Writer, Christian, bibliophile, musician, generalist.

 

MCCXLVI

1. It is 10:00 and I am in bed about to fall asleep. School started today.

2. I am genuinely excited about my studio load this fall. I’ve got some awesome students.

3. I need to run. I haven’t since Tuesday and likely won’t get to until Saturday.

4. Today threw me for a curve at first. Forgot my wallet at home so I had to navigate that. Minor annoyance.

But the big annoyance was that my alarm clock app updated and instead of math problems that look like this: (9+7) x (4+10), they switched the symbols so I was left with (9x7) + (4x10). After a year with the former, the latter caused my brain to cease to math for a minute. I wasn’t sure what I was looking at.

MCCXLV

1. Meditation needs to once more become part of my daily routine.

I spent 10 minutes today on a Headspace exercise and from that point, I feel like I’ve had a very productive day since then. Scheduling lessons, answering emails, planning recital stuff.

I was pretty down before then, and unfocused. It was amazing what that small amount of focus time did for my mentality. I shouldn’t underestimate it.

I spend way too much of my time stressed out and unconstructed, trying to figure out why I feel unfulfilled. Routine is something I crave, and it’s also something I’ve become a bit to lax on myself about.

I need to be pursuing things that will improve my life, rather than things to fill my time.

2. Singing has felt great lately. I’m not sure exactly what I’m preparing for, but I need to be in shape for when I do.

I’m trying to plan a Schubert Recital; I’m not exactly sure when I’m going to do this. Hopefully sometime either in November or in January. I’m currently leaning toward January, but who knows.

I just need to give a recital. I hope people attend.

3. I began reading Calvino’s Six Memos for the Next Millennium this afternoon and ran across a section that really resonated with me:

There remains one thread, the one I first started to unwind: that of literature as an existential function, the search for lightness as a reaction to the weight of living….I am accustomed to consider literature a search for knowledge. In order to move onto existential ground, I have to think of literature as extended to anthropology and ethnology and mythology. Faced with the precarious existence of tribal life–drought, sickness, evil influences–the shaman responded by ridding his body of weight and flying to another world, another level of perception, where he could find the strength to change the face of reality.

That’s how literature has been for me, especially over the past couple of years. I feel the weight of living pretty profoundly. It bears down on me with its full gravity; literature is a way out from under. It’s a bit escapist, but I think it’s the right kind of escape. I don’t do drugs, I don’t get drunk, I just really like to read.

I am a little guilty in regards to reading books I think other people will find impressive, but even those sorts of books serve their purpose. I haven’t really been reading a whole lot of high-level literary fiction, but I have been reading a lot of pedagogical texts this year, which is maybe more pertinent.

4. “Il faut être léger comme l’oiseau, et non comme la plume”

- Paul Valéry

MCCXLIV

1. I wish I was still actually doing some writing on here. I mean, I show up every night to write down my thoughts, but to be honest, most of my thoughts revolve around stress and how little I have control over my life right now.

I’m just tired. And a little mad. And disappointed. And ashamed.

There are a lot of emotions wrapped all into one grey cloud hanging over my head.

2. I did make a really good dinner tonight, though. So I’ve got that going for me.

3. I need to somehow find more bright sides. Or appreciate more. One of the two. Or both, really.

MCCXLIII

1. Life is feeling very difficult and insurmountable right now, and I wish it wasn’t. I just feel as though I have this invisible cloud hanging over everything and I don’t know what to do to make it go away.

Well, I guess I do know what to do, but certain things are out of my control.

I wish I didn’t feel like I had to be vague, like I could be vulnerable and meet myself in my insecurity, but the truth is I’m ashamed.

So I’m going to do a lot of praying, a lot of wishing, and a lot of searching; I hope you’ll join me in that.

2. I am very blessed to have supportive people in my life.

3. I am glad I like to cook, because it’s a good, rewarding, and productive way to relax.

4. Reading the Journal of Singing makes me want to write and research. This needs to happen.

5. I had a nice sing today; I need to do that more often as well. It’s hard not having anything specific to sing for right now; but I am also working on changing that.

MCCXLII

1. There will now be 9 additions to the voice studio this year. I had been hoping for more, but there will be some strong singers to work with, and I will hopefully make the best of what I’ve got.

2. I just woke up from a nap. It’s 11:30.

3. I read recently where someone said that as a kid when you eat McDonald’s, it’s a victory; but when when you eat it as an adult, it’s a defeat.

True Wisdom

MCCXLI

1. Today was a strange and awkward day. I feel as though my abilities in relation to being around people have waned. I just hate walking away from interactions feeling weird about my half of the performed duties.

2. Sometimes, my fiancée makes homemade bread.

I am marrying the right woman.

I mean, there are other, better reasons; but everything about this woman seems to cry out perfection.

3. Once again, it is cold, and I am happy.

MCCXL

1. Today came and went again.

Aimlessness is the feeling of the season so far. I know I’ve kept saying my word of the year is patience, but patience for what? I’m so tired of this.

I’m tempted to make my word for 2015 action. Or maybe that should be a word that comes into play sooner. I talk a lot, but I wish I had more doing going on.

I need to start putting myself through the races again. I need to be learning music, learning Russian, speaking languages, thinking and reading about things I truly care about and not just things that seem to fill arbitrary quotas. I haven’t been learning things; I’ve been too focused on learning a lot of things that it’s been hard to focus on just one or two important things.

I should cut myself just a bit of slack since I did just get engaged, but I’m too easy on myself.

I’m just tired of feeling like I’m not doing anything.

2. I stepped on the scale yesterday and weighed 189. Seeing that 8 there was incredible. I’m so happy with my progress.

I am so not happy that I will probably be in the gym tomorrow instead of Lakeshore.

It is currently 45°.

3. I have really been enjoying Neil Gaiman’s writing as of late. After finishing Good Omens and starting Neverwhere, I am just pulled in to what he does.

MCCXXXIX

1. Today, September 11th shall be counted as the first official day of fall in Chicago, IL. It was a full 10 days early, but at 52°F nearly all day necessitating jackets and vests from nearly all the population [save some hooligans I saw on their way back to Loyola wearing sleeveless tops in an effort to be fashionable], it sure felt like fall.

The leaves will soon be turning, the hot chocolate will be flowing, and flannel will be the color of the world.

I can’t wait, obviously. Fall has been my favorite season for a long time. No allergies, no untoward heat, everything pointing to the dying of the year.

I think I could take eternal fall.

2. I had a meeting at my church job today and the half-price book store was on my way back. So, naturally.

I purchased 9 books, only two of them above $5, and then only barely.

- Willa Cather- My Antonia
- Cervantes- Don Quixote
- Malcolm Gladwell- Outliers
- Kurt Vonnegut- Slaughterhouse Five
- Lewis Carrol- Alice in Wonderland
- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
- Freakonomics
- Calvino- Six Memos for the Next Millennium
- Charlotte Brontë- Jane Eyre

I had to cut myself off after a while.

3. Had some absolutely great band practice tonight. What a great group to work with.

MCCXXXVIII

1. I’ve been feeling a bit stuck and aimless as of late, probably caused by the end to a very long summer. I’m just tired of feeling like I’m in some sort of desert, professionally. I hope I can learn to love being in my mid-20s. I loved my teens, loved my early 20s, but I would really love to be back in school now.

2. This September air is beautiful right now. Cool and relaxing.

3. I am very much looking forward to next August. Getting married is something I have wanted for a very long time and now that I’ve found Annie and we’ve begun to make plans on the actuality of spending our lives together, I just want it to happen tomorrow. August can’t come soon enough.

MCCXXXVII

1. Cicadas are terrifying creatures. As I was leaving my fiancée’s apartment this evening, one buzzed loudly at me from the front door and then buzzed right on inside in a manner I can only describe as spitefully.

No.

2. There are few things as satisfying as walking in one’s door just as the rain starts.

3. I feel I am at an ongoing crossroads in life right now. I would love to just pick for once.

MCCXXXVI

1. I am just now realizing there is a supermoon outside that I will now have missed. What a bummer.

2. Job interview tomorrow. Feeling a bit mixed about it. We’ll just have to see.

3. The apartment I moved into is across from a school. I had not thought this through and am amazed at the level of off-hours activity that goes on when the police aren’t looking. Nothing explicitly illegal, but unfortunately a lot of domestic disturbance and loitering.

MCCXXXV

1. I was kind of dreading this weekend for how absolutely packed it was, but it was actually not bad at all. For one thing, it was nice and cool, so today’s church picnic was absolutely beautiful. I am really proud of the direction the music is taking there. In just a year, things have gotten so much tighter and simply better overall.

There’s one singer in particular who is absolutely blooming. When we started last November, she was shy; not even really singing into the mic, looking at her shoes. Now she is confident enough to sing harmonies in most of the songs we do. And they’re good harmonies at that! That’s bravery. She’s trying by doing.

2. Drawback #1: I needed some alone time tonight because I was crashing once again.

Drawback #2: Broke a guitar string.

If these are the worst things that happened in a stressful weekend, I’d say I’ve come out ahead.

3. I am about to sleep once more for about 8 hours. I’m pretty excited about this. I don’t think I’m the type of person who can get up at 6 on a regular basis anymore. 7, sure. But 6 is a little excessive.

MCCXXXIV

1. It is 9:30 and I just briefly fell asleep on the couch watching football. What a long day.

This also makes it feel very much like fall. I could get used to that. I think fall is my favorite season.

2. Long day tomorrow, too. time to sleep.

3. Tapas.

MCCXXXIII

1. Party!

2. Lack of time.

3. I need to work out hard all next week.

MCCXXXII

1. I had forgotten what it was like to be truly warm like I was today. It was much too hot outside to be at the zoo.

Which was something we did.

2. Finished What We See When We Read today, a book I picked up on the phenomenology of reading (i.e. looking at the structures of experience and consciousness as we read).

In other words, it looked at what reading does for us.

I really wish I felt like taking more time to explain it, but it’s more something to be experienced by oneself.

It did strike a chord with Understanding Comics, though.

3. What a lovely evening out with friends tonight. I had missed those sorts of things.