I’m in Prague airport waiting to head to Paris before the final leg of my journey. I got a palmier and am eating it at the gate, waiting for the flight. Prague was a lot of fun. The hotel was breathtaking. I joked about the place being so nice that I was waiting for someone to escort me out, telling me there had been a mistake.
I was only half joking. I came from a small village in the middle of the country, and after college, in an area called the rust belt, with no jobs available and very few people that I could relate to, I came to D.C. Thank God for friends. Even with them, there were so many days that I didn’t have enough money to eat, and the neighborhoods I did live in and could afford were so dangerous; I literally had a gun to my head more than once.
Now I found myself in a place at the foot of a castle, with services that I’d never experienced before. Keep in mind, I now live in a great neighborhood in a major American city. and still, this place was unreal.
I have felt this before, and I had to look at it and see where this feeling of something being too good to be true was coming from. I know some of it was, and I’m sure we all have experienced this; the false beliefs that others try to feed us. You know, the people who tell us that we can’t experience, will never experience, or that something is impossible, because of who we are, what we look like, where we come from, or because they simply don’t see those things as real possibilities in their own lives, and therefore not ours. I did internalize a little of that because these things weren’t a part of my life except as a dream, till now. A big part of this experience was understanding it, identifying it, and then letting it go. Once I did that, I could relax and enjoy the experience.
I have worked hard for what I have now and I am enjoying the experiences. I am also careful to not take it for granted. I appreciate and respect those who work hard to provide this experience to people. They are important and their jobs are important. I am grateful for them.
I am grateful for the music too. After all, it is the music that opened the doors to worlds I could have never imagined. It is the music that allowed me to have the experience I just did, and will continue to have. I was there to record the music, and that, I have written about in a journal.
Now, most people, myself included, do not normally live like they are living in a luxury hotel. I would not want hat to be the everyday experience. The fact that it is not, makes it all the more special. I enjoy cooking my own meals. I enjoy the process and the connection I feel to the food. It allows me to show respect and feel gratitude for each element of what I am preparing. I enjoy going out on Saturday mornings and sweeping the sidewalk for the block, picking up any trash, cleaning my house, feeding the birds and squirrels that come to me.
I enjoy the hard work of composing. That is solitary. That is the normal experience. But then there is the other side, when you stay in a beautiful place, dress up, and work with so many talented people to bring a project to life, together. That is the stuff that many people fantasize about, but that is just a small part of it, and one that would not be nearly as sweet without all the dedication, thought, and effort put forth that led to the experience.
I’m on the plane headed home to my tiny house. I have been gone for 2 weeks, so I need to get to a grocery when I get home, and I’m sure there will be birds and squirrels waiting for a meal too. I look forward to sleeping in my own bed, waking up, fixing coffee and really settling back into things.
I’m writing an opera right now, and I need to reacquaint myself with the score. I think both of us needed the break. Hopefully the break and the things I’ve learned with this experience will allow me to come at it with renewed energy as well as fresh eyes and ears.
There’s still much to do with the piece we recorded and I will be preparing for its release as well. And, of course there is my other job. I need to get back to that too. So, I’m here, and I am returning with a fresher and broader perspective. Let’s see what happens. I am up for the adventure.