Life passes too quickly, but it’s okay, there’s probably a next time round

To listen to the audio of this blog, click the link:  blog sept 20 2010

Life passes too quickly.   Getting to grips with that can be quite a challenge: yearning to be able to accomplish – or even just try – everything that burns within, having to accept the reality that you just can’t do it all, some of it is going to have to remain a vision in your mind.  What happens to that vision, I wonder?  Does it dissipate when you die?

Somehow I can’t believe it does.  In the same way that I can’t believe people are gone when they die, or that the life that surges through us with such power ends with this one experience.

Despite that consoling thought, though, don’t we all wrestle with the tension between what we long to do and what we still need to learn so that we can do it?   It may be that we need to learn to create resources, or how to operate in a certain milieu; we may need to overcome great fear of things that are trivial to other people – fear that doesn’t dissipate with a mantra or a logical “be positive” mind-mantra.   Whatever the specifics, we all face a learning curve, whether it’s about how the world works or how to do ourselves in a way that brings our visions closer to reality.

As time goes flashing by, I become more clear about my own yearnings.  I want a safe place within myself where I’m not blown about by other people’s needs, feelings and opinions, but can hold myself intact in the face of them so I don’t need to hide; so I let them be who they are without judgment, and can interact, giving and taking.  Living in isolation is the very worst thing, I think.

Then I want a safe place in the world.  I want physical things that represent security to me, that I don’t have to constantly be afraid “is this going to be taken away from me tomorrow?”.   And I want to work with self-expression in such a way that it facilitates connection with other people.

I guess it’s Maslow’s hierarchy of needs all in one.   Put that way, in a nice neat package it seems easy, achievable.  But life isn’t a neat package, is it?  It’s sometimes messy, laborious and mostly challenging in some way or another.  We have to deal with the consequences of our ignorance and the passage of time and to make our way through the morass of daily and time consuming tasks and conflicting needs that make up our physical world.

Still, some people are better at it than I am!  I watched Barack Obama talk on the David Letterman show once.  He spoke about the basic rights of Americans, and I thought my god, I hardly have any of those in place.  It was a nice wake-up call, seeing that so much of what I really struggle to achieve is so familiar to so many people that they completely take it for granted.  It’s normal for them.  It was like being thirsty and drinking some cool delicious drink, because hey, if other people can do it so can I.

Somehow I suspect that the vision any of us have for the kind of life we long to experience – the whole caboodle – will come to fruition in some way, and then when the time is right, give way to something that’s more meaningful.  We’ll get so far this lifetime, and carry the vision, the longing, with us when we die.   I like to believe we constantly refine it from lifetime to lifetime, and even though we worry about getting it all right this time round, we don’t actually have to.

Because there’s probably going to be a next time round.

In general, this blog is about the pursuit of dreams.  Mine are to establish myself as a vocalist, script & blog writer & novelist, & to earn by doing something meaningful.  I need help with some things.  Click here to read more about my dreams and what I need.   To listen to my singing, click here for yesterday’s blog or click here for my first audio

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Who says the truth sets you free? Where dreams come true…Anybody know Michael Buble? Oprah?

Hopefully you can listen to this on audio.  click the following link: 1st blog audio sept 12 2010 If you like it, I’d love you to share it with your FaceBook friends.  Well, any friends, actually.  Anybody know Michael Buble?  Oprah?  The transcript is below, minus, of course, the bits of singing.

This blog marks the start of a pretty grand dream, using a funky old PA system and computer to record.  When I worked out how to do this, grandiose visions blossomed in my head of perfect songs emerging first time round;  instant world fame; recording labels jamming up my phone lines and internet connection; blog going viral overnight and Michael Buble stopping whatever he was doing and yelling “gotta sing with that woman!! Who the heck is she?”

Ha ha – it isn’t going to happen, folks.  Ooh, daunting thing listening to your own voice for the first time.   I thought I had excellent pitch.   Eugh.  No control at all.  Oh.   Now I sympathise with people who sing karaoke so horribly!  One teeny tiny consolation is – oh.  There isn’t one!.

Even talking and not sounding voice tense or boring is difficult.   I have renewed respect for people who do this and make it sound easy.   I’m sure I can whip my voice into shape within the next ten years.  Okay, maybe twenty.  Well look, definitely thirty.  Forty without a doubt.  Fifty – tops.   By then I’ll be in the grave.   What would I sing?  How about cemetery blues.

Well that’s cheerful, Jennifer, what a great way to start.  Actually, it doesn’t matter how / where you start, it just matters that you start.   And of course that you don’t let anything stop you.  You just put one foot in front of the other and travel along your chosen road.

So.  Here’s to having overcome the first round of challenges which I thought were insurmountable and it turns out they weren’t.  I seriously didn’t believe I could work out how to record using my computer.  Mind you there was a time when I thought I couldn’t work out how to use an electric drill either.

So here’s to the next lot of obstacles, yay, love those obstacles.  Gaaad.   It’s rough when your dream is to be a singer and your obstacle is the way you sing.   V. funny, Universe.  Who was it said the truth sets you free?  It’s absolute bollocks of course.  We all know that.

Just kidding.

1st blog audio sept 12 2010

In general, this blog is about the pursuit of dreams.  Mine are to establish myself as a vocalist, script & blog writer & novelist, & to earn by doing something meaningful.  I need help with some things.  Click here to read more about my dreams and what I need.

Life: is it about one size fits all?

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I counted up the money I’ve got for the next 6 weeks and have decided to spend some of it on a month’s worth of singing lessons.   I always seem to be up against this, I have money to live on pretty minimally, and I can do stuff at home – sing, play piano, write.   But I don’t have resources to take what I do into the world.   If I want to spend money on those things it comes out of food money.

Well, I’m doing it anyway.  I’m going to a jazz singer/piano player, Amanda Tiffin, if she’ll have me.    Ask her to help me put together an appealing repertoire of standards – the kind of stuff Michael Buble sang when he started, as it happens!

Hard to sing yesterday, just couldn’t get my voice going.   Had this inner collapse thing going on.   Terrifying.  I did my exercises and sang along with Sarah Vaughan anyway, Black Coffee, Button up your Overcoat and others but my heart wasn’t in it and I didn’t know how to engage it.

I posted one of my blogs on Searchwarp, about yesterday, today and tomorrow and got 16 great comments, great ratings, one not so good comment – “…I’m not sure you’re as focused as you should be to achieve all that you wish for, but I wish you luck with your efforts.”    My first reaction was to think she’s right, there’s something wrong with the way I’m doing it.   Doooom, I’ll never get it right.   Ad nauseam.   It created a storm, and had a whole lot to do with that inner collapse thing.  So I did my tantrum, and was left with this:

So long as we want to be loved and supported – pretty natural human desire, I’d say – it’s going to hurt when somebody says you’re doing it wrong and doesn’t offer any helpful, constructive advice.   It’s going to switch on all your Las Vegas neon light inner messages about not being enough.   So that’s good, you get to see them and ask the question is this the truth?

You get to look at your life and what you’ve accomplished; figure it out for yourself.   No, it’s not the truth. So next time somebody says something less than supportive you’ll be stronger within, you won’t find yourself lying on your back in the dust bloody hell, how did they knock me down so easily? Most of all, you don’t let it stop you.

Whatever our reaction to other people’s opinions, we can’t define ourselves by them.   We’ll just be tossed about in the winds and storms of their beliefs and unresolved issues.   One will believe one thing, the next will believe the opposite.   What they say speaks about them, not about you.   If we take it on we lose your own compass and give up.

Henry Ford said you get what you accept. It sounded so trite when I first heard it, until I looked at it the other way round.  What you have is what you’ve accepted. Not just in physical things, in absolutely everything.

I don’t believe life is about one size fits all, one way to fulfill dreams, one way to focus.   I think it’s more that each person has their own size.   One person one size – like one person one vote.   This I do know: everybody who’s ever made it has had scores of people – and some very authoritative ones – tell them they’re doing it wrong.   So a comment like the one I got must mean I’m on the right track, heading in the right direction.   Yeah, yeah, maybe.

Maybe, though, the commentor just meant I don’t really understand what your focus is and expressed themselves clumsily.   I know my focus is spread between singing, writing a blog, a script, a novel, an autobio, work, playing piano.   Am I spreading myself too thin?

Heaven on Earth, Nirvana and Elevated Brain Waves

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Here’s the latest news about being spiritual.  Meditation is the Only Straight Gate, through which you have to pass to reach heaven.  Nirvana, sorry.  Apparently they’re not the same thing.

How do we know this?  According to somebody whose name I forget, when you meditate your brain waves do something jolly, which means you’re becoming more spiritual.   And they don’t do that when you go to therapy.   Therapy is a total waste of time if you want spiritual advancement.

The thing is, there’s no doubt meditation makes you feel peaceful and in harmony, but is that what being spiritual is?  Maybe yes, maybe no.   As for what your brain waves do when you’ve had a significant therapy session, who knows?   Nobody’s measured mine.  And what about when love happens, or a musician plays an exquisite piece of music, or somebody takes a stroll along the beach, or two friends have fun together?  Nobody measures those people’s brain waves.

There’s never any real substance to any argument that says “I’m right and you’re wrong”.   Even this one I’m making.  Maybe the guy’s right.  It’s okay, I don’t mind being wrong on this.

Meditation works for some people, and I respect that.  So does Catholicism – that’s a little harder for me to respect, because of my own experiences, and so does materialism – which is very hard for me to respect, given my current situation, and what I believe about life.  Doesn’t make me right, though, on either count.

Right or wrong, I prefer to believe there’s room for everybody and that one isn’t better than the other, they’re just different – on the outside, that is.  Probably at the core, we all want the same thing, we’re all heading in the same direction.   Aren’t we all human?

Off the subject, re my plan, am doing vocal exercises and singing every day, and piano is tuned.  Recording studio man, and Michelle Maxwell, both seem to be dead end.  Emailed demo CD and backing track man, and will seem him possibly next week.  Shure SM58 mic costs about $200, and a sony digital voice recorder $56.   A digital grand piano which has weighted keys so it plays like a real grand, and has a thousand electronic capacities, including recording, burning CDS, mixing: $2900.  Hmm.

I don’t have the money for any of it yet but it’s good to have the info.  I want to put my voice on my blog, so I’m making that a priority.  Thought I had a really nice ghost-writing job yesterday, oh heaven!  Alas I didn’t get it.  Well, thanks to wonderful friends and some work I’ve been able to do, I’m okay for food and rent etc. for the next 6 weeks, so am free from worry.

It’ll work out.  Having the dream to be a vocalist and be on stage and sing with Michael Buble is important, but actually singing, even if it’s just exercises, or singing along with somebody – Sarah Vaughan today – is when everything seems possible.  I think the pleasure of the doing is what carries the dream forward.  It’s not at all a superficial thing, it’s a real body-soul connection that comes alive.  Heaven on earth.

I’m sure it elevates my brain waves.  They become beta alpha.  V. funny.