and whole being screamed “OMG YES! Let’s take a nap.” Yes. Okay, self-love needs to come in the form of me giving myself the rest and care it needs, even when I feel like I’m going to be ridiculed for it. My experience there was like a breaking open of the hatred to see how it’s just my Self crying out for what I need, and how desperately I need it.
You know, in this little online coven I belong to, we did a little Samhain Witchmas gift exchange. For those who are across the pond, we gifted tarot or oracle readings. (I also crafted some cards just for a little something in the mail for my giftee. And that was so much fun for me to do.) Anyway, I did a reading for her with my Sacred Rebels Oracle deck. Normally I don’t like these kinds of decks, but one of my favorite vloggers recommended it as a tool for help with self-love and healing, and I’ve loved it so far. My giftee really loved it, too, and it was completely synchronous how some of the things in the reading that she needed to hear were also things I needed as well.