The last blog I wrote was about Will Smith taking a swing at Chris Rock at the Academy Awards. What year was that? Feels like ancient history, considering all that is happening in the world. In our heads. And hearts.
Well I’ve missed writing and connecting with you. The “music thing” has kind of taken over my life and this worker-bee loves to work.
I still do one gig a week, teaching beginning ukulele at a local retirement community. Our enthusiastic little band of strummers scat on Route 66 and go all country with Jambalaya. This is my Friday reminder, up close and personal, how music heals us. One strum at a time. Here and then gone.
The CC Strummers are busy and growing. It’s thrilling that our players, both local and totally not local, are forming their own groups, performing and teaching the stuff we learn in our Zoom classes. A few of them tell me they hear “my voice” in their head. Quick, call a shrink! But I hear the voices of my teachers too. Long gone, they are. Flawed, wonderful human beings who changed my life and didn’t always give me the best advice.
What a kaleidoscope of contradictions, this teaching business. I make mistakes. We all do. I don’t always get it right the first time. Do you? I change my mind and frequently ask “what do YOU think?” because I trust that we draw inspiration from the same well. We may scoop with different buckets and what happens next? Who knows… But aren’t we all students? And teachers? Elders? Elders-to-be?
The CC Strummers had an eventful November…The weather is supposed to be “breezy” but halfway through our last show of the year at The WLA Farmers’ Market, the wind suddenly whips up and sends various objects flying through the air including our song sheets, music stands, chairs, hats. But we soldier on and laugh through it. Maybe if this wind storm had been a tornado I would have yelled “RUN!” But shows can be about the ways we endure, too. It feels like we’re the band on the Titanic. We know how this is going to end, but we keep playing anyway. Because that’s what musicians do. Click here to watch.
And would you believe I’m recording again?
Over the years I’ve written several instrumentals on the ukulele with pretty melodies you can actually hum. But I’ve also had to “practice, practice, practice” as if I REALLY AM going to play at Carnegie Hall. Well MY Carnegie Hall is the spare room at my producer’s house. Together we’ve been working on my album, Looking Glass, for months. Soon my graphic artist will assemble the “gift wrapping” and while that’s happening, I’m preparing easier arrangements and video tutorials so YOU can learn to play these songs too. I’ll keep you in the loop as things progress. Please Click Here to watch.
Friday evening is date night with my sweet husband. There are meet-and-greets with friends, trips to Trader Joe’s because, when it comes to meal preparation, I need all the help I can get.
Don’t laugh but this schedule is my idea of “cutting back” after I had a heart attack in the middle of the pandemic. Life is messy and complicated. When there is so much suffering and s-c-a-r-y in the world, it can be a slippery slope into the land of despair, but I’m so grateful that WE, you and me, are still here.
I send weekly newsy emails with class materials specifically to The CC Strummers. But when I send a blog, it goes to everyone on my master list…which means a lot of you haven’t heard from me for quite a while and may have thought I ran off to join the circus…
Please know I’ve missed this connection and hearing from you. I’ve missed the “ahh” feeling I get being part of our shared online ohana.
But if you would like to join The CC Strummers’ elist and receive my weekly missives (or unsubscribe), please email me. Our Zoom classes are on holiday break and will resume the second week in January, 2024.
“After all that we’ve been through in the world, I feel like we all want a place to be safe and connected to other human beings. Everyone has a thirst for community.” Beyonce.
From “Beyonce. Amen” by Michael Eric Dyson from The New York Times, December 3, 2023.
So here we are, on the cusp of the unknown…also called THE NEW YEAR! I’m girding myself for a BUMPY ride in 2024 and leaning into our community, and leaning into music, to uplift, reassure, embrace us in the fullness of this moment. May we flourish. May we endure. And may we strum happy…