One summer, one term (two full-capacity courses, two tutorials each), one grant proposal, five conference/workshop presentations, one book chapter, one co-edited volume, one major personal shift, and one apartment move later–
2018 has been quite the year of adjustment to full-time academic life, the year of unavoidable mistakes, and thus the year of enduring (things and lessons, both).
Next up in 2019: apart from teaching, writing, and new research, definitely more music-making—and, ultimately, more interfaces between those two sides of my work. I didn’t get to perform or train all that much this year beyond a few interesting jams with usual and new collaborators. But teaching eight hours a week for twelve weeks forced me to “voice” with more care and intention (in the interest of sustainability I don’t blather on as much as I used to, lol).
Unsurprisingly, what has also shifted for me is the experience of silence and its various modalities–from holding my tongue when I’m seized by the urge to blurt something out; to balancing an attentional space of listening that drops altogether the agenda of forming words; to the moment-by-moment act of improvising, which now feels like a strange alloy of choosing and surrendering. As a result, people have noticed a difference in my singing. It feels like a good sign that I don’t need external affirmation for what I have been sensing most acutely within myself as a cumulative shift, gradual but definite. There is no end to this practice, which suits me just fine.
If you were/are a reader of this blog, and are still somehow here: hello, hello. Your interest is very much appreciated. Come back again soon: new stuff forthcoming.