In the first spinning place

I’m sick today.

But it’s okay, because it’s just a head cold. Praise Jesus. Although granted it feels like a hippopotamus is sitting inside my brain, chillin’. But it’s okay! I only have two exams to freak out for this week, and I’m singing in studio tomorrow with Orlando accompanying me and no Joong-Han and crappy Italian and OH I feel like crap.

But it’s okay. I get to sit out of Women’s Choir tonight, by order of my Professor (who basically runs my life, and it’s great). I’ll go to River Campus and get some food and do some work and take Robitussin and decongestants.

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Renee

So I’m supposed to be getting ready right now. RENEE FLEMING is singing in the Eastman Theatre at 3. I’m sitting here in my gym clothes, unshowered, and cranky because I don’t feel well.

I hate being sick.

That said, I know I need to cheer up and get myself moving. I also have a mountain of homework I’ve been shoving aside because I can’t seem to focus… but seriously this phase needs to work itself out because I really don’t have time to deal with it. I need to be present, and I need to be on top of this shit. I have my aural midterm in less than four days. Oh God. Oh God. And then the in class exam on Thursday. So, yeah. Need to be focused.

BUT. Renee Fleming is singing today! And I can get semi-dressed up and pretty and go hear/see her. I’m at the orchestra level, which is mad cool. I’m a little grumpy I missed her question and answer session yesterday, but we had a concert (gag, choir). But, as I kept reminding myself, if one is a forward-thinking and positive singer, one hopes that one would meet her in a more professional, different context someday. That would also be mad cool.

But yeah. I’m totally wasting time right now and I have an hour and one minute to get ready. I shouldn’t need that much time but I don’t want to rush myself. Ha ha. I mean, because I’m in such a rush as it is right now. I not only hate being sick, I hate being unproductive. At least I cleaned my floor, tried to work on my composition assignment, and have the Avetts playing loudly and obnoxiously (I hope the girl on this floor who likes to bump shitty techno in the middle of the night is here, and annoyed).

UHG. Yeah. I need to go. To Renee! Eventually.

So biutiful

So I just got back from seeing a movie with Nicole. We walked to the Little Theatre and saw Iñárritu’s “Biutiful.”

Well, oh God. I’m miserable right now. As I was telling a friend just now via text, “life sucks/I am so lucky. I don’t like to feel like shit about stuff like that, that I can’t change.”

“Biutiful” is about a father in urban, impoverished Spain who has to deal with a bipolar drug addict “massage therapist” wife, shady dealings with migrant workers, and seeing dead people. That’s basically it in a nutshell because I’m tired, but he’s also been diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer that has spread to his bones and liver. He has two children and a shithead brother and he’s too busy taking care of other people and surviving– too prideful, maybe– to ask for help. Or to tell his family.

It was biutiful.

His ten year old daughter eventually found out and by that time I was a mess. He not only reminded me of my mother– who suffers silently and gives selflessly all the damn time– but his love for his family was a tangible force the entire time. I could tell that he did almost nothing with a thought for himself. And he still suffered immeasurably.

It makes me feel likes someone’s grabbing my guts and twisting, squeezing for a reaction. I guess that means it was a good movie, but I’d like to think that it meant more than that. “Good movies” generally do.

It was another of those reminders (this time, a rather sickening instead of uplifting or bittersweet one) that life is so short. Any second might be that last, and what the hell do we do? We squander away time instead of spending it with those we love. We think of ourselves constantly– even right now I’m pondering how this movie made me feel– and there is so much more to do in order to improve the quality of life for others.

As for me, I don’t know where to start. Getting my education and studying like a crazy ass seems a fairly good place to start, but what about after that? What about during that? What can I do in the next three years?

More than I have previously in this lifetime, that’s for sure.

More irrelevant thoughts

Today, my mind has dwelled upon the following:

 

– Will I pass my music ed exam? I basically have heart palpitations whenever I go to check my email.

– I need to study more for the aural midterm (project for tomorrow).

– I have a clarinet test tomorrow (second project for tomorrow).

– I can’t believe I already finished the dictation and listening module… but really, already. Whoa baby.

– I need to be healthier.

– I’m so tired.

– I dreamed I was in jail last night, and they wouldn’t let me see the sunlight. It was a horrible, horrible awful thing to dream.

– I haven’t had a hug in probably a few weeks. Since I was home, anyway. A real, full-out hug? I could probably use one.

I should go to sleep

Well, I should.

I feel like everything I post nowadays is really boring, or about how busy I am or how I’m feeling.

I wonder what it would be like to not talk about myself for once? But I suppose that my most knowledgeable subject so it’s easiest to discuss.

It has been sunny lately (default: weather). This is great. Vitamins, minerals, natural light/natural warmth.

Okay forget this, I can’t even pretend to want to talk about anything else. I love sunshine. It makes me happy. Therefore the weather today was even correlated directly with my feelings. It’s not as if those feelings are any more relevant than yours, say, or my next door neighbor’s, but they’re what I know. So I’m going to discuss it, all right?!

And now I’m arguing with myself. Title=case in point right now. Entirely pointless, self-centered two minute post finished. Gute nacht.

You drift upon the silence of my dreams

I almost didn’t write. I had this window closed and everything. But I guess I needed to.

There’s not a whole lot going on right now, though: it’s one of those chunks of time that you’re so busy with everything that time just slides by.

Good. It should. I’m ready to go back home.

It’s silly, though, because I adore it here. I’m just ready to see my family again.

My accompanist told me this morning that he feels old. He’s twenty-five or six. I’m eighteen, and I feel old every morning.

I have eleven frappuccinos from Starbucks in my fridge (before you scorn me, I did not use actual money, I used declining).

I am completely typing stream-of-consciousness right now, so what you see is what I’m thinking, I suppose.

I’m listening to a recording of “The White Swan” right now (Ernest Charles). I sang it tonight in studio, and I got a lot of really solid feedback for it. It’s got an indigo and red-violet shimmer to it that’s edged with a sliver of white gold. That’s the song in color for me: deep jewel tones with a bright, hot edge.

It’s about someone who wants someone else. She thinks she’s forgotten this person, and has closeted away thoughts of them. But there’s something striking and vivid about a memory from before, of a white swan bursting through a sable pool she and this person saw years or days or months ago… and it slides deeply and sharply into her heart, that she craves this person more than anything. “I dared to dream I had forgotten you. Yet from the shadows of my darkened heart, like a white swan upon an onyx pool, you drift upon the silence of my dreams– and fill my heart with longing! With longing… and desire.”

It gets pretty intense. And as two of my favorite studio mates (grad students) told me this evening, with the accompaniment, “That’s hot.” So by that standard alone it was a great class. It never ceases to amaze me that I’m actually here. I’m really living, breathing– and studying at Eastman. What the hell?

A year ago I was hating life and yearbook and wishing to Jesus that I could just have fun. I thought for sure I was going to Syracuse to do something else with my life… besides sing.

I still want to do something else with my life: like be someone worth knowing? that would be cool. But singing is something I find myself connecting with on a deeper and deeper level every day. Especially since “O del mio dolce ardor” at the departmental recital, I just have a feeling (a confidence? maybe) that I should be doing this. I could travel with this, I could learn so much if I continue with it.

I take my music ed assessment tomorrow at 430. This is directly after four hours of classes (not counting the two in the AM). The assessment will determine whether or not I can double major officially or not. Oh God, what do I do if I fail it?

I won’t fail it. I hope.

With that, it’s time to conclude these completely disconnected ramblings and go shower. Buona notte, wordpress.

It’s past my bedtime.

With a heavy heart she went to sleep, but not before the compulsion to put the words into the world hit her.

It was only twelve hours ago that she thought about the fact that twelve hours from now she wouldn’t be home anymore.

It doesn’t really lessen the dull centered ache that spreads with each rusted, russet pulse. Picturing oneself somewhere in a better frame of mind may help with nerves but it doesn’t with sadness. It lingers and it throbs and convulses and kicks.

Nothing serious, though. Nothing compared to the realization that one day everything beautiful here and now won’t be. Nothing compared to the recent revelation that once upon a time, her great grandmother was a child. Once upon a time, that child left her family for a new and foreign world and a completely different life. Once upon a time, that child’s family loved her and wanted her back. And years, years later, that child– now a woman– refused to speak of it.

So much life. It’s all around and it’s indeterminable and it’s complex. Everyone begins, grows, learns, understands (or refuses to) and lets go.

Today I understood that my family as I know it is fluid and fragile at once. It’s strong and vibrant but could shatter into nothingness at any second. I’m here– not with them– when at any given moment the unthinkable could happen and all that I know would be lost and there would be no way for me to know, or to help… and everything that I love about life as it is now, with the people I love now, would be forever irrevocably altered.

Once upon a time, my grandparents were young. Once they dreamed of adulthood and valued their childhood and reached for more and were content with less.

Now it’s me. In twenty years will I have come to terms with the endlessly cycling change that powers this place?

Perfection (a reflection)

To be honest, I never usually have so many ideas I can articulate in one day. Occasionally they’ll hit me, quickly and suddenly, and I’ll have to get them down somewhere, somehow immediately or lose them forever. Others drift as remnants, half-formed and vague, until later. Or until never.

But today is just a good day for thinking and writing, I guess. It’s also strange that I’m blogging now because generally by 11:06 pm on any given evening (weekends excepted) I am either sleeping or wishing to God I was sleeping, so hey. This is cool.*

But back to my stream of consciousness at the moment, why don’t we?

I think a lot about perfection.

We all try to be perfect. We all want the 100 on our theory homework or the A in ed psych. Obviously we all want to perfect our skills, especially at Eastman (like, DUH, hello). And there are other ways in which people strive to perfect themselves: religiously/spiritually, physically, emotionally. Still others strive to behave perfectly or respond perfectly in social situations, perfecting their image.

I have tried to perfect myself in all of these ways. Possibly more, I guess. But over the course of the past few years, and especially here, I have put myself at a level with other, more “normal” human beings– and by that, I mean the kids who don’t try as hard, or the kids who aren’t at an advantage socioeconomically, or even the adult working class. I think working at Tim Horton’s all summer and this winter break reinforced my relationship and tie to the everyday average person. And while I refuse to lower my sights or adjust my previously-set goals, it’s humbling and enlightening at the same time to have a glimpse into the real world. It was also a learning experience– an incredibly motivating and meaningful one.

I guess it gave me a glimpse into a life not filled so much with lofty aspirations of a perfect fellowship with Christ and the church, or a toned and physically disciplined body, or straight As.

I mean I’m not going to alter my own goals– I have a shady outline of what I’m here to do, and I plan on filling it in. But there are manners that some adopt that make having goals seem like something pretentious and disgusting. Like, “I’ve got these plans and nothing is going to get in my way.”

It sounds okay, but in my opinion there need to be some priorities. Right? Like, family? Friends? Relationships with people, meaningful interactions with others, your teachers, your peers? What about living life? I don’t mean getting drunk (although hey, sometimes it’s a perk) but enjoying yourself and taking time to reflect on the happiness in your life. Little things, like having a ridiculous discussion with my roommate about Barbie and Ken, or talking to my grandmother about Criminal Minds, or savoring Starbucks because I don’t have it at home– or even staring into the sun and feeling it touch your face because it’s the middle of winter– those things are valuable to me. They are, in a way, much much MUCH more important than behaviors I’ve noticed, such as…

Biblical facebook statuses: I mean I guess people quote meaningful song lyrics and that’s similar, but please, do you really need to shove your faith in everyone’s face? I mean, I can say I love Jesus because, well, I do. But in my opinion and experience, it’s better to show your love for him through your actions. It’s really not how often you talk about your prayers or your youth group or “how you can spread the Woooord.” How about, you just go show it? Loving people without judgment is going to have more of an effect than a club at college where all you do is chat about how to add more people to your club. It feels exclusive. And it feels like bragging, and an exaggerated attempt to make oneself into someone others should seek out or respect.

Physical perfection: I understand that gyms are awesome. I have a membership. But those that get carried away, and do a freakout if they miss half a warmup or a stretch or something stupid? That’s ridiculous. The world is not going to end if you miss Pilates, dude.

Academics are overrated. Isn’t it enough that we kill ourselves to achieve proficiency at our art? The added pressure of grades just screams “give me migraines.” Some overwork themselves to the point where learning the material is secondary and the letter grade is most important. Isn’t the acquisition of knowledge the goal? Not the skill with which one takes tests.

Or, maybe I’m just overthinking this, and it’s the attitude with which one seeks perfection that is the really irksome thing. Maybe I just place too much value on not being an obsessive lunatic. Maybe I have a thing against acting like an overeager or scarily-driven know it all. Hopefully, though, I’m capable of pursuing my own goals with a passion for life and an enthusiasm that’s contagious and considerate, not obnoxious.

But that’s all I know for tonight.

Also, Lucy and I were just having a discussion while I wrote this… for her benefit I’m supposed to mention that Zulu thatchers were hired to thatch the roofs of all the gift shops in Disney World so that they would look legit.

 

* I mean, undoubtably this also has something to do with the fact that, YES I’M GOING HOME TOMORROW.

Live for today, we’ll dream tomorrow

I’m motivated.

I’m motivated and I’m cleaning and I’m listening to Anberlin and the Avett Brothers and although I have to go to SA in less than twenty minutes, for once my music is louder than Ms. Next-Door’s and life is good.

Also, there was a little sunshine today (and blue skies <!!!>) so that may be contributing to this “life is good” moment.

OH. And I’m going home tomorrow. Did I mention that? I cannot wait. I really can’t wait. That’s honestly what’s gotten me through this week without freaking out. Ah! I can’t wait. Have I mentioned this already? GOD.

Anyway.

Back to my swiffering, and improvving along with the Avetts’ “Jenny and the Summer Day.”

Just counting the minutes, is all

I’m going home tomorrow.

It’s only for the weekend, but the tantalizing promise of it makes my heart beat harder and louder and more desperately. It’s not as if I don’t love it here– because, well, I do– but I’ve been thinking about stability and needing that central home and family a lot, lately. I guess I just need a quick break.

Besides, all of my work’s done except the studying for ed psych that I’m going to get to as soon as I finish writing this. Then I have to go talk to Luisa at 11? So confused. I don’t know if by some bizarre twist of fate I failed the last test (I thought I did okay) or she’s sending me back to Donnan’s class (I won’t go). But her emails were minimal and to the point and I’m really confused and filled with trepidation.

But hey, what the hell, I go home tomorrow.

Now I do need to study. I think I just needed a quick interlude to have a mini-freak out about this eleven o’ clock rendezvous. Yikes.