(1) Thanks largely to the spirit of love and good will in the community of Moscow, Idaho, I have almost raised enough money to afford the deposit and last month’s rent on a new apartment.
(2) Due to record sales of piano CDs this month, I have finally been able to replace the 12-foot long makeshift power cord & wired mouse & keyboard for my MacBook Pro. The new wireless keyboard/mouse combination and power cord from the Apple Store is much better. Grateful that I no longer have unravel all those cords every time I pull them out of my backpack, and that I am no longer tripping over said cords every time I leave my desk.
(3) Ran into the main guy at the Jazz School yesterday, back from Seattle after a lengthy hospital visit. He gave me a big hug and told me to send the performance tracks and the rest of my Act 1, Scene 1 package to his email. He also asked if I would stop by his office and discuss the possibility that some of his students might do the Finale formatting for college credits. In a spirit of increased motivation, I dove into the Scene 2 work–and may even finish it by tonight.
(4) A Zoom connection with a former singing student, now in Los Angeles, is exciting. Tessa is 30 now, and she was singing like this (and winning awards) when she was only 14. I’ve not taught singing on Zoom before, and am looking forward to the brave new world thereof.
(5) Many of the professors were on vacation for Spring Break last night, so out Theology meeting was a bit more intimate. I really enjoyed discussing the theme of the “journey of life.” I must say it’s been quite a journey so far–and the sunshine is bright on this gorgeous day, in the city where I was born.
“His way had therefore come full circle, or rather had taken the form of an ellipse or a spiral, following as ever no straight unbroken line, for the rectilinear belongs only to Geometry and not to Nature and Life.” — Hermann Hesse
(1) I have been offered a position as Assistant Musical Director of the musical PIPPIN at a regional theatre in Washington State. They also want me to teach singing at their Academy, have arranged for transportation for me to and from my home in Idaho, and have told me that they are interested in my musical.
(2) Hard to top that one, but my Harvey’s Tunehas been sent to Harvey Brooks the composer and is sitting on the top of his timeline. My friend George shared it, and a friend of his is a friend of Harvey’s, so it landed with Harvey pretty quickly. (He hasn’t heard it yet or said anything about it.)
(3) My column on the so-called Afterlifehas been published at Spokane Faith and Values.
(4) Found a decent piano tuner who wasn’t overbooked and got my home piano tuned for the first time in about three years. Really sounds great now, and I’m preparing to do recordings from home.
(5) During an unusually communicative conversation, Keva revealed that if I were to give her a definite deadline, she would be sure to have her work turned in by that day. She agreed to a deadline of March 27th,. I then told her to be sure to wish me a Happy Birthday on that day, because it would likely be the best birthday present I have ever received.
(2) Grateful for Spokane Faith and Values and in particular for the current Afterlife Series. I was able to pitch in with my own take on the concept, and am fascinated with all the different ideas people are propounding. I very much enjoy the discussions all the interesting journalists and religious figures I have met there. It feels good to be respected and for my opinions to be considered. But it feels even better to be among people who can disagree with each other, not only without fighting each other to death, but actually enjoying the great diversity of opinions that we, as thinking human beings, tend to form. God bless them all.
(3) People are really nice to me here in this curious little hamlet — even people whom I am afraid may regard me only as a weird freak on strange trip. This really is a pretty cool town.
(4) Saw a fabulous production of Stephen Sondheim’s COMPANY at the Regional Theatre of the Palouse on Saturday, thanks to my friend Cody who drives. I rarely leave the area (or even my house for that matter) but this time I’m glad I did. It’s a show about marriage, and I happened to have been the Assistant Musical Director of the first nonprofessional production of it as in 1972. Fifty years ago, yet I remembered practically every word and note. Excellent production in a wonderful little theatre. I got to sit second row orchestra.
Cody and I played and sang two songs from Eden in Babylon in the Green Room after the show, and the Artistic Director emailed Cody today to ask what my name was to see if he can get me on staff at R-Top. When one door closes, another one opens. I sure enjoy teaching singing. Thankful for Cody too, that’s two jobs in a row he’s got me.
(5) Not sure which of three blessings to report, so I’ll capsulize. I had a great four mile run on a beautiful afternoon on Friday, had a great conversation with one of my previous pastors (and it turned my head around), and I am starting in with a new therapist tomorrow at ten. She says she will advocate for my true diagnosis with my new doctor once she’s convinced what it is. She and the doctor are both runners, and that somehow seems it will help. Looking forward to a new chapter in this surprisingly new life.
I won’t have the podcast about my Christian experience ready for a few more days. I’ve been getting feedback from a couple other people and it just doesn’t seem ready to post yet. Parts of it would be unintelligible to anyone who doesn’t know me well, and I need to make it simpler.
Why don’t you soak in my student Zazen’s rendition of “On My Own” from LES MISERABLES in the meantime. This is from our lesson on Monday — so it’s highly informal.
(1) Seeing as it is 8 degrees Fahrenheit now, I find things such as meditation and a hot bath very useful in the absence of vigorous outdoor exercise.
(2) Very good singing lesson today. My student and I both agreed it was very constructive. I really enjoy the arrangement and only wish I had maybe three or four other students as well.
(3) Spontaneously came up with a fairly decent podcastthat seems relevant to basic stuff that’s happening, here there and everywhere.
(4) Christmas was peaceful. I basically just treated it like any other day, and tried not to think about all the fun other people were having that they probably weren’t having anyway.
(5) The more I shelter, the more I notice I don’t feel like spending a lot of time online. There’s something about doing stuff offline that is so much less anxiety-provoking. Lots of possibilities, anyway, when one has a computer, lives alone, and has ideas.
(1) Z’s singing lesson went well again & we also had a great conversation. I felt this rush of gratitude as soon as I started playing my standard vocal warm-ups. This is especially heartwarming considering that five or six years ago, I was fairly convinced I would never be able to use those skills again.
(2) Heard from Keva whose show has closed now so we can get back to the album. For those of you have already bought it, we may be doing touch-ups on a couple of the earlier five tunes, as we gradually put the next five together. Grateful for Keva’s professionalism.
(3) Thankful for my gig at the nursing home, where I met a really interesting pastor / long distance runner who just agreed to have lunch with me next week.
(4) Check it out: Over 4500 views on “An Affair to Remember.” I even got a couple of downvotes! I must be moving up in the world. :)
(5) Shivering last night, I grabbed a second blanket and suddenly felt the same gratitude I used to feel when I needed another blanket when I was shivering outdoors. I always said “Thank you Lord” as soon as the second blanket made the shivers stop — and I said those words last night as well. Nothing like feeling God’s got you covered! (Let that sink in.)
(1) For the first time, I received a substantial donation to Eden in Babylon from a name I did not recognize. Maybe that’s a sign that things are looking up.
(2) This is the most consistent I’ve been with running since I moved to Idaho. I did 2 1/2 miles last night, 2 1/2 miles two nights before that, and 4 miles the previous morning. I’m sure I’ve lost significant weight, though have not yet been to a scale.
(3) Got another column published. I’m grateful to have been given the opportunity to express my thoughts as to how some aspects of Christendom in contemporary American culture are extremely off-base.
(4) Am officially signing a W-4 and beginning my new job at the United Church next Sunday. Yesterday was Cody’s last day. I provided special music, and we had a ceremony afterwards in which Cody’s five years as their pianist was honored. The anxious fire that incessantly burns within me was once again soothed by the spirit of love and peace that prevails over this most accepting church.
(5) Zazen committed to a month’s worth of vocal coaching and I have my first official private music student since moving to Idaho. It’s wonderful how many new possibilities have opened up in my retirement, to permit me to do the work that I most love.
Hard work is painful when life is devoid of purpose. But when you live for something greater than yourself and the gratification of your own ego, then hard work becomes a labor of love. — Steve Pavlina