I lament the brevity of warm and happy afternoon sunshine.
It has already begun its withdrawal from the living room window, and from my back, as minutes tick closer to evening...it was just the thing I needed to chase the almost-winter-chill and almost-winter-blues.
Dark chocolate crosses my mind as replacement, or maybe a hot bath.
The dog paces vacantly in front of me, perhaps fighting her own case of winter blues and lack of vitamin D. I scoot closer to the window, blinking at her empathetically. She's 14 years old and mostly deaf, but her company makes me happy.
It is approaching weekend, with no gigs at all. I fight the guilt that creeps in when I'm not busying myself, being productive somehow...going somewhere or battling the thing I fear to even look at, the to-do list.
But it is has given my brain a chance to un-flurry itself... and write.
Time off is an interesting phenomenon; like a gift card to the feed store, or Guitar Center. There's so many good things to do with it that are not ordinarily within the realm of possibility, I don't know how to spend it first -- and it's easy to sit around deciding so long that it eventually expires.
Sitting around could be a kind of nice phenomenon in itself, though...
I've been in a writing mood all day. My eyes drift and fall onto the guitar, off its stand and leaning against the sofa, where I laid it down moments ago -- alluring me, as it has been since this morning.
Though right now I'm disinfatuated. Almost indignant; as a kid sticking out their tongue.
It has strung my brain and my emotions through a lot in one day, promising songs -- new ones, good ones -- or at least one; not letting loose of my being as I wrestle for the perfect lyric and chord, knowing I'm within reach.
And I ponder, now, whether perfectionism is an inherent or learned characteristic. I'm pretty sure I must have gotten a dose of each.
My indignance comes to the rescue. Not justifying forfeit, but allowing a timeout of sorts; easing the pressure for this evening and letting my brain simmer...
Which it will: in the shower, in bed, in the barn, at the wheel.
And thus I sit, staring at the guitar in its seductive glory, admiring but not moving from my sun absorbent huddle.
Released from its immediate creative writing assignments, my mind defaults to sticky Christmas songs, though it's well into January. I start humming, something resemblant of the Twelve Days of Christmas, and the mostly deaf dog stops her pacing to peer at me.
Christmas has a way of sneaking up on me. This December, no exception, blew by in an awful hurry. In fact, it felt almost distant and surreal, as if Christmas season and everything that goes with it descended on everyone except me this year.
Christmas music usually helps put me in the yuletide mood more than anything. Not really the mood I was looking for on this January day...
Next weekend I get to launch full force back into gigging and traveling, and I'm already dreading the 6am plane flight. As usual, I'm a little nervous. But so much more, I'm excited. And truthfully, it's easy for gigging to become so routine that I forget to be excited as I once was. I do believe hum-drum will take over anybody's life if they let it.
Sometimes, too, it’s hard to grasp ownership of the title “musician”.
Until I try to imagine myself doing something else instead, and then realize that ownership was never up for debate in my mind.
In the meantime, I take advantage of the rest of the evening. Muddy cat prints on the toilet seat and spending a full 45 minutes grooming dirt clods off of my two horses are sure signs of winter in Texas, if nothing else. Ponying Roy next to Velvet has been good for him lately...
We head out, him rearing and leaping and lagging and spooking and firing forward, while Velvet calmly and steadily jogs on. I can almost hear the sarcastic mare comments parading out of her brain.
A quarter mile or so later, he learns his job and settles into an easy gait beside her, only once in awhile showing his rebellion through a nip to her hiney. He has the kind of baby face you can't hate, though, and even Velvet puts up with him cheerfully. A breeze plays at the tail of my braid, and steady trotting for the last mile has pumped rosiness through my limbs and my smile. This beats dark chocolate or a hot bath, I reckon. Both horses are relaxed, hardly even raising a head when the posse of bicyclists pass down the FM road. We find a steady rhythm, and a setlist begins to form in my head for next weekend.
Hope to see y'all there.
p.s. The song is finished.