Long ago, in a more innocent time, I wrote a post about the potential for procrastination to feed our creativity. I was writing then, as well, to let my readers know, after more than 150 posts, that I was going to take a break and work on some other writing projects. I wrote that final post on February 27, 2020.
As we know, these seven months later, a lot changed immediately after I wrote at the end of February. A lot. I was then coming off of four very intense years of working in eight different churches as an interim music director. I had not had a Sunday off in more than 2-1/2 years and I planned to take February through August off from working in churches and concentrate on writing a book that I thought might be in me. I also had two other part-time jobs, I was going to be taking a choir to sing at St. David’s Cathedral in Wales, and had some concerts planned with my duo partners.
I did not need a pandemic to shut down the entire country in order to find the necessary discipline to work on a book. Thank you, but it wasn’t necessary to be forced to stay home and have all of my freelance work dry up. We can go back to normal now. Really.
My light-heartedness is really only a cover for all the sadness that I feel for those in our world who are suffering so much loss – of health, loved ones, income, seeing family, travel plans, confidence in our government, optimism for the future, all those celebrations of life and death that need us to gather in person…there is such heaviness in feeling loss all around us.
And in the face of loss, we have to look for cracks where the light can come through. There is no choice except to find joy where we can.
I did indeed work on a book. It is a memoir, something of a hybrid that combines memory, reflection, and observation. I have sent my manuscript out to readers who have helped me further shape my thoughts, and its currently out in search of an agent. That seems crazy, but we’ll see what happens.
Meanwhile, I also got caught up with the music of a composer from early 20th century France. Her name is Mel Bonis, and I was really taken with some of her piano music which has been gathered under the title Femmes de Legende. I ended up writing (very) short stories to go with these seven pieces, and putting together an audiobook, which is supposed to come out on Audible one of these days. In order to do that, I also needed to create an actual book, which is essentially my script for the audiobook. I intended to wait until it was available on Audible before sharing it with anyone, but that process is taking longer than I have patience for, so here is the first chapter and a link to the book. Let me know what you think. If nothing else, I learned a lot and had a great time working on this.
Chapter 1 (audio)
We have no choice except to find joy where we can, and we also have no choice except to be creative in these strange times. What I see are people cooking more than ever, gardening more bountifully, staying in touch with friends and family more lovingly, talking to their neighbors more often, and finding new hobbies. In my neighborhood, families are out walking together all the time, the sidewalk chalk art is more prolific, and the birds seem to be singing more beautifully too. Maybe that last one is just my imagination, but I’m paying attention to things I hadn’t before, and I’m finding all kinds of light coming through the cracks.
I hope you are too.
Have you voted yet? (speaking of cracks, and much-needed light).