I did finally make it home to my house of wholistic sound a little over a week ago. A two and a half week trip that evolved into exactly one month- full of surprises, old friends and new, sound journeys, car breakdowns, a visit to a gated community for hippies (The Farm, Summertown, TN) and much more!
Amazing what happens when you leave a house for a month. I could not have imagined how overgrown everything would be! Also factoring in living alone for the first time in my life- no kids, no sweetie, no mom to take care of... an interesting time in my life. Some days I feel like I am a bit lost and floundering and I have to remind myself that I have never done this before, not even knowing at times how to start my day... Yoga? Coffee? Music? Art? Writing? Breakfast? Vitamins? Weeding?
It's not sad and not particularly lonely although I suppose it could become that. More, it's just weird! When someone else is in the house I know what to do even if I think it's not necessarily what I want to do.
Meanwhile this blog is supposed to be about music and sound. And I am sitting at my dining room table loving the sound of the beautiful glass chimes that Josh Poll of Zen Glass in St. Pete, FL made for me when I had my sound healing center, which I finally hung up a couple of days ago. I have an entire box of chimes that people donated to the center which eventually all need to be hung in my new home and place of healing sound pleasures and treasures.
I opened up Facebook this morning and was greeted by this video of a most amazing version of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". I was blissed to tears. My total inspiration for the day- how can you not love it?!
Yurt where we had our "Sound In the Round" Healing Journeys
Still working on those obstacles! I spent three days in Summertown, TN at the The Farm, one of the first and, at one time, the largest commune in the country. It was an interesting few days- basically at this point a gated intentional community for hippies. Thirty-five to forty years ago it was a lifestyle that interested me- today, so not! However I met some very lovely people, did two sound journeys and gave several private sessions and that was all good.
Also I have gotten to be around quite a few tiny people these last few weeks and that has been so wonderful- my new friends Ryan and Arielle's 6 year-old son Aidan, a beautiful little boy named Nick who was 3 who visited my friends Mahesh and Mukta with his mother when I was staying there, and Zarina- Katrina and Forest's 11 month-old daughter in Summertown. So I have had several doses of unadulterated preciousness on the trip so far.
Aidan trying out a singing bowl!
So- back to the obstacles... Ganesha, Ganesha, Ganesha... Om Gam Ganapataye Namah, Om Gam Ganapataye Namah, Om Gam Ganapataye Namah... (Repeat endlessly...) I left Summertown around noon yesterday, for the first time since I've been gone thinking quite excitedly about the prospect of getting back to my sweet log refuge in Rhode Island today. It has been such a wonderful trip that up to this point I have been thoroughly enjoying riding the wave further than I ever anticipated. Well, apparently it's not quite time for me to get home. Within about an hour of being on the road the rear end of my car started shuddering like crazy. I pulled off and thought about what to do and figured I would try to make it a bit further and see if I could find a repair shop to look at it. When I got back on the highway it stopped doing the weird shudder dance for a while and I thońght maybe it was just a bumpy stretch of road... And then it did it again.
I ended up making it to Knoxville where I pulled into a gas station just off the interstate. Fortuitously (as has been the way with this amazing trip) a cop pulled in right next to me. I asked him where he would recommend I get my car checked out. Next exit, Pep Boys- so off I went. I made it there safely. They checked it out and found that the bushings were totally worn out and needed to be replaced. Since it's a 2001 Subaru they didn't have the parts and had to wait until today to get them from the dealership down the road. So, I am in a room at the Hilton (I decided at least I would treat myself to a nice room!) while my car is being fixed.
Yesterday my car broke down outside a repair shop. It looked like I needed a new transmission. The long shot was that they would change the transmission fluid and the filter and hope that would do the trick. Today the mechanic called and confirmed that yes, I did need a transmission and he was trying to find a used one for me. Eventually he found one but it would take 5-7 days to get it. It would also cost me around $1300 plus another $400 or so for labor. Definitely changed my plans.
Soooo.... I called my friend on The Farm and discussed my situation with her. She was able to change the two scheduled Sound Journeys and postpone them til the weekend so I decided I would rent a car and go there a few days later than I had planned. (I use the word "plan" loosely- this whole opportunity only came up a little over a week ago!) I figured the money I made there would at least offset some of the cost of the repairs.
My car was dead, for all intents and purposes, and would hang out at the repair shop until the transmission came in, which was being shipped from who knows where.
Then, at 6 pm tonight, Preston the mechanic called and said my car seemed to be running fine and I should come down there and pick it up and drive it around for a bit and make sure it was okay. He said he was trying to move it from inside the garage to the parking lot where it would sit until next week. He got in the car to start it up and had a couple of guys in front of the car pushing it while he put it in reverse. At first the car didn't want to move and so he hit the accelerator hard and suddenly it sputtered or something and went into reverse! He ended up driving it into town to check it out and whatever the problem was seemed to have cleared up. The only thing he could think of was that there must have been some kind of gunk that had gotten caught up in the transmission. The filter had a big hole in it, so maybe it was actually the missing piece of the filter. Whatever it was, it's now gone. Maybe Ganesha, the Remover of Obstacles, was having a little fun with me!
I got two extra days of R&R with Mahesh and Mukta and Thursday I leave for The Farm! Mahesh and Mukta are both longtime yogis and Mukta is an incredible painter so I get great inspiration while I am here.
So far this has been an extraordinary trip. Last Monday when I was driving from St. Pete to Tallahassee my phone battery got down to about 35% so I plugged it into the radio as I needed the GPS. A while later I loooked at it and it was down to 17%. This was weird... I thought it must be a problem with the charger so I stopped at a Mini-Walmart (who knew?) and bought a new charger that I could plug in to the lighter- within a very short time it was down to 13%. Now I was nervous. I was taking "the scenic route" to Tallahassee and definitely would need directions. I stopped the car and wrote down the directions to Ryan and Arielle's house, where I was going to be staying. Now it seemed that my phone was dying and I was nervous. I wrote down the directions on a piece of paper, texted Ryan and told him I was turning off the phone to save the now remaining 7% so I could call if I needed to reach them when I got to Tallahassee.
I drove the rest of the way to Tallahassee and when I got off the state road and was about a mile from their house, all of a sudden my battery light and brake light came on inside the car. Miraculously I made it to their house, went in and told them I had thought that my phone was dying but apparently it was really the car! Ryan relayed to me what good fortune I had because his dad has an auto repair shop so my car had broken down in just the right place! This was true for more reasons than just that. I could have broken down on the beautiful but very sparsely traveled road to Tallahassee. Also, since I had in fact reached my destination, we were able to transfer my instruments right away to Ryan's car, drop my car off at the shop (it started- another miracle!) and then go over to the yoga studio where I was going to be doing the Sound Journey the next night.
The car needed an alternator and front brake pads. My rule of thumb is that if a car repair is less than $500 I'm doing okay- this one was $384 and I had the cash to pay for it so I was relieved all the way around. I would always rather know that my car is safe and not have to worry.
The rest of the week there was great. Everyone loved the Sound Journey and I did a number of private sessions. The Abundance Wellness Center was such a beautiful space for everything I was doing, Arielle and Ryan and their little boy Aidan were sweet and wonderful hosts with a house fill of instruments from around the world, and I spent the last night at my new friend Lydia Rydiell's magic little house in the woods amidst her gongs and crystals. It was all so amazing.
On Friday I left my new friends in Tallahassee and drove to Murphy, NC to visit some old friends- two of my favorite people, Mahesh and Mukta. This was my time to take a break and stop working for a few days. I had a wonderful relaxing visit with them, laughed a lot, ate some good food, hiked in the woods and left today for The Farm in Tennessee.
Unfortunately I didn't get far! About 3 miles from their house a light flickered on my dashboard, a strange burning smell began to emanate from under the hood and my car struggled to make it up the next hill. A short distance away was an auto repair shop. I turned in, turned off the car, turned it back on thinking I should pull closer and it didn't want to move. I got out, called Mahesh and Mukta to find out if there was somewhere else I should bring the car too and Mukta said this was the place. Good thing since apparently it wasn't going any further!
So- my trip to The Farm has been delayed. I am back at Mahesh and Mukta's awaiting the verdict on my car- something to do with the transmission for sure and possibly in need of a new radiator as well. Again, I can only be grateful that I was down the road from my dear friends, that I get another two days to relax no matter what the problem is, and the way it looks we'll be able to reschedule the Healing Sound Journey at The Farm for either Friday or Saturday evening.
Meanwhile, here is a moment that caused a round of uncontrollable laughter in the woods near Murphy. Mukta, Mahesh and I were walking and we came upon this crazy gypsy moth caterpillar nest. I was curious what would happen if I started overtoning- the caterpillars went crazy! Mukta said, "You are the only person I know who would come upon a nest of caterpillars and start toning!" That sent us all off into fits of laughter for quite a while!
The other exciting thing is that my sister sent me this article today from last Saturday's New York Times, Sound Baths Move From Mainstream to Metaphysical. I would say so, if there is an article about it in the NYT. A lot of people (especially my family) have thought I was pretty crazy trying to make a living doing what I do. Clearly I was just ahead of my time!!!
Beautiful flower arrangement made as a gift for Healing Sound Journey in Tallahassee
I have been on an amazing journey since I left RI on August 29th to drive down to Florida. The plan was one weekend workshop and a Healing Sound Journey. So far I have done 3 sound journeys which have all been incredibly well attended and am going to The Farm in Summertown, TN next week to do one and possibly two sound journeys there. I have given many sessions as well and have been so incredibly welcomed and well-received. It has been a trip beyond my imagination- seeing so many dear old friends and making many new friends on the way. Feeling so full of joy and gratitude today.
Right now I am in Tallahassee where I have found a whole new community of new friends, all due to one person, Ryan Sullivan, who I met years ago when I taught at Bhakti Academe of Intuitive Massage and Healing. He loved his experience and immediately signed up for the workshop when he saw I was going to be in St. Pete. Along with him, he brought his wife and invited another friend of his who then invited one of her closest friends who I connected with pretty much instantaneously. They all loved the workshop so much that they invited me to Tallahassee, made a gorgeous flyer, started telling their friends and clients and pulled together a packed house for a sound journey in less than a week's time!
I am pretty knocked out by the success of this trip on all levels. It has raised the bar in terms of what to ask for and to expect in terms of both attendance and income for my work and that has been very affirming for me as well.
Today I am happy and grateful that have I have held to my vision of what I want and what is possible. If things had gone according to my plan I would now be on my way home. Instead I am still riding the wave. Tomorrow North Carolina, next week Tennessee. Loving life!
Healing Sound Journey, Temple of the Living God, St. Petersburg, FL
Healing session with Himalayan bowls
Healing Sound Journey, Abundance Wellness Center, Tallahassee, FL