Monday, December 19, 2011

I'm Dreaming of a Green Christmas

Dear God, thank you thank you thank you for keeping it green for our trip to Michigan in 4 days. I know, selfishly I do not care about any of the people who are moaning over the lack of a white Christmas. Please forgive me for that. Selfishly, all I can think of is how our trip will be 3 hours shorter, how we will be able to jump out of the car in our socks (because I hate keeping my shoes on for an 8 hour trip) in the case of a baby or dog emergency. All I can think about is how we can open the windows if one of the dogs throw up, and how we can even stop and let Baby S run around if she's bored. It's the best Christmas present I could have asked for :)

While we're on the subject, are you upset about Santa? See, here's the thing...I know that there's nothing wrong with presents and trees and giving and receiving and snowmen and all of that. But basic Christian theology is this: Jesus died while we were still sinners. Which means, Jesus died while we were all NAUGHTY. All of us, and so why do we have to tie this holiday in with a guy who only gives presents to NICE kids (which is a lie anyways, unless your parents are horrible and abusive you probably aren't getting coal). So I don't like Santa. He's the OPPOSITE of Jesus, giving deserved gifts rather than undeserved gifts, right? Every year I need to declare that on the internet, ok?

I recently realized I'm the worst parent ever when the pediatrician's office called to say that not only had we missed Baby S's two year checkup, we also never got her 15 month vaccinations. This came on the heels of discovering that we are almost out of the "lead zone" with her. When you become a parent, there is a series of self-judgments that emerge. I believe it's impossible to be prepared for these. Now, for the rest of your life, you feel not only responsible for what you do, but responsible for what someone else does. Eek. That means when my daughter says "Get out" to someone she doesn't even know, I think, "I'm an awful person."

However, I am taking her in tomorrow (after my own appointment, hoping to pull them both off like a mean bandaid) and finding out what the rash all over the lower part of her body is. I am betting on eczema, I guess we'll see. And me, I am horribly embarassed to admit that I haven't been checking my blood sugars AT ALL for the first time since my diagnosis. I don't know why, I am just rebellious I guess, or stupid.

All of this is boring me. THis year I would like to write a book and record an album. And find a few auditions, and sing. It's pretty much the same goals every year. I'd like to lose 50 pounds between now and next August, and then get pregnant. I'm lining up the goals like crazy! Let's say I just get two done...that would be awesome :)

I need a vacation. Oh yeah, I've got one coming :)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Divine Dissatisfaction

Every Saturday and Sunday night I get to have a little time alone. There is a little moment between Baby S going to sleep (around 10pm) and when Hubby gets home, (around midnight). I am usually so exhausted that I don't want to stay up, but the peace of it is so nice that I force myself to stay awake, making it significantly less pleasant than it could be.

This weekend has been a whirlwind of students, lots of moved and cancelled lessons, and next week is almost a vacation--my students have 4 days of 6 hour rehearsals after school (can you imagine that? It sounds awful). I am going very lightly into suggesting that they come for lessons, they probably need that time to sleep, but it makes next week financially tighter.

I have been searching through auditions, dreaming of what I could do next, but not seeing any real possibilities. I used to throw my net out wide, hopeful of any possibility, but now I am specific. After all--auditions now seem like so much more of an effort, and I am trying to find the stuff that I love, rather than just trying to get something (anything) that will let me be on stage. Novel, isn't it? To think of singing in terms other than desperation.

We used to make fun of an online forum where singers would post things such as "Have you heard from X opera?" "Has anyone gotten accepted? Rejected?" The desperation and fear would be so intense, and so ridiculous. Mainly because the things they were asking about were the equivalent of "opera sweat shop". Low pay, long hours, and getting treated like horse poop are still so normal in opera. And since I feel removed from that now I hesitate--am I exaggerating? But I can then remember all the things I've heard from opera directors, about using up singers like tissue, or not wanting to talk to siners because you didn't want to explain their failures, blah blah blah. It reminds me of when you hear guys who sleep around trying to talk about women....after a while there is simply no humanity left to them in the word "singer." There is simply object: god or pawn.

There is so much to be frustrated with when you are really following God, when you are doing unpopular things, when you believe in even the hard stuff, when you accept that you're not really supposed to be satisfied in yourself, and yet feel completely loved at the same time. But the most frustrating thing is the way God is so often represented (by what seems to be the loudest people) with a strange sense of self-satisfaction that you can't explain to someone who doesn't believe, because you yourself don't understand it....You commit yourself to a God who made Himself fully humble, low, born in a manger, died on a piece of wood, but you yourself feel you're "doing alright with God" or "everything's good" or you're better than someone else because of how good you are? Humility is the key to it....dissatisfaction is essential.

And sometimes this is how I feel about art. By itself, art is so utterly divine, it is beyond our knowledge or comprehension. I know it's real, I've seen the evidence I long for it every day, but I can't explain it to you fully. I can only give you a shadow. I am humbled by the amazingness of it. And partly I know that because nothing I do ever gives me complete satisfaction. There are so many great feelings attached to it, but satisfaction is rarely one of them. Yet so often it seems like the loudest of the arts folks are cocky, always self-satisfied, hardly searching for something amazing so much as just trying to stay in the career of it.

Martha Graham: No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive Ahhh, blessed unrest.

I'm exhausted.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Small Town Bravado

Is it December? This season goes so fast. I am toying with the idea of calling the doctor and asking not to see them until January. I have to see the doc every 3 months now. And although financially it is unwise, I just hate going there. I would love to have a month of just not thinking about it.

I miss getting this tag of "healthy" so much. I don't remember ever judging others for being ill, but did I, if I have so many judgments toward myself?

Two nights ago, while feeling a little sick of Baby S, we trudged out into the semi-freezing rain to go see something called the "fire and ice parade" which sounds very fancy but made me feel like I was in a smaller town than ever! We parked behind a building downtown moments after the parade started. It was a bit hard to find (not a good sign for a parade) but we did hear the marching band, and just barely missed it. The rain was coming down pretty hard, and it was that temperature where rain is just barely still rain, and not snow yet, so ...awful.

There were, it seemed, about 15 vehicles? It could have been more, but some of them were just like...old Corollas wrapped in a string of Christmas lights with a heavyset woman in a pair of sweatpants throwing candy canes out the back. For Baby S, it was awesome. All the lights, they had a REAL reindeer for the finale, some dogs dressed like reindeer, and people walked alongside the parade throwing candy at us for the whole thing. People "in the know" brought bags to collect candy. I had soggy pockets full of tootsie rolls by the time we left.

It was friendly, and polite, like most things here. It was fun, and perfect for a little child, with none of the incovenience of drunk people, $15 parking or long walks in the rain. It was, like most things here, small but fairly satisfying. Three of the vehicles were supporters of Ron Paul, and I was quite happy to not have a bag with me when they started with the brochures. I am not sure how much politics I ever want in my Christmas parade, whether I am on your side or not.

Baby S likes to run around the house now with her toy camera saying "I picture you." and taking pictures. It's adorable. Everything she does is adorable or torture. Not a lot of middle ground over here.

And I feel like I made some weird emotional breakthrough yesterday, though I can't figure out what it was. Like...I would write about it, but I am still processing it. Why do I have to want everything? Why do I want to be thin, and successsful, and happy in my relationship, and yet want all the things spiritually that I don't have, a true humility, a desire to serve all the time? I really want stuff.

Speaking of which, we have unforunately taught Baby S to say "I want, I want". So now in the stores she tells me she wants EVERYTHING. And when she reallly wants it, she just claims it for herself. "My baby. My doggie. My green house."

It is amazing how they grow, and I will say over and over, I didn't mind the brief time they were babies. That time is so hard. For me the joy of the kid is learning who they are, and I never really could figure out who she was when she was just crying to nurse or learning to roll over. But this time, now I want to stretch it out, slow it down. She loves repeating what I say. In the store, when she was saying, "I want it, I want it" I said, "I like this quite a bit actually." And she said, "I wike it quite a bit. I wike it quite a bit." That kind of stuff I could stretch out. She enjoys driving my husband crazy by saying his name. "Daddy, don't sit there." and then suddently you hear my voice come from her, "Come on Tye, don't sit there." The look on his face is priceless. I could slow that part down.
Just -maybe not the pooping in her pants part.