Thursday, 12 November 2009

Running, but not really catching up

My computer is back, with a shiny new hard drive. It'll take me a while to finish getting the software I need onto it, but it's very good to have my own machine to work on again, at least.

I've not had much time or energy for else but work, online. I could make my excuses but you'll have heard it all before -- lots of work to do, performances, joint problems making me tired, students requiring extra care and attention at the moment. I started this blog in the last half of the last year of an intensive performance-based degree. I've only ever blogged when I don't really have time!

I'm still thinking of you lot. I'm still playing, praying, singing. Still throwing myself into hymnody, still getting a drip feed of psalmody from the Daily Office, still taking Communion.

Morning Prayer (or is it Evening?) has had lots of the book of Revelation in it recently. I have to say, I know it isn't meant to be literal, and there's all sorts of rich and beautiful symbolism, but this lampstand thing is a bit weird. I kindof like it, even as I think to myself, "Well, you might remove my lampstand from its place if I don't repent, but if I don't repent then surely the only reaction I'd have to a mis-placed lampstand is to put it back again or go to IKEA and get another one... I wonder if the instructions for assembling flat-pack lampstands are as convoluted as all their other ones?" and so on.

I'm loving bits of the daily prayers for between All Saints' Day and Advent. "In the darkness of this age that is passing away may the light of your presence which the saints enjoy surround our steps as we journey on." Only it just sounds wordy when I write it out like that... but when I'm praying it's all about the light.

A dearly beloved friend wants some music lessons, and naturally I volunteered my services. She asked about my rates; I hadn't intended on charging her anything, not a single penny. She isn't comfortable with that, so we'll work something out... but in thinking about how to approach it I've figured out a little more of how I relate to money. See, she said it "wouldn't be fair" not to compensate me for my time and expertise. As a musician, my work doesn't work that way. My life doesn't work that way. If I were to get up every morning and thinking "I'm only going to do any work if I know I'll get fair compensation for it", I would do no work at all. Being a freelance worker means that I have to accept that much of my work is not going to bring me any obvious or direct financial reward; being a musician means I have to accept that the work is worth doing anyway. So I do the work, and see any money anyone gives me as a concession to the fact that I cannot live on air, rather than anything approaching fair compensation.

I'm looking forward to teaching this friend. I've heard some of what she can do... but she gave up participating in music almost entirely a very long time ago and has only just recently started to engage with it again, to practise and even perform a little. She notices the problems, the rusty skills, the uncertainty, and the years of silence weigh heavily on her. I see and hear a musician waiting to grow into who she is, and needing a little help and encouragement -- not a lot -- to get there.

I found an orchid, in a big glass pot. Someone had left it by the rubbish bins. I brought it home, cut back the spent flowering stalks, gave it some water and a nice windowsill, and we'll see if it blooms again.

Hope! saith the holly.

5 comments:

it's margaret said...

I have been faithfully watering an orchid for three years now.... It might just make a good metaphor for faith and life and all that!

Welcome back!!! I was missing you!

Song in my Heart said...

Thanks, Margaret. I missed you, too. I've been able to get online but not having my usual machine everything has taken longer and it's been hard to keep up. Good to have routines shaken up, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Hello Song,

I understand what you mean about not being motivated by the money, especially when it comes to teaching a dear friend. So much of what I do for others is not motivated by my own gain - voluntary work at church being one of these things - why do I do it despite all the obstacles? I sometimes wonder, but always come back to the realisation that I do it because it is lovely to be part of a community that is working together towards a good goal, and that although my time is precious (especially as I have a full time job and a young family) it is mostly a pleasure spending some of it by contributing voluntarily to something worthwhile.

The orchid only needs one tablespoon full of water a week and don't repot it - they like to be potbound. It may take several months before it flowers, but I'm sure it will be worth the wait. I've got two I've been keeping going in this way for 3 years, and they flower splendidly every year.

A Parishioner

Song in my Heart said...

Thanks for dropping by, A Parishioner. And thanks for the advice on the orchid.

I do my work for the love of it rather than the pleasure of it... although it is very pleasurable at times, there is a deeper sense of purpose to it than just pleasure, and that keeps me going even when rewards seem impossible.

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