I am a park ranger, which means that by day, I am an extrovert. I smile, I laugh, answer questions, and interpret the stories of Lowell for people from around the world, with every possible temperament, mood, and level of skill along the social etiquette spectrum.
There are elements of my job that I love. Some days I experience a full range of emotion dependent on interactions with visitors, staff, my inner critic, how I slept the night before.
After a typical day, I am worn out. “Crevée,” I would say were I in France.
This is where my introvert self and voice for self-care tend to step in.
I continue to thank the universe that I am in a place where my creative voice is encouraged and inspired. I also have ample opportunity to share what I create in a meaningful way to a captive audience.
Beyond a park audience, I am endeavoring to share the songs I have written in different settings. I want to get myself out there as much as possible. This becomes challenging with my day job and desire to get a good night’s sleep. It is also challenging to find venues where people go to listen.
My research partner has told me stories of gigging in all kinds of venues and even having rocks thrown at him on one occasion.
Do I have the stomach for this?
Will my body and mind survive?
I have been going to a weekly open mic at a jazz bar, something way out of my comfort zone at the outset. Each week, I feel a bit more at ease, especially when I receive support from local folk who have taken me under there open mic community wing.
But it is a challenge.
I prefer quiet spaces where I can hear myself sing and hear what the person next to me is saying when others are performing.
I have been busking, which puts me even more out of my comfort zone. With no audience, captive or otherwise, of which to speak, I stand completely alone, hoping someone will walk by and take notice in a positive way.
It is time to set my intention for my future into a tangible plan. While most plans I have made turn out quite differently than I envisioned, the change was set in motion by sending my intention out into the universe in both tangible and intangible ways.
And so, I begin with a written piece.
My desire, as I feel it in this moment and in many others since graduating from the Prescott College doctoral program in Sustainability Education, is to encompass sustainability completely as a full-time musician and artist.
My intention and hope:
To write and have my writing published.
To compose songs from my own and the stories of people from around the world.
To receive monetary compensation for my work.
To lead songwriting workshops with my research partner, Malcolm Brooks.
To perform in spaces where my presence has been requested formally.
To work with a member of a later cohort, Jenny Finn, who does exceptional breath and shadow work.
To become a better musician.
To become a better writer.
To continue to be stretched and challenged.
To effect positive change through art.