I’m very excited about so many things like my continued exploration of who I am as a musician. Who will I be? A songwriter? A keyboardist? A singer? A sound technician? All of the above? I don’t know and that makes it very exciting.
In-between songwriting class and music production class, I’m studying vocals through Berklee’s Contemporary Singer and getting up-to-speed on Logic Pro, my DAW (digital audio workstation). I’m also pushing forward with Berklee professor Pat Pattison’s Songwriting Without Boundaries, a useful resource for all writers, not just songwriters. I’m also practicing the keys for 15 minutes each day, playing the Blues as Berklee Professor Russell asked us to do.
Speaking of breaking through boundaries in the creative life, I’m also excited about what I’m reading in Dolores Hart’s story – The Ear of the Heart: from Hollywood to Holy Vows. The first part was depressing – I couldn’t understand how she could trade her life in Hollywood with a truly loving fiance for what sounded like such an isolated miserable life in Connecticut.
It all started to get better for me at about 70% in. I’m now at 80% and each morning’s reading brings me such joy and inspiration. There’s something about the combination of artists, friendship, and God that makes for very compelling reading.
When I peek into her friendships and the definition of friendship, I see that my life today is lacking in that area. There are those who claim to be friends but if they only chat with you on Facebook and never call or text or answer your emails, or even leave a comment on your blog (but you know they’re reading it), they’re not really friends – not even if they used to be friends before social media.
If they never ask, “How are you?” then that is not a friend. Unfortunately, FB is set up to talk about yourself and not to ask about others’ welfare. So except for the 3 or 4 who do contact me privately, well, then, the rest are not friends. I’d really like some of them to be friends but, alas, they are not. And, yes, I’ve deactivated again.
I wonder why I see what seem to be real friendships like the kind of friendships I once knew in Mother Dolores’ life. Is it the convent and her church connections? Is it her generation? Is it her personal magnetism? Is it her Hollywood connections? Has life changed that much for the rest of us out here? Where did my friends go?
But what made the biggest impact was this story about a future nun:
The first of the new postulants was Susan Postel. With a master’s degree in psychology, she had worked in community mental health with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Seattle, Washington. “I had been adopted as an infant,” she said, “but had never tried to find my birth mother.
I had a fabulous upbringing by wonderful people, so it was not a priority interest for me. But when it became obvious that I had a vocation, Lady Abbess said, ‘Look, you haven’t really started to figure out what your life is about, much less what this life is about. You really have to find your birth mother if you can.
“Mother Dolores was the one to choreograph the search for my heritage, and over time we did locate my mother and stepfather, who became part of my life.”
Hart O.S.B., Mother Dolores; Richard DeNeut ( ). The Ear of the Heart: An Actress’ Journey from Hollywood to Holy Vows (Kindle Locations 6110-6115). . Kindle Edition.
That really hit home. I had a similar situation. We had converted to Orthodoxy, had moved from the Bay Area to Portland, Oregon and were inquiring about entering the Catholic Church. As Orthodox, we were welcome to take communion but we wanted full membership so that was arranged.
I’ll never forget that meeting with Deacon Little, as he sat at his computer and asked what my maiden name was. I was stumped. I’d gone by my step dad’s name for so long, I didn’t know what to tell him. Finally, I realized he wanted my birth name – that was my maiden name – and that began not only our Catholicism but the journey to find and meet my father and to embrace my name.
It’s only when you know who you are can you be your true self. Twelves years have passed since I met my father and since that time I’ve explored who I am as a writer. Sometimes I think I was really writing those novels for me and for him because it was in reading my fiction that my father was able to see who I was – to catch up on a lifetime of getting to know his daughter. To me, that is the most important thing about having written them.
Now it’s time to catch up on my music and just as Julia Cameron talks about teaming with the Great Artist as a writer, I am now teaming with the Great Artist musically.