the star (& august 17 gig!)

new songs, and continuing to get back on the horse

hey hartlist,

I was reflecting this morning that it’s very easy to forget who you are.

what I look like when I’ve written a new song. (band rehearsal w/nick stephens, L and matt gelfer R). I’ve joined the ranks of songwriters writing about how The Internet Makes You Crazy. Related: have you seen Bo Burnham’s “Inside” yet? Wow.

There was a time in my life where I went around saying “I only really feel like myself when i’m onstage” and while I am no longer given to (this much) hyperbole and suspect I may have been saying it In Character, there’s still a kernel of truth in there. I’d expand “on stage”, though, to include “rehearsal” or “band rehearsal” or “reading aloud to whoever” or “livestreaming The Chrysalis” or “writing (ie, playing all the parts in Iron John out loud in my apartment)”. At these times I feel fully alive and present. (They’re not the only times, I mean, I also like hiking and cooking and stuff, but this isn’t my dating profile.) My acting teacher used to call it “public solitude”; the ability and willingness to be you (as you are, alone)… in front of people. I would now expand it to “with people”, which is why I think playing music together bonds us in a particular way. If you know me, you know I love my alone time. But being alone … WITH someone? The best.
(And no, I don’t just mean performing, but again, this isn’t my dating profile.)

*also I am at SoFar Sounds, solo, August 10 - get on their mailing list to find out where (it’s in Soho)*

But between those times, sometimes it’s like I fall in a hole, through to another section of the universe where my brain feels a little bit like tofu and I sort of drift vaguely around going, “Ah, yes, once I was an actress (/musician/performer/alive); perhaps it was a dream I had…”

And the kicker? I”m not even talking about the whole year I spent in quarantine. I’m talking about the time between yesterday’s band rehearsal and the O’Neill gig, which is two weeks.

Anyone? I believe this is what they call ‘black and white thinking’; where every gig/show/opportunity is probably your last and only the Right Now is real. Another fun thing about this thinking is that it adds an extra layer of “whats the point” sludge that renders the trip from the couch to the guitar or the laptop endless and impossible, whatever, I talked about this last week, and I believe they also refer to this as ‘resistance’. Sneaky. It’s a cycle: do the thing, remember who you are, stop doing it, forget who you are, believe it is impossible to do the thing, somehow get tripped into doing it, remember, stop doing it, forget. Anyone?

Another teacher of mine is always gently urging his students to remember to think in terms of Being, not Doing. As in, it’s more important to BE, to identify with the Person Who Does The Thing rather than go nuts trying to do do do and control things all the time. With which I agree. At the same time, sometimes I have to just reach for the tools.

In the Tarot (because I’m thinking about a lot of things at once these days, why shouldn’t you) we call these tools wands. They’re the things that get us back to “Oh.. that’s me." Or, the truth.

I’ll close with a bit I found myself writing in the book on Tarot I’m writing did I mention I’m writing a book on Tarot well I am. (and yes, still doing readings over zoom).

and deep within us, something sparks, something glows, and we come into contact …with ourselves. The Core of our Being. The thing that no one can see, and no one can take away. Our “bliss body”, to hear the yogis tell it; our purest place within. It is untouched by time, untarnished by age, illness, addiction, even personality. It is Eternal. It is our Soul, our pilot light…

                                                        Our Star.

(#17. My very favorite Tarot Card. It’s both as far away as you can get from The World… and the closest thing to it.)

A good kind of Stardom to pursue I think.

What about you? What are your wands? Are you using them? How do you get back when you stop? You can comment on this newsletter you know. Do we like when I get philosophical like this or would you rather just have gig dates and salacious band gossip? (Um…Matt and Nick both have cats…?)

COME TO THE SHOW(S) or I will forget who I am. Do you want that on your conscience?

See you out there ,