I wanted to send this out as the New Moon in Gemini, the sign of communication and words, landed.
Then I thought maybe it would be cool to send something out for Make Music NY Day, which is always on the Summer Solstice- and also happens to be the inception of my yearly birthday season. Yes, I am a Cancerian Moon Child. Instead, I quietly stayed in my shell, continuing the work of regenerating myself.
Better late than never.
Covid took a toll. For me, it was indirect at first. It actually felt like much-needed, and welcome breathing room. I was safe and cozy in my bubble. I was writing prolifically and frequently performing virtually. And then, that bubble burst. It burst in a spectacularly oozing, cystic manner. In May of 2020, against the dual backdrop of the Pandemic and the great outcry for social justice, a number of events happened behind the scenes which brought a sense of isolation that came to bear on me at a very intense time for many of us. Still, I carried on as best I could. This, despite the residual fallout that had come to pass personally. Within a year, I would be diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, but continued to carry on. I shared a bit about my rehabilitative journey on social media. Eventually, I started to dip my toes in here and there with live sets beginning in the Fall of 2022. Come February 2023, I had a particularly great night playing to a packed house at Young Ethel's, as part of a stellar lineup with Yvonne. Poeta, Michael G. Potter, The Dark Doves, Bad Cable and Sunshine Nightmare.
And then it happened, three days later, the day before Valentines Day, I was dealt the definitive blow when the Dread Virus Covid finally caught up with me. As you can well imagine, my voice, both literally and figuratively, was silenced. After nearly three years of dodging that bullet, I suppose it had to catch up with me eventually. What I was not prepared for was how profoundly it toppled me.
It was a long path to recovery, even after the virus was no longer showing up in my system. All of my energy for the better part of three months after had to be put towards being able to get through the day. There was no energy for creativity. That became a bitter pill. I began to wonder, "How hungry do I have to stay? And what happens when I start to cannibalize myself?" Because that's what it starts to feel like after a while when your resources have been cut to your reserves.
Finding my way back has entailed a process of discernment. I've had to take a step back and realize that, sometimes, I had been bullying myself, which never helps. If even someone none other than John Lennon can step back, maybe it's something the rest of us mortals can do. I recently read Sadler Vaden, of Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, stating in an interview that sometimes he just needs 'to put the guitar down!' Come to think of it, John Frusciante once spoke of putting the guitar down for seven years, before rejoining RHCP. So, there is such a thing as a Purposeful Break.
Back in my days as a young mother, I had felt that it was necessary to 'put all that nonsense aside–because that's the message women frequently get--and act like a grown-up.' What turned out to be nonsense was the idea of walking away from my craft, my music. Inspiration still came, whether I was doing laundry, or cooking or otherwise doing the domesticity thing, and I had to respect it, because it kept coming back, when I had least expected it.
So here I am, full circle, watching, waiting, welcoming. It feels a bit reminiscent of Wabbit Season (be vewwy quyy-et). And so, while unwrapping new sheets to put into the wash, I found myself musing over melody lines for a new song.