The Thing About…STREAMERS

Becca River

Saying goodbye is not something that sits well with me.  Sure, when you anticipate seeing someone again soon, it is not such a big deal. But, at times like this, at the end of a year, when one door closes, there is a tiny bit of sadness that colors the occasion. A good friend recently reminded me of one of my rituals, as a kid, at New Years parties-  I used to picked up all the streamers at the end of the party, after everyone had thrown them and they were strewn across the floor.  I would collect them, take them home, and save them for an occasion to surprise my parents. I would wait for the perfect moment, when things were quiet, and we needed a little color in our lives.  Perhaps we still do the same with memories, recall the colorful moments when we need them.

This year has been filled with so many wonderful moments. My heart is full of gratitude for all of the opportunities that I have had this year and for all of the individuals who have supported me and shared in my adventures.  As you know, I performed my first 30-minute set of original music this past March.  Additionally, I was able to perform my own music all over NYC this year.  I also had the chance to sing at Lincoln Center.  I have been blessed by so many amazing musical moments this year.  2012, you have been good to me.  So, as this year closes, I feel immense gratitude for the journeys I have had and the growth along the way.

And, on to 2013…  I look through the window of this upcoming year with new hopes and dreams.  This is the time to raise the bar and step toward goals with renewed energy and determination.  To this end, I plan on writing more songs, working on my guitar and piano skills, performing more, and RECORDING more music!  There, I said it. Now that it is out there, it will happen.  I have more surprises in store, but a girl has to keep some secrets, right?

I have several upcoming performances scheduled. One that I may invite people to will be on February 16th. Save the date if you will be in NYC.  More info on that to follow…

Thanks for sharing my journey in 2012. I am honored to have had your company. I hope you will continue to support my adventures and musings in 2013.  One can create, one can write music, one can sing, but without someone to listen, it is like a tree falling in the woods…

Thank you.

I wish you colorful streamers of memories to cast into 2013.

The Thing About…STARTING (again)

So, for the past several months I have been studying…a lot. Not only am I a singer/songwriter/actress/dancer, I work with children with special needs. I was studying because there is a law changing November 1st and when this happens, many of my clients will be able to get insurance reimbursement for my services. However, my clients would only be eligible for these benefits, if I had different qualifications. This entailed my getting a masters degree and passing a board exam. After finishing this masters in May and taking and passing the board exam this September, I am now finally free to again wholeheartedly pursue music.

And it feels like I am starting again. I haven’t been able to focus on writing music, or even listen to music, for the past few months. The entire capacity of my iPod was filled with chapters and chapters of textbooks and articles that I painstakingly read into garageband to help me study. Earlier this week, when I found out that I passed the board exam, one of the first things I did (after joyfully screaming, calling people, and going out to celebrate), was reload music onto my iPod. To be able to listen to music for pleasure again, what a dream! For these past few months, I have felt stifled, every creative thought shoved away, scrawled on a notepad and saved for later. And, after all of this suppression, I find that I don’t know exactly where I am with my thoughts. I have been pushing impulses aside so often that it is hard to feel them at all right now. Also, I keep getting sick- three weeks ago I had strep, last week I had a chest cold and was considering if there would be a career for me as a contralto… Then, there’s the kid I work with who tried to rip the fingers off my left hand four weeks ago, making it still painful to shape chords on the guitar. All of these things getting in the way, excuses holding me back from what I want- to play music. I wasn’t imagining these excuses, but why did it seem that everything was getting in the way, rendering it impossible to do the one thing I dreamt of doing every moment that I was stuck studying for months?

Then, the moment comes, when I am again free to voice what I feel, create new music, and play, play, play, and I am silent. Perhaps my body has not yet caught up with my thoughts- I know I am done with the exam, done with the classes, done. But, my body is still frozen by the stress, the impending doom of failing and having to possibly study and re-take that exam again. (Thank goodness I passed.) So, I just sit, empty. And, since I haven’t been listening to how I feel for so long, I don’t even know how to listen. I don’t hear music, I don’t know what to write, I don’t know where to start, I don’t know how to start.

So, I just play. I pick up the guitar and play one of my songs. And, I’m almost in tears. Oh, I missed you! I play another song and another. And, I’m not creating new music, but at least I am re-visiting these friends of the past, the people who have inspired these songs.

And, I feel that I am surrounded by my journey and I know where I am suddenly- in the middle of it, all my music.

I’m in the beginning, in the middle, and in the end of journeys every moment of every day. I find an unfinished song lyric and, from memory, try to figure out the chords to accompany the melody floating through my mind, and slowly new comes from the old. What was unfinished becomes completed with where I am in my journey today.

And I have begun, again.