Change of Scenery, Me Time

A job and family needs have taken my family and I to Buffalo, NY. The moving process is far from done. Our house in East Lansing has yet to sell and we don’t yet have a permanent place in the Buffalo area. Things are in flux. Looking back, June through August are little more than a blur, between packing, moving, and teaching in Austria. Given that we’re still partially living out of boxes and suitcases under a roof that isn’t our own, the new routine has yet to really sink in. That said, it’s been nice to cut a lot of commitments and noise from our individual and collective schedules.

I’m certainly mourning the loss of our East Lansing house, home, and community, and I miss being in the same state as many of my friends, though this site isn’t the place to dwell on such things. At the same time, though, I definitely got in a bit of a rut the last 12-18 months. As someone who only recently (in the last year) learned to regularly say “no,” I had built up a cornucopia of commitments that left me almost no time for myself, my own pursuits, or to spend meaningfully with my family. Several of these commitments saw only lateral moves ahead which begged the question: how long can or should I keep _____ up? In several instances I found myself just going through the motions. Doing it just to do it, and often at the sacrifice of much-needed time. Now, in a sense, for many things I’ve just taken myself out of the equation. (I’m sure that in several situations I’m now just a memory, which is fine. Onto the next. Such is the cold crossfire, even with moving.) And though the dust has yet to really settle here in WNY, I’m enjoying the — at the moment — simpler routine. This was my first easy weekend in months, and on two occasions I laid on a couch and read a book. It was neat.

What’s especially nice is enjoyably listening to music again, also something I haven’t done with any regularity in months. I bought quite a haul of albums in Europe in July (thank you Ludwig Beck, once again) and since, most of which I haven’t listened to until this month. This led me to finally listening to the material Matt and I recorded in April for our next album. Until I listened back, I had little specific musical recollection of that date. What a nice and reassuring surprise it’s been to hear those recordings.

The mania of these last few months has kept things quiet on the blog front, though I did manage to provide my $0.02 on Franco Faccio’s Amleto at Bregenzer Festspiele. However, I have some new posts and other items already in the works, and I’m looking forward to getting those out in due time. Of course, the best part is that I should now have more time to actually put them together.

Last weekend I picked up Bob Berg‘s debut album New Birth at Record Theatre, my favorite Buffalo music haunt for years now. I listened to it right away, since I’m now in the mood for new music again. But it didn’t strike me until after I purchased it just how apt the title was.

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