Thursday, September 26, 2013

My Morphine

Since I posted at the beginning of this week about our phone switcheroo, I've noticed more similar sentiments about the bane of social media.

Here and here, just a couple examples..  

So we agree that it's negative in many ways, and it's hard to escape that negativity. Like a drug. Let's say... morphine.  Or, cereal, or nintendo, or beer, or TV.  A way to numb yourself from the hardships of everyday life, which happens to be quite sad at times.  Louis C.K. talked about this in his viral anti-cell phone rant, and it comes up again and again in the conversation about social media.  How it's a non-productive way for humans to distract themselves from being still.

When I ask myself, "how do I feel?" after lingering too long online, the answer is numb and/or anxious.  The thing is, the internet is not going away, and it still helps me work and look up chords and information and send silly emails to my girlfriends.

Josey and I shared Lentil Soup to the sweet dreary croon of Gillian Welch on this drizzly, chilly evening.  Our friends were here the past two nights, and we were missing them already.  After we finished eating, JJ wanted to "sit down" on the stool, so I perched the laptop on the table and we watched videos of Gillian and Dave.

She pointed to the screen, matter-of-factly exclaiming, "Mommy Daddy.  Mommy Daddy.  Mommy Daddy!"

My heart swelled with pride.  That's who she thinks we are.  Oh yeah!  Flashback to Sundays this summer, baby surrounded by Boat Co Family, pointing and exclaiming at her parents playing music in the Hootenanny.  

Music is me.  My spirit soars when I'm in my element of performance.  Numb would be the opposite of any feelings I have with music.  Impassioned, relieved, invigorated, yep- those adjectives.

When I play for students and see inspiration in their eyes, tears sometimes prickle in mine.

"Mrs. Hackethorn.  Why don't you try out for The Voice?"

I usually laugh, but from now on, my answer is going to be, "You know, anything is possible."

Music make the pain better than numb.
Music is a gift without expiration.
Music is better than morphine and better than the internet.

I am at choice, so I choose music.
(Right now, I choose music in the form of Nashville Season 2 Premiere.)

Have a great weekend!  xoxo

Sunday, September 22, 2013


Have you seen this video?  Watch it!  Louis C.K. hates cell phones.  I think they're toxic, too.

Today, James and I switched phones.  I've had an iPhone for two years, and he rarely knows where his is.  I've become glued to mine in an ugly way, especially since emerging from a summer without internet.

Louis C.K. talks about that emptiness we all feel.  Glennon Melton writes about it in her book too, which I want to reread.  These holes we all feel in our hearts, constantly filling them with the wrong things.

I've been lonely.  Living out here in the country. This new place is beautiful, but isolating at the time.  I'm used to living with 10 people, and now there's one.  She's amazing and fun and never stops talking, and between taking 10 thousand pictures of her on my phone, or while she's sleeping, I've contrived an unending, compulsive sequence of circulating through Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter.

So, we switched phones.  Win-win, James gets to try a Smart gadget, and I don't think I'll be obsessed with the circa-2000 flip Samsung.

I just don't want to be obsessed with anything at all.

So, like that fiery-haired comedian, I'm going to acknowledge my feelings, my sadness.  Try not to numb them with the internet or food or drink.

Go for a run, dance with my girl, be grateful.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Down, Changeover

Courtney Blazon

Tonight, a big storm blew through the Bitterroot, giving some needed rain.  Beggars can't be choosers, but I would've liked more.

Josey and I had been at home, eating Kix, and making messes in most of the rooms of the house.  I was checking Instagram every five minutes or so, she was opening all her toiletries (diaper creme, Vitamin D drops, etc., all which she calls "sunscreen!")  She is loving life, with so much energy ALL THE TIME.  Wanting an excuse to be lazy, either the smoke or my full belly from the multiple bowls of Kix, I considered the time.  6:30, and I had a fed & bathed baby, who needed entertainment before she'd be ready to sleep.

"Wanna go for a run?"

"Run.  Run."  She started pacing around, as I pulled myself off the floor, leaving my iPhone there.

I started to change into a sportsbra and running shorts as she brought me one of my pink running shoes!  This morning before school, she brought me my sandals.  Girl is just so sweet & proud!
"Shoes." she says with her little baby-lisp.  

Really, I didn't want to run.  I wanted to feel sorry for myself, for the lurking to-do lists, my lack of productivity.  I wanted to look at social media and eat crap and lay around.  Teaching school is tiring, and I've been whooped at the end of these days.  Sometimes, 'ya gotta buck up.  

Josey squealed when she got in her stroller, and I meandered down the way.  We noted three bucks, one had some orange stuff caught in his rack.  I mulled in my head, she babbled and cooed -she's always happy to chat it up.  Neighbors waved on four-wheelers.  There was a baby-blue layer of sky underneath grey.  Turning onto another road, I kept walking.  Still sulking a little.

Finally, we felt some drops.  I had reached the bottom of a long, steady hill, unsure where the road would take us.  Pivoting the chariot, I started to run, and Josey cried, "Yayayay!"

It felt good to feel the burn, looking up at the eye of the storm, seeing lightning.  A storm to beat.  We got home and an even rain fell over the house for awhile, we read books and she went Ni-night to talk her Giraffe, Bubba, to sleep.  

This changeover thing, it's inevitably part of our lifestyle.  We're seasonal.  We get to live in some incredible places in Montana.  Grateful as I am, I still feel empty and sad in these in between times.  Blue without my boatman.  I have visions of the way things should be: a clean house, to-do lists crossed off, outfits picked out, early to bed and rise, but deep down, I know I'm just lazy me. 
Sometimes I think I should nail these changes.  The practice over the years, the emptiness I feel without James, should go away, and I should be better by now.

Then, the forest for the trees.

No need to beat myself up.
We have food to eat.
My daughter is happy.
I'm showing up for life and being pretty darn upbeat with my students.

Like that storm, this month will blow over.  

*Do you ever find yourself glued to your phone, comparing yourself to others in a negative way?  How do you fight it??  (I know the obvious answer is just put it down & pick up a good book, but I tend to make things more complicated...)*  

Coming up:

We're headed back to Glacier this weekend, followed by a post soon about our Boat Co. Family.  Also, I've started a Facebook page for Music at Many Glacier.  Will you please "like" it?  As you may have heard, the gigantic corporation Xanterra will be running the Hotel next summer.  I am set on making sure the music is an important part of the transition!  You'll be hearing more soon!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Mtn Mama: Back to School

This little lady's expanding her noggin, stringing thoughts and words together, showing immense love and spunk!

Tomorrow, our long, loving summer days together will come to a close, and she'll start at a new little people's school.  

I want to translate for her as she tries for high fives, put her down for naps, hold hands when she reaches.  I want to explain her baby words to her new caretakers, adjust her to this new setting, but I can't be there all day.  Duty calls.    

The pit in my heart drops & deepens, and I must rely, once again, on trust.  

We will flounder, take awhile to settle to a new groove and always greet each other with grins and snuggles and kisses.  

I'll miss you, my sweet girl!  You're my light.


Choir Chatter: Environment

Courtney Blazon

It's that time, back to school.  Many friends, family, and colleagues are already back at it, but here in the Bitterroot we start after Labor Day.  Works for me!

Last year was a slew of over-committing for me in my job.  I started the year spending most of my prep-time pumping for my new baby, brain emotional and fuzzy.  By October, we prepared for the largest performance I've ever directed: The Beatles Experience.  From there I was constantly behind.  I barely kept my head above water with too many extra projects for the High School Tour (which I STILL haven't posted about here), and my Middle School students got the shaft.  Sadly, the music became secondary to everything else.  This year, I will even out, and I hope we'll say the craziness was worth it to motivate future Falcon singers.

My first goal: setting the environment.  My classroom has the potential for so many things, and I have amazing repertoire chosen for the year.  I strive to make each student welcome and comfortable and proud enough to sing out and fully explore their musical potential.

My tools: eye contact, focus, open-mindedness, consistency, organization, and flow.  I tend to be on the...scattered side of things.  Music teachers, you creative and exuberant ones can relate, right? How do you simplify your ideas?

This year, I'm making an extra effort to ensure that my classes are more predictable.  More "cadre" (French for order), higher expectations, so that even more beautiful moments can bloom.  Less confusion about who stands where, more organized certainty on my part.  This year, I'll give folks my full focus when they come to chat with me at my desk.  No more "finishing something" on my computer while half-listening.  Full-on eye-contact and body language.  This year, I'll stand in the halls and greet students instead of holing up in my lair. This year, I'm going to be more efficient with time, less of a multi-tasker, more of a musical inspiration.

The door's wide open.

No excuses, it's go time.


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