It was hard to catch a breath at times this year. What a strange one, eh? We tried hard to grab onto "normal" which did not feel so normal. We thought we finally came out of the darkest part of the woods only to faceplant into quicksand. We get pulled out only to find we lost our shoe in the goo. But we got cool with that. Make do with what we got! Got socks? Keep going!
So... Was it a good year...? Another bad year...? A weird parody of last year...? A teaching moment? Just a blip in the cosmos?
On the side of "it was a good year", I was gob-smacked blessed with how much music I was able to do with so many of my friends. My bar for music goals was super low (maybe play once/twice a month?) and I had the best performance year yet. I was not picky - it was such a joy to be out and just doing the doing. I learned random covers to fill a set (and kudos to friends who humored learning the 80s tunes along with me!) and happily play the role of a live jukebox. That doesn't sit well with some, but it was great to be reminded that I am still "here". (My bar for happiness must also be super low - hi!! I'm Monica and this is my guitar. Thank you!)
We were able to spend (more) time with friends/family/neighbors/strangers and get back out there to do things together. Teaching moment take-away: Togetherness can never be over-rated!!!
On the side of "weird parody", the year is ending as it had begun; kind of like the summer was an existential weekend away and we have now returned back from our trip and resigned to settle back into the routines of the roost we left, with the leaky roof, the uneven floors, the outdated trims.
My last live performance was on November 13 at Daryl's House Club. I sensed that would be my last of the year and prepared to hibernate so to speak. As others continued to fill up their schedules, I was content in knowing I would fall off the map for a while, at least until late Spring.
Like bookends, my re-emergence will be back at Daryl's House Club on April 23rd. Originally this was going to be part of a tour of a new studio album. Unfortunately, Omicron towered above me like a sturdy bouncer blocking the portal to my plans, unmoved by my disappointment and puppy-dog whimpers. No matter, the fact that I get to return to Daryl's itself is a beacon in the night. There will still be merriment - and God-willing, some new songs! (During Season 1 of "La Pandemic", I failed as compared to other writers to produce any new original pandemic-inspired material. From a glass-half-full vantage point, I guess Season 2 is my chance to catch up).
We know the drill now; what it means to recede and make do with what we have. The shock of being unmoored from all we thought we needed has passed and now we are better at expecting the unexpected, while we cautiously remain optimistic and tread more mindfully into carving out new paths in our lives to still be able to get from here to there. We may need to pack more lightly, more strategically, more prepared. But we trek on (shoeless if needed).
Well then, 2021, you managed to show us something new by being a bit of the same ol' same ol. But time only moves in one direction therefore...
so long 2021... and thanks for all the fish!