procrastination nation

in which we recap the O'Neill show and muse on the nature of fear and productivity

Hey Hartlist,

“I think people procrastinate because they fear death.” - my (former) therapist

It’s 5PM on Monday and I’ve been meaning to write this since Wednesday.

August Music

as in, gigs in August, not like, “elderly and wise”

So how was your week/s?

heaven is a place on earth: the band at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center on Sunday July 11. That’s the Long Island sound between me & Chris.

As we started to sing John Prine’s “Angel from Montgomery I blanked on the lyrics and asked Matt for the first line and he looked me right in the eye and said “You Are An Old Woman”. But he’s still in the band. Seriously though, what an amazing time we had in Waterford. An incredible TEAM of sound folks. A luxurious afternoon sound check. The sun really coming out just as the audience arrived. A rehearsal studio for warmups (we opted to just stay in the living room of the WHOLE HOUSE we had to stay in). An escort from said cottage to the stage. Lovely warm audience spread out on their picnic blankets and lawn chairs and BYOPicnics. (Special thanks to the person who gifted the band a platter of sushi and a loaf of bread…??) Nailing ‘The Devil’s Song’ without a drummer (fist bump). Drinks at “Blue Gene’s Pub” and a sunset walk down to the water (Chris went swimming). That was my fourth time working at the O’Neill, in my third artistic incarnation, and I don’t care if I have said that already. What a great time. Photo by John Strano who became a fan of The Chrysalis during quarantine and gets extra points for using the word ‘eclosed’ when he posted this photo. Certainly I couldn’t have imagined a better emergence…

when life gives you a rock wall to sit on, make headshots for everyone. when the lead singer doesn’t love hers because she’s still wearing pajamas, make a Beatles tribute image. (Now I look like the Heat Miser, but it’s better.) Related: seeking band photographer.

… and perhaps it was just so we wouldn’t get overwhelmed that our second CT gig was canceled. We woke up to the news that the New Haven “Hi Fi Pie Contest & Summer Concert Series” was “rained out”. By which I mean the Internet was forecasting doom in the morning, and by the afternoon we waved to the New Haven exit, sparkling in the sunlight, as we drove home without playing. But what are you gonna do. This afternoon, I was walking down the street when I stopped to ask, “Siri, is it going to rain?” and she replied cheerfully “No, I don’t think it will rain” literally I kid you not three seconds before water started falling from the sky onto my phone. We live in uncertain times, friends.

Also, they’re rebooking us in the fall, stay tuned!

I’m feeling very aware that under quarantine my weekly newsletters were A) weekly and B) ABOUT SOMETHING, usually more of a wee essay than a list of gigs. Then again, there were no gigs. I sometimes put off writing until I have The Real Thing to say, which as I’m sure you can guess, often results in no writing happening. During grad school I realized (and then had to keep realizing) that “the show is in HERE” (point to the computer), “not in HERE” (point to head). In other words, it’s the doing of it that makes the thing, not the planning of it beforehand. This week I’m beginning to face the fact that there are some things it takes me forever to do. Then again, others I seem to accomplish in the blink of an eye. Writing a song has, on occasion, taken less than half an hour. Getting myself to sit down with my guitar to write? Weeks. Doing the (normal amount of) dishes usually takes 10 minutes. I know this, because my sink is really small and because I’ve timed it repeatedly to prove it to myself. However, no amount of timing it can really convince me that it isn’t going to take hours, this time. And that can keep me from doing it at all, which of course means that sometimes it really does take a lot longer. It’s always nice when it doesn’t. Anybody with me on this? Which kind of procrastinator are you, the one that cant seem to start, or can’t seem to finish? Which kind of Focuser are you, the laser beam or the diffused bulb?

(What’s that? There are other options? Some people are in between instead of one or the other? That can’t be right.) Related: seeking Management.

Anyway I really just wanted to tell you that thing my former therapist said. “People procrastinate because they fear death”. (!!) Her point was that people want to pretend they have all the time in the world to do everything, and that admitting there’s a deadline is in some way akin to facing their mortality. Who knows. Personally, I think sometimes I’m just afraid to start because I assume (rightly) I will be completely absorbed until I finish. Which is usually a great experience but I’m always a little scared of it. Like, I don’t want to flip on the light because it might burn out. Maybe that’s the same thing?

See you at the shows, by which time I”ll have written a song about it. (OR NOT AAA).

Oh yeah also this happened

I’m a model aaaaaaaa. (Stopped by my friend & teacher Phil Schuster’s class at Primary - yay in person yoga! - early enough to fall into a photo shoot. It’s a great space. And yes, I did fall seconds after this was taken. But, like, what is time.) Related: Seeking serenity. (I know, I’m on it.)

See you out there,

RH