For the last year or so, I have struggled to preserve my Monday as a sort of weekly sabbatical. I have been under pressures that have weakened my mental capacity and stamina. Not just the fact of being a primary caregiver for my mother and father. Not just burying my father. Not just the craziness of living in a local environment of bigotry and ignorance (the USA?). Not just attempting to do church work with integrity when I myself have extremely deep doubts. Not just watching my body age. Not just reconciling my passion to other’s tepidness. All of these and more seem to have drowned my self and made functioning a struggle.
Yesterday was a great example. After finishing my blog, I began looking around for the music that I planned to perform at church. The two pieces were drawn from some of the very earliest (15th c.) keyboard music in the Buxheimer collection. My copy was a photocopy in a manila file. This is pertinent. I had rehearsed the day before. I remembered just before I left the church resetting my presets for these pieces. But now in the craziness of stuff at home and at church the music was nowhere to be found. To shorten an hour or so of frustration, after two trips back and forth between home and church, I did not find the music. I had lost my prelude and postlude.
This actually worked out fine. I did a piano improv on the closing South African hymn for the prelude. And I simply played the late Skinner Chavez-Melo’s lovely hymn tune RAQUEL, the opening hymn, as written for the postlude. He had provided two harmonizations, one for the first two stanzas and a more elaborate one with descant for the third. I quite like this hymn tune.
Also before service I noticed that my weekly music-notes was missing from the bulletin. I remembered writing the note and wondered why it had been omitted. I fired up the netbook and discovered I had written it but not emailed it to the secretary. Sheesh.
Usually I see such low functioning as sign posts of stress and burnout.
Later in the afternoon I was speaking with someone and told them that I had buried my father recently. They replied they knew that and that they had attended the funeral. Ahem. Oh. Yes I remember now.
I have been attending to my own stuff recently. I have been walking on a treadmill 40 minutes a day for a few months. I had an echo cardiagram done (no results yet). Today I am going to arrange for the colonoscopy my doctor asked me to get. I have been trying to moderate my drinking and have been dropping about a pound a week for a few weeks.
But obviously all of this is not enough. So today it occurred to me to set aside Monday for stuff like composing and organizing my compositions and books, staring out the window, reworking this stupid stupid web site. I wonder if I can keep this up. It sounds good now.
I have always been a person who struggles. It’s part of my identity. I ask questions and analyze. I don’t accept givens easily. I think this drives people away from me so I try to only share with those who seem receptive like my immediate family and my boss.
Maybe the stress is part of my struggle. Maybe I need to make bread more often. Who knows?