Studio de Chaos is open for business starting in September. Its been a long year plagued with uncertainty and injury and lessons. Many many lessons. Here is what I have learned:
1. I am not me if I am not playing guitar let alone teaching music.
2. This injury I have has basically put me at level zero of playing. I do not sound like how I should. However, its given me a gift – I now know and understand the frustrations of the beginner. The callouses, the awkward hand positions, the inconsistencies, the triumph of getting that measure perfect 4 times in a row, just to blow it on times 5-19 to get it almost right again on attempt #20. Empathy is a good thing, and will get me back to where I need to be – at least on the teaching end of it. Im still working on the patience side (for myself).
3. My imagination hasn’t gone anywhere. My imagination has always been the strongest asset to my guitar career. I spent an entire year reading books just so I could at least keep one part of guitar game going. And if my practice session this morning is any indication, its going to be a really fun year of telling stories while we learn some classical music.
4. My mental game may be strong – but my physical one is not – so I need to add more exercise to my daily practice. Strength training – along with a whole lot more physiotherapy here we come!
Im getting excited about the coming year – I have lots of ideas, and I am super excited to share them with new students. And for everything that I have lost, I have gained so much more.
So if you are interested in an unusual approach to studying classical guitar, and live in Vancouver, BC – I may be the solution you are looking for. Call 604-679-1731 to schedule a lesson. Ask for Laura.
For Easter, I went to a cemetery. For no reason other than to lay flowers on graves of people that I have never met. This is not something I would normally do on Easter, or really on any other day. With the exception of burial services, I have never had a reason to visit someone’s grave. For the people I have lost in my life, I think about them all the time, and I have never felt the need to visit them graveside. But its Easter, and a friend of mine suggested we go. Since she is visiting from Toronto, I decided it would be something interesting for us to do together. There is a great deal of history after all – and just by looking at the types of headstones, you can learn a lot about the styles of the day – and the kind of person that they were.
But we hit a couple of snags. First, we couldn’t find flowers. You’d think that there would be plenty of flowers to be had on Easter, but we couldn’t find any. So we settled on mandarin oranges. There are cultures that put oranges and other kinds of food to wish good fortune, to show respect towards the dead, or to offer it to the evil spirits – so they will not eat the souls of the departed. But we chose this because I have a friend who does this for someone who loved oranges, and I thought it was a really special offering.
Second, we didn’t actually know anyone who was buried in the cemetery, so we walked around for awhile, until we connected with a headstone. We would talk to it, or just stand quietly and meditate on their lives a bit. And for ones we connected with, we placed an orange on the stone, as a sign to let them know we were there and thinking about them.
The last orange I offered, was to a woman named Ethel, who died in 1935 at 28 years and 11 months. Her family chose not to use her last name. I found the bolster gravestone an interesting one – and the design of the cylinder balanced on a slab of granite, made me feel like perhaps she was a bit undecided in life – or maybe even just a little chaotic.
Photo by Sisi – Taken at Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver, BC
Living on the West Coast, we are often spoiled. We have mild weather all year round (mostly). Yes it rains a bit – but we are rewarded with loveliness just about everywhere. This winter, we have gotten a bit of snow. Not a ton of it -but definitely more than normal. Most of the people I know are ready for spring. Not me! I’m loving the snow – and here is why:
When spring comes, people tend to be more social, there are more events, the weather is better, we go outside and talk to our neighbours, go to the beach, and barbecues, and block parties. I like those things too – but Im happy to go to one event per season, not every weekend. I prefer to be alone. I need the rest. Just having a regular day exhausts me. Spending time with others does me in for about 2 weeks.
I think nature is feeling the same way. It needs a rest. Its exhausting being pretty and social all the time. Let the world recuperate for a bit. Stay home, build a snowman in your backyard, go ski if you love to be outdoors in this weather. There is much to do. There’s lots of time to get everything done that you need to do. Summer will be here eventually.
Let the world gets some rest. Hibernate just a little bit longer.
Do you pay attention to advice that comes out of nowhere. Do you read your horoscope -take fortune cookies seriously. Do you say out loud to yourself “if I only had a sign” – and then 200 black crows fly over your head. What do you choose to listen to and why? Why the crows and not the fortune cookie? I personally am not one for horoscopes, I used to have a friend who would write me a daily horoscope, but that was based more on who I am and not how the stars were aligned that day.
But back to the fortune cookie. A few weeks ago, my fortune in a Valentine’s Day dinner was “Investigate the new opportunity that will soon become an option”. I could have read that as a romantic opportunity, but I chose to think of it in a business sense. You see, I have had this idea for quite some time now, and that was to expand my teaching practice into something a bit more entrepreneurial. To open up a shop that focused on music, art, and storytelling mixed with some other mediums. We would hold workshops, and camps, and afternoon or morning special events (birthday parties etc). Its a really good idea – and its based off of the camps I held with Studio de Chaos (if you don’t know what that is – trust me, it was awesome). Somewhere along the line I got frightened. Probably because my studio closed last year, due to rising operating costs and me feeling stressed and unsettled about the direction the studio was headed. So I shelved the idea.
But last night, I found myself in front of Small Business BC (in front of a huge sign that said “WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?” Exactly! What the hell am I waiting for. If I want to start something, the time to do it is now. The office happened to be closed when I got there, but I spent a good 15 minutes looking inside, to see if inspiration would hit. And it did. I could totally see myself doing what I had originally planned. And the excitement returned. I made a mental note of their hours, and promised myself that I would return next week, to talk to someone.
In the light of day, and a not so solid sleep -I woke to discover that I really don’t want to work with children anymore (children being the
target audience who would most likely use my services). And so I am back to where I started. I have a great idea, but I am not so sure its a good fit for me anymore, and I need someone to bounce some ideas off of, in order to figure out what I actually should be doing.
Fortune cookies are wise, and confusing.