Taking A Break To Welcome Change

Newsletter Final Thought: October 2011

As I sit here, snugly in my Beijing apartment, I’m acutely conscious of the fact that I am poised to take at least six months off the stage starting next week. Of course, it’s a necessity with this ever-growing belly and then with the arrival of a new baby, but it spins me out a little.

The last time that I took time off was part-necessity, part-cirumstance. It was when I moved to China and I didn’t have a band assembled here. I was in transition (read: processing grief) and I was trying my best to figure out if this is where I wanted to build a new version of my career, and if this was where I wanted to be, period. And really, I was trying to figure myself out one breath at a time. I had to slow down to do that. I had to stop. I took a total of 8 months off the stage and I spent most of that time working through these questions, writing and working with my producer on the album “Lentic,” and learning Chinese.

The reasons for this break in the live performance schedule is, of course, so different. There’s joy in new Motherhood on the horizon! I have a brand new album that will hopefully reach people’s ears digitally while I can’t bring the music to them. I’ve got a patient and loving band here in China who also can’t wait for “Little Spark”‘s arrival. I’ve decided I want to be here, with my partner, in this crazy foreign land. I know how to breathe now. I know how to pace myself.

If everything is how it should be, I’m thinking the trepidation about taking a break from the stage should also be easily whisked away, but it doesn’t work like that. I’ve been having irrational worried questions ping through my brain like: “Will I miss performing?” or “Will the audience miss me?” Worse yet is this one: “Will they forget about me?”

And really, these questions are just figments of my fear. The answers don’t matter. Change is around the corner and we are simply conditioned by our society to be anxious about its impending arrival. I suppose I’m normal! After all, I’m about to be a Mother! I am creating a new life here! And, while I have no idea how this is all going to impact my career, I chose this from a pure place in my heart. I’m going forward with open eyes and heart and I’m excited… and scared. And all of the feelings make sense no matter how jumbled it seems in the telling.

I have to keep reminding myself that music is my muse, my joy, a source of calm, a source of peace. Maintaining those elements in my life can only be good for my ability to be a good Mother. “Little Spark” will be influenced by what my music brings to my life and that can only result in goodness. In fact, “Little Spark” has already beeninfluenced by the music! It is me. It’s in me, just like he or she is. It’s just cellular.

I know that everything will take its rightful place. A new order and rhythm will find itself in the musical structure of my life and each day will proceed the next. I just have to keep remembering what I learned about breathing. I have to find the spaces between the notes, the suspended time, the ritardando, the music in the rests.

And I choose to embrace this change the way I’m embracing the admission of fear. It’s inevitable. It’s time. I’ve wanted to be a Mom my whole life and it’s nearly here. A little one will emerge into the world in just two months and I’m so deeply grateful for his or her existence already. Open the doors, Ember. Keep them open. Change is coming, but smile in greeting. It’s only a new era. It’s not like I haven’t encountered those before!

And, whether you forget about me or not (!), I’ll still be back in 2012 with new songs, a new outlook on life (surely), and a new human being to introduce you to… and all that will jog your memories! :-)

Wish me luck! But, maybe wait for the clock to turn “11:11” — it might be even luckier that way!

Take very good care of your spirits.

-es

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