So, a few weeks ago I was asked if I was interested in being Music Director at the church where I have been, merely, Pianist.
There are various reasons for this, the most obvious of which is that with this job I will, for the first time, get to be In Charge of Something That is Mine, and I only had to wait 47 years for it.
I also get to learn how to (actually) sing and how to conduct a bell choir, and get to put together a chamber concert series to raise money for social-justice causes in Our Fair City.
All good things. I’m really looking forward to all of it.
But all of this is happening in May, which is usually my month to Recuperate From the Academic Year. Instead this month has been a scramble while I try to Get My Act Together in preparation for our upcoming trip to visit Husband’s family on the western boundaries of Canadia (as I like to call it, and which strikes fear into his heart that I will Actually Say This in Front of His Family)(I have, btw, since they read this blog), and then six weeks of teaching at a summer camp, while presumably being organized enough to justify my salary as Music Director while being mostly conspicuously physically absent.
Meanwhile, as you probably know, my mom is in hospice with a glioblastoma in its fifth-and-a-half year along with DVTs in her leg and lungs.
Oh, and Husband’s Father had a heart attack on Wednesday night.
It’s really, really, in case anyone is Keeping Track of These Things, a bit Too Much to Take.
I got home today in between 3 hours at the church trying to make sense of 10 years of Bad Filing Practices and an oil-change and tire-rotation $37 trip to the service department that became a $300 60,000-mile maintenance tune-up and 3 hours of group lessons to a bag of raspberry and strawberry plants that Needed To Be Planted Today or They Will Die.
30 seconds after I planted the last raspberry plant Dexter the cute-but-stupid Dog had pulled one up and chewed it to bits.
Meanwhile Husband is off rescuing Stepdaughter from her now-defunct Chrysler Town and Country that was about to transport all of her earthly belongings from school to home, while I get ready to go visit my mom in hospice for 48 hours.
Needless to say, I’m Not Having a Very Good Day.
I’m feeling like I’m caught up in this vortex of Trials and Tribulations (call me Job, just don’t call me late for dinner), and I’m vibrating. Only Daughter gave me a very nice hug tonight and asked me if I was okay — she said that she doesn’t really hear Mommy laugh very much lately.
Last night First Son and I sat on the couch reading commencement speeches — notably David Foster Wallace’s last, which was okay, but not actually as profound as I’d expected. I have a DFW quote on Facebook:
That the cliché ‘I don’t know who I am’ unfortunately turns out to be more than a cliché. That if enough people in a silent room are drinking coffee it is possible to make out the sound of steam coming off the coffee. That sometimes human beings have to just sit in one place, and, like, hurt. That you will become less concerned with what other people think about you when you realize how seldom they do. That there is such a thing as raw, unalloyed, agenda-less kindness. That other people can often see things about you that you yourself cannot see, even if those people are stupid.
First Son thought it might be from Infinite Jest – a book we both hope to read, but each (independently) got far enough into that we knew needed more Time to Think and Process if we were going to do so successfully, so not yet, not yet.
Anyway, the commencement speech we found included a little anecdote, about two young fish swimming along, and encountering an older (presumably wiser) fish, who asks nonchalantly, as they pass each other “How’s the water?” Wait a few beats, and one of the younger fish asks the other, “What the hell is water?”
DFW points out: This is water. This is water.
I’m trying to remember that.
If you can all send pillows of comfort and strength in Whatever Form With Which You Are Comfortable, that would be great, and greatly appreciated.
There was a really bad storm the other night, that went on literally for hours and hours and hours. At one point, around 2 a.m. or so, I opened up the weather.com app on my phone and saw that there was a front of stormage extending from Arkansas to the northern peninsula of Michigan, and the storm was just tracking along it, and the line seemed to pass right over our house. We live in the forest, (a forest which has had at least four trees fall in in the last 6 months), so bad storms kind of stress me out. Plus we’ve had Serious Water in our basement twice, and the lightning was striking trees and transformers in our backyard and it was raining so hard it sounded like it was hailing, and after a few hours of this I said to Husband, “This could stop now. Really. I’ve had Just About Enough.”
It’s how I feel about the vortex around me right now. I’ve had Just About Enough.
This is water. This is water.
I need to go sit on the beach. With Husband, an amusing Chardonnay, and a couple trays of sushi.