From December of last year through May or June of this one, I have gone through a bewildering bog of depression. Inaction. Listlessness. I was utterly without music, with a few exceptions, until around November. This almost year of wandering gave me time to let the fields lay fallow. I suppose it was ‘imposed’ on me because, as a child of this culture, I would never choose such a course of Nothing. But I did go through it; and at one point, I had completely surrendered to the idea that maybe my life won’t revolve around music anymore. Maybe I was done.
When I started feeling more movement in my inner life, I started a yoga teacher training program at Yoga and Polarity in Malverne, NY (http://www.yogapolarity.com/), and have been loving every minute of it. Now I am launching into a whole new life. I bowed my head to Music, honored it, and let it go. Now I will teach yoga.
Something about giving up so wholeheartedly has opened my life, opened my body, opened my mind. And, as anyone knows who’s surrendered in this way, offers, opportunities, gifts have just been making their way to my door, unbidden.
Example: In September, I did a small 20-minute set at a fundraiser for the Interfaith Nutrition Network of Long Island (INN). I sang better than I’d ever sung; plus I sold more cds than I’d sold in a very long time. In October, I was given the opportunity to lead a monthly meditation class in New York City, something I’d always dreamt of doing someday. In November, I was asked to write a song to honor the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Leymah Gbowee. It was performed for her at a private event on November 15th. This was one of the more humbling events of my life. I was so honored to meet this woman. Also in November, I was approached regarding “Rebel Girls,” the musical Elise Forier-Edie and I have been working on for four years now. It is in the running for a possible full production at UC Davis in California. And this month, a song I co-wrote with Shoshana Greenberg called “New Years” will be included in Lincoln Center’s Annual Songbook series (December 11th, 2:30, details on the events page of tinalear.com)—a series that highlights new works.
Today, I am so grateful for my life, my wife, my wonderful children and their lives moving forward in full force. And just for the simple breath that breathes through me every minute of every day.
These are all burning coals, shining through the ashes, coming to life with new kindling and well-placed logs. May everyone experience this soulful renewal, and may those floundering in the bogs know that dry ground and traction are just around the corner.