Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Quotes of the Day

I would say that the thrust of my life has been initially about getting free, and then realizing that my freedom is not independent of everybody else. Then I am arriving at that circle where one works on oneself as a gift to other people so that one doesn't create more suffering. I help people as a work on myself and I work on myself to help people.

     - Ram Dass

People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.

     - Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Brindle Bull

There's a young bull calf at Wright's dairy farm with unusual markings in black and white resembling a brindle. He's a young brindle bull. I live in New England because I must live near apple trees and dairy cows but also be within walking distance of the public library and YMCA pool.

Summer Icy Cocoa

I wanted a fudgicle and this is the same flavor! Buzz in a blender a handful of ice cubes, a cup of low-fat milk, a tablespoon of cocoa powder, a tablespoon of sugar, and a splash (about two ounces) of cold coffee. Pour into two small glasses and eat it with a spoon! (Give the other glass to a friend.)

Monday, July 30, 2007

Work I Care About

My life is made of work that is not easy, always a challenge, occasionally fun, and consistently scary, but it's work I care about. I remind myself of this because fear frequently warps my perspective and erodes my faith. I remind myself that I am choosing to have the freedom to engage in work I care about even when it means that I cannot engage in everyday acts of commerce. I remind myself in the hope that being engaged in what is meaningful to me could also be meaningful to others.

Pink Lightning

This morning I woke at five AM from crashes of thunder and bright bolts of lightning. We had no electricity for over an hour. I fed my dog by flashlight. There was torrential rain, and the city was all gray, with only the flashing pink dawn lightning. The view of our city out the window looked like old photographs of winter in Russia.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Jungle Smile

When I was a child I had a dream that is still powerful to recall today. In the dream my family was on a trip in the jungle. We drove right into the greenery with our big brown Ford station wagon. A deer licked my younger brother's face through the open way-back window. My sister got out and approached a small brick building looking for a job. I looked around and spotted a rubber smile with red lips and teeth sitting on top of a plant. Our tour guide told us someone had been given a face lift and that must have been the scraps.

Snakes in the Bell

Last night at the jam my horn was making notes that were completely out of whack. I raced over to try tuning to the keyboard but I was still out of whack with the other players. Each time I made a note it was like five snakes jumping out of the bell! Horrified, I jumped back from the microphone. I nearly died of embarrassment because I loathe bad intonation, and bad tone curls my teeth and straightens my hair! The problem seemed to be a leak.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Pedaling a Postal Toaster

I dreamt that I was offered the job of delivering mail in a nearby town, replacing a retired mailman. The job required a special vehicle - a three-speed bicycle with a musical toaster attached near the back wheel, like a saddlebag. The toaster would carry letters in the slots, and play music as you pedaled.

Completing the Circle

There's something off-balance about practicing music all the time in your house and never getting out to perform, even at a jam. The same is true for writing and never publishing, or painting without ever exhibiting. It is important to complete the circle of art-making by sharing it with an audience. We need both legs to walk, and if we only develop muscles in one leg we'll be forever off-balance, dragging the weak one.


My current mid-life crisis is really just a bit of vanity. When I look in the mirror I see a lady face and lady body, not a young woman shape anymore, which is a good thing but a shock. I like my silver hairs, though. Now it seems I can merely look at food and gain ten pounds, and shedding them is much more difficult! I swim laps and then rotate in front of the full-length mirror at home in my black bra and turquoise panties. I don't want to become a squishy and jowly grown up. Thank God for the pool! I also swim to develop the strong lungs, arms, shoulders, back and stamina I need for playing my baritone sax without hurting myself.


I've been hacking away at a bunch of 11 by 14-inch paintings for my November show. Bill just rebuilt my painting/portfolio website. Please check it out! (Click here) Now I need to find gallery representation. I got word recently that I was not selected for a fellowship grant I had applied for in February. There were 146 visual artist applicants and three were chosen. At least I can finally stop holding my breath after waiting six months to hear!


Tonight is the Pawtucket blues jam. I am looking forward to it. I love to jam with a bunch of horn players. There are usually two other saxes, a trombone and a trumpet. I hold down the bottom!! Our new band gig at the American Legion went well, especially considering we had never performed together before. The Motorcycle Vets fed us lunch (BBQ chicken, corn on the cob, potato salad, and baked beans) and they paid us fifty bucks each!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Quote of the Day

We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about.

     - Albert Einstein

Pushing Air

The other day I took apart our plastic box fan to clean the blades and grills. The years of caked-on dust had made it ineffective at pushing air. The newly-cleaned fan worked so well that I immediately took our other fan apart and cleaned it too. Then Bill got inspired and took apart the huge metal stand-up office fan and cleaned it.

Speaking of pushing air we had quite a parade in Bristol on July 4th. This year our Munroe Dairy Band had two saxes (Justin on alto, Frank on tenor) added to the regular line-up of bari sax, trombone, trumpet, and snare and bass drums. The weather was perfect and the crowd was happy. I loved looking at the sea of faces. I tried to play for each person. Since I got a late start in life playing my bari I hope to continue being strong and fit and playing sax well into my 80's!

Last night I dreamt I was seated in a parked car, and two birds with dark wings and orange chests flew in the window. I took my purple bandanna and wrapped up each bird one at a time and set it free out the car window. They each flew into a short lush green tree located a few feet away. The dream felt hopeful to me.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Making Music

Last night we rehearsed for the parade with Frank playing tenor and Gerry playing trumpet. The addition of Frank's sax made such a delicious sound. He found new notes and tones and I got inspired to find more too. I realized we were not just reading our parts, we were making music together in the moment. What a rush! I was thinking it was just like the theater improvisation games when one person starts a mime gesture and another takes off on it and the wordless conversation grows. I became elated from playing the tunes and wondered if these cheerful melodies were responsible for eliciting my neurochemical joy. I am fascinated by the power of music. I thought; we can have world peace through music!