This is the time of year for sifting and sorting. I'm just starting the process because soon I will need to deal with quarterly taxes for Raison D'Etre sales. Before I get to that fun chore and the general end-of -the-year numbers I have to generate, I just wanted to take a few minutes to write my best of 2010 list. I am not going to judge movies or books or music in this list. Instead, I wish to tally those experiences that enriched my life in some way. My family enriches my life daily, so they are not included here.
10. Since June, when I decided I really needed to take better care of myself, I have walked around the lake more, kept regular with my yoga classes, and really have tried to eat better. The results are that I have more energy, haven't been sick much, and weigh about 12 pounds fewer. I don't want to take my health for granted. While I know that none of these practices guarantee me good health, I hope they at least make me present a little more each day so that I savor this gift of life.
9. Having a cat has helped me realize how easy it is to accept people and things for what they are. It's amazing how many times a day I will pick up things that Ruthie has knocked off my desk and just smile. I bet parents who stay up all night and change poopy diapers are laughing at me now. Even though I have had dogs for most of my life, I have never been as tolerant of mess and chaos as I am now. It took a bratty, bottle-fed kitten I found in the barn to teach me more about compassion and hanging loose. They say we find our teachers when it's time.
8. Drumming with seniors using the HealthRhythms protocol has helped me to be more creative. I actually wrote three songs this year just for my HealthRhythms sessions. "The Happy Song" went with me to two Motes Books Gatherings and even to Solatido where I led the Table Rock Writers in a sing along.
7. I booked some time at Group Effort to record my song for the Ceilidh Group's 2nd children's CD and while I was there put "The Happy Song" down with three parts just to hear what it would sound like with other voices. "Little Fallen Star" was included on the just released children's CD--which is a wonderful compilation of regional folks! Can't wait for the release events in January.
6. Presenting and performing as a soloist happened more frequently for me this year. Mostly as a drum facilitator. I took part in Fine Arts Fund Sampler Weekend with the Music and Wellness Coalition at Music Hall, with Jim Waddle at Media Bridges, and then solo at Campbell County Library. I facilitated solo for Walton Senior Center from June-October and then at Owenton Senior Center since November. In January, I start at Campbell County.
I did a public drum presentation at Kentucky Haus Artisan Center this fall. It was a happy mixture of my personal journey plus an onsite HealthRhythms session. Plus, I found out all kinds of interesting local history from Ruth Glazer, who was one of the first female drummers in her high school's marching band. She and Don Drewry swapped marching band tales and giggled through our guided imagery drum trip to Ireland.
5. But, I have also done much more as a solo songwriter this year. I had the courage to try my brand new "Happy Song" at the Motes Gathering at the Breaks in April, led the Motes Songwriting Session at Grailville in July, and even tried two very new songs at the Motifv2 : Come What May reading in October. I just recorded a very home recording of "January Thaw" for Erin Fitzgerald's "Keep Hearing Voices" show. Erin graciously captures the voices that might otherwise not be heard on her Saturday radio show. I'll link to her show here when it's available on archives just so you can get the eclectic flavor of her presentations.
Spending several days at a wonderful writing retreat in Loretto(KY) led me to formulate an actual set list of my own songs. Since I had all day in monastic surroundings to work on my songs(or not) and the evenings and meal times to enjoy the company of my fellow retreatants, I found the atmosphere conducive to editing and rewriting. I do have to confess to swimming and wine.
4. And I learned about linking to radio archives by doing book reviews on my friend Lee Hay's radio show on WVXU, Around Cincinnati. During early 2010, I learned lots about deadlines, writing reviews, and then what it takes to record them for air without passing out or driving the engineer nuts. I also got to read some excellent books.
3. Practice of Poetry workshops with Pauletta Hansel taught me much about what poetry is and isn't. I was fortunate enough to attend the spring and summer sessions, but couldn't do the fall one because of Raison D'Etre commitments. I intend to get back to the next session. And the summer Abiding Image workshop with Cathy Smith Bowers was awesome!
2. I am always enriched(calories and experience) by making tie-dyed cookies with my friend, Leona. We missed Halloween this year, but not Christmas. And I recorded us on my new Flip camera so we can measure our progress in technique.
1. The number one slot for my 2010 enrichment experience goes to Solatido, the songwriting retreat I attend in the fall that really gets me writing songs. This year I came home with three songs and the indelible experience of performing on the other writers' pieces. It was amazing! We're getting a recording of our efforts soon which will include the jaunty tunes of Mike Craver. I am so excited! Because the katydids were singing so loudly on the night of our performance, the CD is entitled September Katydids.
Happy New Year!
I hope your year was filled with love and enrichment.