The other day, I took a photo of my nephew Nacho playing my piano. Maybe he'll want to play some more . . .
This brings me back to when I was around his age and started to learn how to play. In my case, I got totally bored with my lessons and asked my Mom if I could just not take them anymore. My piano teacher, kind and sweet though she was, drained the fun out of it for me. Lucky for me, I was kind of a weirdo/loner-type kid, and I would find all sorts of ways to occupy myself without anyone around. We had keyboards around the house where I grew up so teaching myself to play was the perfectly solitary fun that I needed.
In the case of both my niece and nephew, they are strangely drawn to the instrument. I'll be giving them simple lessons over the summer just to see how much it sticks. Who knows, right? They may be future "Gordons" in the making.
One thing is for sure. I'm going to make it super duper hella fun! (Kind of like dancing in the rain or bacon with butterfly wings or something like that!!)
I've been knocking down walls, fairy dusting, hammering away, and de-cluttering here at WPR.
My artistic and creative juices have been overflowing lately. Most of my sites, including my main music site, youtube, twitter, and facebook have been updated to coincide with my upcoming fundraising efforts in August.
For my blog, I wanted to do a complete makeover. My goal was to make WPR feel a little bigger, light, airy, fun, and whimsical, and I think I've achieved it thus far.
My creativity and happiness are cultivated here at WPR, and I felt that it needed to look the part.
A couple of months ago, I bought and downloaded a book called Hollowstone into my Kindle. In the interest of full disclosure, its author, Dennis R. Upkins, lives here in Nashville and is a friend of mine. Prior to reading this book, the only exposure I had to anything he has written was on his very engaging blog. I had only a vague idea of what the book was about prior to reading it.
I can honestly say, in spite of the fact that I know him, that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It tells the story of a talented young violinist named Noah Scott who is more or less plucked from obscurity in the urban Atlanta jungle and given a chance to attend an exclusive and prestigious boarding school called Hollowstone Academy.
It would be easy to dismiss this book as a typicpal coming of age story, but to do so, would be to undercut its true value.
A couple of weeks ago, I set out on my bicycle (pictured above) along with my lovely new point and shoot camera to take photos of places within a two mile radius of my downtown Nashville apartment. This was just the first outing with my new camera and I wanted to see what I could find. Lo and behold, there's much to fawn over!
In fact, just outside my apartment door is the quirky sign that leads to the stairwell in my building. Maybe we should always refer to everything in the singular form . . .
In the next block over from my place (and directly north) is the prestigious University School of Nashville that is housed in this grand and stately building . . . (Notable alumni includes Arnold Myint of Top Chef, country singer Shooter Jennings, Pulitzer Prize winner Robert K. Massie, and musician Gabe Dixon, among many others.)
A couple of days ago, Oreo and Buttercup asked if they could go out. I thought that this was a strange request since they've spent the last two weeks either bickering or giving each other the silent treatment. I tried to facilitate some kind of truce between the two of them early on, but that was disastrous. Not only did I not find out why they were at odds, but it only made things worse. I walked away from my failed peace-making attempt at an utter loss for words and with a huge glob of butter in my hair.
So, yes, a request for the BOTH of them to venture out together was just mind-boggling at this point. I granted their request as long as they finished their homework. They promised me that they had and ran off instantly.
Being the doting pianist that I am, curiousity got the best of me. I put on my chewbaka disguise costume and followed them at a reasonable distance. I couldn't hear what they were saying, but this was the scene I discovered once I finally caught up . . .
Remember when you were young and your parents set you loose to play on a playground? There were no inhibitions and no fear. You climbed that high ladder to get to the top of the slide only to glide swiftly with the wind down to the ground. You swung on the swing higher and higher to watch your feet touch the sky over and over again.
You were merry on the merry-go-round. Buried in the sandbox. A monkey dangling on the monkey bars.
You were free. Absolutely, completely, blissfully free. Maybe even happy.
Now that you are an adult, do you still play? Are you still free?
I just wanted to say Happy Mother's Day to all of the Mom's of the World!!
And to my Mom, whose name is Lualhati, thank you for your love, for every little thing you do for me, and for all the time we spend together. You are beautiful inside and out . . .
(This photo was taken a couple of weeks ago. Isn't she lovely?)
In August of last year, I moved from the quiet suburb of Hermitage to a new apartment in the West End and Music Row area of downtown Nashville. One can expect that an item or two might get lost, misplaced, or mistakenly thrown away during such a transition. Well, in my mind, something did.
I lost something of tremendous value to me that I've had for many years. In my new place, I had plans to put it on display in a place of prominence in my bedroom. Over the last few months, I've searched and searched for it only to be disappointed after each try.
This morning, I decided to clean out the trunk of my car. I like to do this once in a while to get rid of any unnecesary junk and give it a good dusting. It was while I was clearing stuff out that I saw something. It was an old black carrying case full of drawing pads and old art work. The first thought I had was "Could it be?". Could the object I've been seeking possibly be there? I grabbed the case and frantically scoured through the contents, and sure enough, there it was. I just stood there and smiled.
Today has been a lovely day.
Before I tell you all what this object is, I need to backtrack a few years.
Those of you who are connected to me on Facebook might have noticed that I haven't posted much on Facebook over the last couple of months. To be honest, I've been very intentional about this. My primary reason for avoiding FB has been to make time for other things (like my lovely little blog WPR), but there is another more subversive intention.
I am aware that every little thing I do on the internet can be tracked and monitered nowadays. The resulting data can be used to figure out the kinds of things I will most likely spend my money on. As far as FB goes, its seemingly innocuous interface doesn't fool me. Behind its glistening simplicity is a massive algorithmic machine aimed at keeping my attention for hours and hours on end. To top things off, everything that I "Like" is used to build some kind of digital imprint of who I am and what I favor.
Sure, it's great to reconnect with old friends and classmates and even enjoyable to know what people are up to, but what price are we all paying to be able to do this? One price, as I've already mentioned, is the loss of precious time that could be used more substantively. In my case, I practice play my cello or work on music. I take my Mom out to dinner or read a great book. I engage in a real conversation with someone. Imagine that.
Life should be full of dreams both great and small. Dreams borne out of defiance and an insistence to never be held down by the expectations, shortcomings, and naysaying of oneself and others. I have many dreams, and I choose to pursue as many of them as I can.
As such, there are once-in-a-lifetime dreams that I will try to accomplish one way or another.
So, here's my personal bucket list of dreams so far. I'll be changing, editing, and adding to this list every year from now on.
In no particular order . . .