Thursday, February 11, 2010

the old Christine

I can't believe it's been two weeks since I blogged.  Well, I lie.  I have been aware of it every single day.  We returned from the LA trip to cold and wet weather here in Austin that hasn't abated much.  On the few sunny days we've had I did manage to get out there and pull some weeds, which is much easier when the ground is wet.  I've only gone into the garden for a total of 90 minutes in two weeks and haven't had the mental energy or focus to write either. 

What I have done is work, work, work at the computer.  Taxes, bookings, major non-profit projects, scheduling, communicating, promoting, organizing band members, sound companies, flights, equipment insurance schedules...oh the life of an artist.  When that's done, I throw on some cowboy boots, grab my guitar and drive to a gig to sing, talk some more and some sell CDs.  Luckily, when I finally get down to the music it always energizes my muse that has been battered by the business burden.  (Gotta love that alliteration)    

But what appeals to me, and what I need so desperately from the garden, is simplicity.  I see some weeds that don't belong there and I pull them.  Leaves have fallen and I rake them.  A space is empty and longing to welcome a new plant and I give it one.  The work refreshes me and my frenetic thoughts begin to settle.  I know this for a fact, because I have not done it much for two weeks now and the old Christine (no relation to the television show) has returned.  She doesn't sleep well, her anxiety has kicked in, she doesn't trust her choices because she hasn't slowed down enough to remember the heart behind them and her body is locked up with unreleased tension.  I realize that not everyone finds so much release and relief from the simple act of putzing around their yard, but I do.  The contrast these last couple of weeks has made that even more obvious to me.  Now to reclaim the commitment I had somehow mustered and get out there again!

Of course, I've got non-stop gigs the next few days and then I leave for Memphis for the Folk Alliance conference.  I probably won't even leave the hotel for four days much less dig in the dirt -   more opportunity to notice the difference when I don't do it.

There are still four days before I go, so I promise here and now to tend to the garden every one of those days, even if it's only for five minutes.  It helps hold me accountable to have this space I return to and you fine readers tuning in.  Many of you have told me that you're following along and it means a great deal to me.  Please feel free to call me on it when I disappear.  If you see me say something like "Hey, what's up? What happened to the big life balancing, transformational, commitment thing with the gardening and writing?"  In my shame I'll rush home and pick up a trowel and a pen.  

Whatever it takes - because it's what I need.     

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