Higher Ground

New York City is eating my youth.  Sometimes a simple matter like going to the bathroom is so freaking complicated!  I guess that's why people with fewer inhibitions just relieve themselves on the street.  There is a reason so many of us, myself included, reposted this Onion article online.  I laughed out loud in a stuffy, crowded elevator as I was reading it on my phone, my arm crooked at an awkward, acute angle.  They probably thought I was another crazy person (they may be right), and they probably read the same article and giggled out loud and reposted it.  It's so true!  Why do we deal with the critters and crazy people and ...bleh.

Well, anyway, I'm going to New Mexico for a few days to see family, eat some green chile to restore my depleted, waning youth, and remind myself why I live here.  I think it has something to do with higher ground (see!  It is related to today's song! Ha!).... I think New York is kind of a personality refinery.  Everything is magnified in the city - if you are a partier, you will party harder here; tri-state workaholics take the 'ism to a whole new level.  If you have a negative attitude, just paying rent and riding the subway will kill you, or make you want to kill someone.  There's no time for bullshit, and there's sure nowhere to put it.  Any bad habit, any addiction, any dysfunction or toxic relationship is twice the obstacle to reaching a goal it would be anywhere else, simply because getting through a normal day and paying a normal month's bills is twice the hassle, drop-off laundry and delivery notwithstanding. I'm definitely finding out what my bad habits are this year.

Most of us, I feel, are trying to reach some kind of higher ground - make the world a better place, better ourselves, find happiness, find the grail, something.  And some of us find that we, in a twisted, masochistic way, like to do so in a place whose opportunity and challenge are equal, and creature comforts are few/expensive.  I will leave the city for a few days, to my arid, starkly beautiful homeland where life is hard and easy in entirely different ways than here.  I will have turned my rabid workbrain off approximately four hours before I have to come back.  When I come back, I will be filled with excitement and joy and anticipation when I look at the buildings that are reaching into the sky, and with dread at all the things I have to do and decisions I have to make.  Decisions.  Because I have dreams and goals (more than I can ever reach in a lifetime) and rent to pay (more than I'd like to pay in a lifetime), and because if I've learned one thing from living in New York, it's that I cannot do everything.  This belief is a byproduct of growing up in a place where there's so little going on, it feels like you can literally do everything and have time left over.  Time is not money in New Mexico.  Time is just time, and nobody has very much money so it doesn't matter as long as it's cheap. 

I was relatively happy with my work today - it feels better than the last time I was working on Stevie Wonder stuff early in the year.  The rhythm is more consistent, I'm more comfortable with the choices I have to make in which parts to play in the right hand, I'm becoming more aware of the articulations in the bass line in the left hand. Playing funky music, white girl, is far from being my strong suit, but it sucks a little less today, which is the goal.

Ok kids, I gotta pack, and do some triage cleaning on my apartment.  I am leaving it up to whim as to whether I write in the next week, so in case you don't see me, the songs I am planning to learn while I'm away are (note the home/travel theme): Take Me Home, Country Roads; Take the A Train; Low Rider; Sunny Came Home; Every Day is a Winding Road; Leavin' On a Jet Plane.  Yes, I'm aware there are two John Denver songs here, a departure from what I've been doing most of the year.  It's time for my own roots music, familiarity, rest, comfort, home.