Two weeks ago, a new Grand Piano came into my life, and sits in the room that was always waiting for The Grand Piano (see this post about how that happened).
A week ago, my house cleaner came for the first time post-new-piano and we were talking about it in our halting I-Can’t-Speak-Spanish/I-Can’t-Speak-English, when she pointed to a picture that hangs right outside my studio, and knocked her fingers knuckles against it, as if she were gently rapping at a door.
It’s a picture I see a hundred times a day, and don’t think much about although it’s right at the entrance of my studio.
It’s a picture of me sitting at a piano. I’m about 18, around the time when I gave my first solo concert. It might have even been a ‘publicity shot’ for that concert.
I’m turned toward the camera, sitting at a beautiful old piano that was in the Dance Palace, the artist collective where I lived — and the photo was taken by Evvy Eisen (one of my favorite photographers).
In the picture, it looks like I’m turned waiting for someone to return.
And yesterday, when Carmen knocked on the picture, I got the feeling that I was finally at the door.
Where are you waiting for you?
Where are you waiting for yourself to return? Where are you frozen in time wondering when – if ever – you’ll return?
Every day, working with the artists I mentor in my “Harness Your Muse” program, I get to experience people knocking on their own creative doors, tentatively opening them a crack to see who’s there, opening them wider and wider.
Every day I get to experience the slow reach of hands across a lifetime as someone picks up an instrument, an idea, a passion they loved and left behind — or one they didn’t dare hope for — and invests themselves in it.
That rubs off on you.
Are you ready to meet yourself there?
My whole life I’ve searched for mentors, and found them. You’ll read about some of them in some of my blogs: Tony, Swack, Michael, Felicia and others – people who helped me find my way to me.
If your dream is musical expression, then consider applying for “Harness Your Muse.” Enrollment ends July 1st – and even if you don’t join the program, the application itself will help you see your own path more clearly. And if yours is a different dream – photography, painting, dance? Find a mentor, a guide to start your journey back to you.
And just think about this: When someone says “What are you waiting for?” the real question is “Where are you waiting for YOU … and what do you need to meet yourself there?”
Where indeed! Thank you so much for posting this Deborah! I’m still finding my way back after my cancer detour and recovering from all of the related health issues. Musical progress has been slow and frustrating at times. I did join a songwriting group and write at least 1 song a week for that and have faithfully for 2.5 years now. But all of the beautiful plans I had back when I met you, bought my harp and did your performance workshop got put on hold.
Great questions in the Harness Your Muse section, I’m so glad you mentioned they’d be of use even if I couldn’t do the program right now. I think they will be very helpful in charting my course back and beyond, you’re brilliant as always! Thank you for reminding me to notice the things that are waiting to bring me back to me. Like music and art.
That happened today as I was trying to discard an old set of ornate ceiling fans….instead I took them apart. The bodies in all of their gilding looked like excellent display stands for my singing bowls and the fan blades with their tulip metal and neat tips looked like a peacock waiting to be assembled. I love architectural salvage and making something old new. That’s definitely waiting for me too. As they say, no one sees the world exactly as you do. Someday if….no when, I get the peacock piece done, I’m going to post it on FB.
Thank you so much for always giving me permission to follow my wild artistic urges… I still want to do a music video for an idea I came up with for your workshop too. I’d love a blog article on how you just so fearlessly submit to your wild artistic urges and how you make so much happen! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, photos, music and artistic life! You’re a treasure! 🙂
What a beautiful message, Jenavieve – thank you!
I totally understand the frustration of the long-haul return and I’m amazed and impressed that you’ve been writing a song a week for over 2 years. That’s so great!
It’s funny about things put on hold. Sometimes I think they need to be there, seeping in their own juices, like spaghetti sauce, and if I can just be OK within myself that they’re waiting, then the work will be much better – because I just wasn’t ready to complete it yet.
I KNOW that’s how it works artistically. Now, getting myself to be OK with it emotionally – that’s another story.
Thanks again for everything you wrote.
and you were waiting for a real piano to return, and the more I work through my year of Harness Your Muse Mentorship, the more I think I was waiting; and incidentally, the Piano returned to me in the past 6 months, after rejecting it for the past 30 years. And within 6 months of starting HYMM, I have started to say, “I compose for harp”. And my hope to compose one piece that I thought was powerful ,has been accomplished, 6 months into the program. Thank you Deborah for this year. I feel very lucky to have this opportunity.
And boy, DO you ever “compose for harp.” I love having you in the group and I love what you’re doing and how you’re doing it … even when you get grumpy about it. Or maybe especially when you get grumpy about it and especially ESPECIALLY when you go all the way into that grumpiness and then it erupts into laughter. I love how you’re investing yourself in your work.
I remember the piano.
I remember you at 18.
I remember the concert.
Now, if I could only remember what is is I need at the grocery….
No! watermelon! Robert needs Watermelon!
And I had to come back to this photo; it is so haunting and evocative. the look; the slouch and the shoulders. A classic look captured.
Oh drat -you’re right! I was slouching back then, too! It’s been a lifelong conversation with my chest to just open up and take in the sun and the music.
Wow. I Love reading your blogs and the questions you encourage us to ask ourselves. Today’s message was really intense for me. Thank you for all that you do and give.
Thank YOU, Joy. I’m so glad you love the questions. I’d love to know more about what was particularly intense for you in this post. Thanks so much for writing!