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Posts tagged ‘noticing’

Every thing is a choice

Every Thing. It’s a sentiment I keep coming back to, keep waking up with, keep telling others, keep reminding myself. I drank some water, played my cello, hugged my son, ate a cookie for breakfast, refused a plastic bag at the shop, sent an email, didn’t send another. Time is ticking and suddenly I’m noticing. all. the. choices.

I know I sit in a position of privilege. I have shelter, food, I washed this morning with running warm water. Most people reading this will also be in a similar position of privilege -and we have the privilege to make choices. I realise the increasing importance of recognise choices and actions. For me, recognising, actively choosing, and owning those choices is where the motivation comes to grow.

Can you imagine the thought of not choosing?

I don’t mean nothing: Choosing nothing is something. Sometimes I choose to rest and be quiet, and that restores me. But not choosing at all seems unimaginable.

Every thing is a choice. and yes, some days it’s harder than others to keep making all the good choices. Keep noticing. Keep choosing. Run. Walk. Stop. Look. Smile. Read. Learn. Eat. Vote. Grow. Notice. Care.

All the little things add up.

#YesICan

100 Days of Practice …and Yapnet

#100Days

Yes, I did 100 days and I’m still going…

I’ve been at this Kodaly for a while now and I’ve been very fortunate to have the support of an artistic community where I can share my progress and talk through the processes I’ve undertaken as they have unfolded. Everyday I practise, and everyday I document what I’ve done. As I’ve gotten farther into the days (I’m now on day 113 and have since performed a movement and will run the piece tomorrow at an informal performance, in advance of the scheduled public lecture and performance on Oct 18) I wrote less detail – or maybe only specific details about what I was doing, and the genuine brain blips happen as well as being in different spaces or having pressures of the day encroach. That happened on Day 100. I was teaching all day (lecturing) and grabbed time to practise wherever and whenever I could, and in those settings sometimes switching it on is tricky.

Having that community of people there (at Yapnet) who might read, might comment, but are present – encourages me. I find solitary working very challenging, long term. I need people. I don’t need constant praise, critical eyes are good too, but as a person, as an artist, as a practitioner, I crave connection.

If you are an artist of any flavour (as in a person who does creative projects – in the medium of sound, colour, or words, movement, or some other medium – I invite you to be a part of this space where work can develop in the open (It’s a private open – and that’s why to publicly share what I wrote I have to physically paste it here. The rule of the site is respect and ownership -as in you own your stuff, and people respect that as an artist you are developing something and it doesn’t get shared unless you share it <– you own your stuff.) How do I know to trust it? I co-founded it and I also trust Geoffrey Gevalt, founder who has a mighty track record with creating the very successful Young Writers Project for teens, also founded on the same principles. I invite you to join us in developing your own creative pursuits. Learn our loud with us.

Anyway, here was my Day 100. I didn’t plan to share these, but was spurred to share by a conversation with a friend about self-talk. In these short videos the interesting bit is not the playing but the thinking- and talking. See the very end of vid 1 & 2 and the start of vid 3. got to listen to catch it. Remember these were practice clips – not intended for public screening – when I video my practise I am my own fly on the wall. Some days I run bits of movements, and on this one I captured a bit of process. Practise is lots of nuts and bolts sometimes.

Here’s my entry for Day 100 on Yapnet:

Gosh it feels good to write that. 100 Days. I feel a bit like I did something, and at the same time I’m glad there ismore road ahead.
It’s a helpful practice to notice where we’ve been and where we are now, and for me I keep in mind where I’m going next – but not to the detriment of being present now.

I did a chunk in the day at uni and then another chunk at home, late. It’s busy teaching week time and I did a bit more than 1 hr 15 but not massively more.

Mvt3 and I worked at it. At home I got through the rest of it and the major work from the day before paid off. Gosh I wish I had more time.

The clips show the trials of practice. In take1 who knows what I did – I realised there were some notes all up bow and it suddenly felt funny. It was akin to saying a word over and over and suddenly becoming aware of your tongue motion and then questioning


The pictures are the holding images for the videos on my iPad. They speak volumes 😉
everything you know. Take2 shows you my odd nature and how I, yes, talk to myslef. What you don’t see are the times I shouted COME ON. GET IT RIGHT and the like. Who knows what passers by thought (!).

The final one is a bit better and you’ll see I am getting more consistent – nearly got those flappy bits! 🙂

Oh to have more time!
#My100Days #YesICan



Those beautiful books

I wake up happy. Yesterday on twitter, an acquaintance from an educational course encouraged me to share my experience with writing a first book – I have just finished the first complete draft – and that was the most lovely extended hand of an invitation. Haven’t blogged for a while, as there has been just too much typing to do, so I thought I’d ease myself back in with a story. I love stories, and this one is short, true, and lovely.

Last night at around the table there was the usual lively discussion. Grandparents were hearing the news of the week from different grandchildren and there were happy sounds of eating and drinking. It was a good family meal. At one point, a teenage child disappeared and reappeared with a large book, nearly two feet long, hardback – I thought it was an artist’s sketch book to show to people, but it wasn’t. Any guesses what this exciting book was?

The atlas

It was an atlas – found at a charity sale in the village. It cost 20p.

The book was laid out on the floor with great respect. – It is so beautiful; I just have to keep seeing its pages. I want to put them on my walls, and look at them all the time – even the cover is beautiful.

It was a completely genuine display, and and it made quite an impression on me. To the older generation around the table it was an atlas- a very nice one, but an atlas all the same. As someone said – yes, and there was one of those books in every school desk, too. But for this teenager who has grown up in a world of Googlemaps, these pages were fresh and displayed the aspects of terrain and contour so beautifully. I want to have those eyes that see things with beauty and adore the unique contribution they can make.

…so a pause to look at the early morning stars now that everyone is up (before the dawn). I said that I didn’t recognise any of them… and I was told – the summer triangle is rising, Vega, the tail of Scorpius… -and if you’re ancient of days that’s how you know spring is coming. Those are the summer stars rising.

I am distracted now, but that was really the whole story. ‘Just a book’ was actually inspiring and beautiful, but somehow that was easy to miss. I’m not saying that every book is inspiring and beautiful, but I am sure there are things around us everyday that are and that we miss.

On that note, I am off to watch the night sky fade as the sun comes up over the fields.

I will compile thoughts on the experience of writing a book, but that’s a story for another day.

night and morning