Thursday, 17 December 2009

Who needs drugs or meditation?

Nights like tonight remind me how important one part of my life is. A great informal gig with some of our finest indie/folk musicians, in a small club. It was an impromptu set as the support act was taken to A&E by another of the musicians. Both made back in time for the second half, one with crutches. Then an unexpected performance from one of our best known folk singers who'd popped into the hospital to check on her friend.

Three years ago I moved cities, became a carer and started living on my own. I did something else too. Not having flatmates meant I could play music again. The kind I wanted, not what had been expected of me as I grew up.

So, after a 14 year absence I started playing again. I went from a strict classical viola upbringing to rustily playing the fiddle, embracing our folk tradition, new and old, inspired by evenings like this one. I go to classes, play weekly in a local pub session with friends and strangers, go to gigs and distract myself at home.

I'm still not playing at the level I once could, but I don't care. Music is the only thing I do where minutes turn seamlessly into hours. It absorbs me.

I've made friends, had some weird and wonderful experiences and rediscovered a passion. My thoughts are elsewhere. Lost and happy, watching, playing, listening.


  1. A couple of weeks ago I was at a session put on for the now retired owners of a pub we used to play in. Although the final sessions rarely had more than about 6 musicians turn up, there were nearly 20 for this one as people came along to demonstrate their appreciation.

    It was a fantastic session (I play the bouzouki & mandolin).

    And there was a moment in there where it was like I was fully aware of being there and my thoughts and feelings - a completely lucid moment, if you like - and I thought, I love this. And I realised I needed to remember loving that moment so in times in the dark places I could know that the voice that tells me I cannot enjoy, is wrong.

    Playing music is one of the most wonderful things we can do :)

  2. Bouzouki and mandolin? fantastic.

    For similar reasons, this is why this post was written. I had a horrid, dark, rotten day and came home happy. Sometimes I catch myself in that moment of joy and have to tell myself to remember. Each time I think, I won't bother going, or doing, or whatever, I make myself think of these things. Sometimes it works, and I get up and get out, sometimes it doesn't but it's always worth a try.

    Hang onto that evening's memory with everything you have! That awareness will help you with you CBT stuff too.