i didn’t have any understanding just how much a big ol’ bout of cancer would knock the stuffing out of me. or maybe, it was less that i lost my stuffing (well, trust me that i gained plenty of stuffing over the past few years – then lost some – then…oy..) but that i battened down all the hatches. almost every one. i could not listen to music in any meaningful way. i shut it out because my heart ached to want more out of it – to let it touch me. i shut out big dreams and oversized wants and certainly closed the door to seeing my life too far ahead. it was too dangerous to crack that door open and get a glimpse of open sea – lest the door slam shut and you’re stuck back in the world of 1/2 drawn curtains and industrial lighting.
but…time is a funny thing. if you manage to stay in the game of time, eventually, slowly, you put some of it behind you and there is a glimmer that you might – just might – think about next year or plan for even a few years ahead. i still ‘knock on wood’ (usually my head) and sometimes take a deep breath but slowly i find some more space between now and then.
and, in a scenario i only allowed in my most private thoughts, i have allowed myself to not only dream but to do – to create and work on a life i have wanted to return to for many years – of making music and singing again and finding the discipline to be back on stage. it has almost helped that i look nothing like my old former hot curvy sassy self because i am given the gift of not trying to recreate what was but to create and shape what is now and, more importantly, what will be because i want it. that’s what i say to myself every week at each audition before i walk in through the door to face the casting folks. quietly to myself i say: ‘you are here because you want to. have a pisser of a time.’ (the first part is mine; the second told to me once upon a hot-curvy-sassy-fling with a famous irish flutist who said he said that to himself every time he was about to walk onstage.)
i now happily juggle my regular working life, my wonderful family (they might say they juggle me!); and the buds of a life of music and theater that is starting to, once again, belatedly, take shape. what shape? i’m not sure but i am determined. and i’m here because i want to be. i’m having a pisser of a time.