So, holiday season it is! Despite all the bells a-ringing and lights a-flashing, I always find this time of year to be the most introspective. The darkening days, the chill air (if you don't live in Atlanta), the winding down of something that's ending and preparing to exchange it for something new and unknown. Maybe that's why we seem intent on consuming so much - because it flattens and absorbs and mutes everything that's rising to the surface from the past year - regret, joy, loss, excitement, hope - feelings bubbling up like so much schmaltz rising to the top of my Bubbie's turkey broth after Thanksgiving is over. If only we could become friends with that schmaltz, learn to really experience the fatty wonder of it, it could transform us. (Or so my Bubbie claims.)
This has certainly been that kind of time for me. After many years of listing westward, I've been spending the past few weeks packing up my life and preparing to move to California. This is the culmination of a year (several years in fact) of relentless change. The things that upended this year included my most long term relationship, my housing and financial situation, my career (as my band Girlyman went on touring hiatus), and previously unquestioned lifelong friendships that seemed to suddenly just close. All of this, naturally, happened at once. Like it seems to do.
So, I've been quietly and hilariously surrendering to the simultaneous need to hunker down, meditate a lot, and write, and also to do 5 million other things that engage ebulliently with the world, like making a CD, setting up a website and a business infrastructure, and essentially starting an entirely new life. NBD!
But strangely, or not so strangely, I'm enjoying this time. I realize that these moments in life, when everything is up for grabs and anything can happen, are rare. Usually we're tied down in in one way or another, or obligated, or at least we feel that our most basic questions already have answers. When all of that is stripped away, if you don't stuff your face or shopping cart too much, I'm seeing that it's possible to glimpse who you are under the massive identity you've constructed. You could say that after many months of resisting the schmaltz, I am beginning to scrape it from the top of the chilled broth and even look forward to making matzoh balls. Mmmm...matzoh balls.
This is exciting and terrifying. I think you will hear all this in my album, and hopefully it will be that kind of schmaltz. Not the schmaltzy kind. If you know what I mean.