Today is rainy. A chili type day, though I don’t have any.
The horses are muddy. Velvet's mane curls up in the wet weather like mine does...it's delightful. I can see her through the window; I go out to nuzzle her briefly, hurdling from the door into the dank wind, on my way scaring 3 cuddled up cats out of their cozy porch chair. I leap the fence and find quick shelter between two large bodies...I am still in socked feet. No wonder 90% of my socks are only 80% still in one piece.
It's a day off. Feels like it should be. There are no gigs, and I am home. I have spent a good chunk of it aggressively pushing through an impressive pile of business phone calls, emails, contracts, letters, CD mailings; tirelessly date juggling, decision making (trying), organizing (attempting), letting the dog out, planning, worrying, wishing, time wasting, resetting the wifi modem, letting the dog in. I have checked off an also impressive portion of my To Do list. The current count now left on that list is 98. 23 of those items are relatively urgent. 6 of those urgent items require me to sing to practice/rehearse. The doc told me to rest my voice.
10 or so items are floating around in my brain that need to be added to the To Do list but frustratingly won't come back to mind when I'm ready to write them down. More worrying follows.
The house is fairly clean and neat, and that makes for a joyful yellow kitchen light across white counters, to counter the soggy greyness outside. My bedroom is a different story.
Don't get me wrong, I love rainy days. Rain is a blessing in Texas no matter which way you look at it. I often love to spend damp and cloudy days outside. I can embrace a wet world, and a sky with personality and character, and the slightly adventurous suspense it adds to the air. But I have to be in that adventurous mood. That same cloudy day can also make me feel like the depths of the dirty clothes basket.
Lamps throughout the dark corners of the house also cheer me. It crossed my mind earlier to spend part of the afternoon on a drawing and painting project I’ve wanted to start – perfect thing for a rainy day. Sometimes it’s hard to dedicate time and focus to something that doesn’t seem imminently required, when so many other things are. Eventually, and after searching in vain for the materials I need, it becomes too late to start. It’s now on my calendar for another day. I look forward to a day spent being artsy, in a visual way. I used to do a lot more of that before my art became audial.
I sing anyway. Despite doctor orders, time is precious and I need to practice. Several brand new singing collaboration performances I’m involved with are drawing close – songs I have yet to learn.
That aside, even with a sore throat, I find it difficult to stop; unintentional as it is. I catch myself absentmindedly singing throughout the day, as I'm doing … Practically everything, except possibly teeth brushing.
Funny what you never realize you do until you're told not to do it.
Putting my hands on the guitar makes me smile, of course. A little unsure how I sound as I practice, or if this will still be a good key when my voice feels better. This aching throat has hung around too long. It’s had no rest - I can’t be surprised. But it's wearing on me. I want to belt out in my practice, but I restrain myself.
I feel like a procrastinator, always trying to get everything done last minute. So many things seem to never get done. But then, when would I possibly have squeezed them in before now? When will I still squeeze them in, yet? Don't answer that. The thought of being a procrastinator guilts me. The refrigerator door opens.
Today would be a good book reading day, if I had a good book to read. A day for something fictional and utterly for pleasure...not educational. That has its place, but not on a rainy chili type feels-like-a-day-off day. I just want to be swept away.
A can of soup will suffice instead of chili.
I stare at the piles of papers. I wonder to myself - if the digital age of emails, Facebook and websites didn't exist, would that stack of papers be large enough to fill the entire house? It seems probable. The stack is intimidating even now.
One particular letter sits on top of the paper stack. A 5 page letter, ever so thoughtfully and carefully handwritten by a fan in Nevada. A letter worth saving. A letter he would be delighted to receive a response to. I need also to follow up on the venue that he mentions in the letter, a theater in his hometown he would love me to play at someday.
I have always loved letter writing, actually. Handwritten ones – though, a real old fashioned typewriter would also be very exciting. If I were collecting a Wish List instead of a To Do list... ah, I’m silly I suppose.
When I was younger I wanted a pen pal. That was back when the clocks ticked slower, somehow.
And I've always been old fashioned. But right now....
I have a weekend full of gigs ahead of me. I’m excited for each one – how many people get to work and play at the same time? I am supposed to give a workshop, as well, which sets my nerves to wracking. It’s all going to be extremely fun. Even so, I'm not letting myself think about the gigs or even pack yet. Today gets to be separate.
After contemplation, though, it might be smart if I think about at least UN-packing from my last trip…
My mind drifts. Get the farrier out, I can add that to the To Do list. I’m thinking of the muddy horses. My 3 year old needs some riding. Not hard, for now - just enough to engage his mind, and gain his confidence. But regular. It takes dedicated time.
Wet saddleblankets, maybe, in one sense...
Not today's type of wet.
The sleeping dog drools across my feet, and I get up to throw on work boots and slosh to the barn. There's nothing like the noise of rain on a barn roof, and the smell of it at the same time. Rain amplifies the muskiness and general sweet and distinct barn odor, and I am happy. Bluebonnet seems happy too, chewing her cud. She doesn't calve for another few weeks, and she's looking healthy. At least she has the presence of mind to stay out of the mud more than the horses do.
The dark day is getting darker. I've spent what time I could have used letter writing, writing this instead.
I think about curling up inside Daddy's big jacket, and the Bible lying on my bed. It's a comforting thought.
I think I'll feed the horses, heat up some soup, and take the day off.