Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Carpe diem baby!

Timing is everything.

When I first became a singer-songwriter, the time was right. It was considered a very late start in the business, but had it happened anytime before then, I would not have been ready to accept and run with it. At nearly 30, I just was.

So it goes the same way as I think about coming back to music and all that it entails.

Around 2 years ago, I announced I was 'coming back'. I genuinely thought I was ready and started making plans to head in that direction. I couldn't figure out why it was feeling so hard. Nothing like when I began. In those early days, I accomplished more in a week then I have the past 5 years.

I am older and my life has changed quite a bit, especially since living abroad, having a child & husband and losing my father. My life is 100% different than when it was only about me, my music and my next airline ticket.

No matter how much I tried to convince myself the time was right (2 years ago this month actually), it just wasn't happening. I finally figured it out. As much as I wanted to be ready to return, it wasn't time. When I think about it now, I can see I was allowing outside pressures to get to me and move me faster than I was capable of keeping up with.

Don't get me wrong, we all need a little push now & then (and I've had my fair share), but in order for that push to even help, you really have to be even somewhat ready, even if it's just 'thinking' about being ready. I was none of the above.

So I spent the past 2 years with not even one foot in the music business as we say but more like a toe -- if that. I was saying I am back but I never really felt it and my mind & body certainly weren't on board. When your heart isn't into something, your decision is made for itself. Something like the old Irish proverb, 'You vote with your feet'. Meaning, you choose your path, even if you're saying you're heading in an entirely different direction. Your feet will take you where you truly want to go -- eventually.

During those 2 years, I found myself saying yes to projects I should have said no to begin with. Sometimes gaining a not so great reputation for canceling, flaking out, whatever you want to call it. Those of you who really know me, especially before I got to Europe, know that I am no flake. The complete opposite once my heart is into something actually. Not only that, the professional in my title as songwriter means something to me. That is still me -- Christene LeDoux, Professional Singer-Songwriter-Storyteller.

I put myself in situations where I had to sing, when I knew for a fact my voice was weak and not ready, mainly because in general, I wasn't ready. Still, I carried on hoping that maybe it would all catch up with me. That I'd wake up one day and be magically 'all here' and present, ready to go. Back to the old me.

Never happened. At least not for another 2 years.

So I'll fast forward to the present.

I'm back.

I'm really, truly, 100% back.

How do I know this?

Every part of my being is on board.

I am accomplishing tasks & goals just like the old days. Not at some speed I can't keep up with (I'm not 29 anymore), but one which gets things done, challenges me, brings me to the next point and the next and the next….

I am not just thinking about coming back or have only one toe or one foot in the door. I am all in. Every single aspect of my being. So why did it take me 2 years since saying I was back, to really be back?

I can't say for sure except that I am starting to believe (again because I used to believe this when I was younger) that it's all about timing. You know, carpe diem -- seize the day.

It's true you can go against the flow of things and make amazing things happen. It's also true it doesn't mean you sit around and wait until 'the time is right', but I do believe when you are ready, ready to handle those challenges, you will know. I 'think' that is what seizing the day is -- going for it when you have the chance. Like kicking the ball in the net scoring a goal. You certainly wouldn't try making it in from across the field. You wait until you are there, up close & ready then you go for it. ;-)

After 5+ years on hiatus and 2 years to the month saying 'I'm back' the universe has gifted me with just that, another chance and this time, I am seizing it.

Carpe diem baby!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Booking Europe March 2012 & beyond! Want to be a part of it?

Hi everyone! Happy New Year!! I hope this finds you all very well. ♥

I am writing to let you know I am booking tours for 2012 now! Unfortunately, I am only going to focus on Europe at this time (w/ the occasional UK trip because I can't live without my Brits!). Eventually, I may find my way back to the US, but for now, I am focusing only on Europe.
This brings me to: I am searching for house concerts, art centers, churches, cozy cafes & any alternative venues for shows in March & beyond.

We can discuss the details more via private messages, but to start, I am putting the feelers out. I am happy to help in anyway I can, including tell you all about house concerts if you haven't put one on before. They're so intimate and lovely, easy to organize (I will help you) and the very best way to hear my music - in a quiet, comfy, acoustic venue.
With that, I will go and anxiously await your replies.

Really looking forward to playing live again and cannot wait to see you!

Love, Chris
p.s Please msg me via my website
p.p.s I should note... to begin with, I am only booking 1-2 weekend tours a month. ♥

Monday, April 04, 2011

just like you taught me

I'm a storyteller.

I got it from my dad, who got it from his mom, who got it from I don't know where.

Lately I can't stop thinking…
I want my father to tell me the story of his death.

Did you know you were dying? Was it painful? When it began, did you have time to think about me? Were you alone in the end?

I know this isn't getting me anywhere, but further into those days of despair that seem to pour into the night and onward to my dreams.
If I'm lucky, the dreams take a positive spin and for a night, trick me into thinking he is still on this earth.

Like the dream where I was on a scavenger hunt at some giant antique store and my dad was there to tell me where everything was. It was his stuff I was rummaging through (which he hated in real life) frantically like it was life or death if I found it. Also, someone was chasing me.
My dad was right behind me at every bend as I picked up object after object that as I write now are still so vivid in my mind - his old watches, travel mug collection (that I inherited) stacks of mail, old coins from everywhere, nameless doodads he had a reason for keeping.
In this dream, he was there right next to me, behind or alongside me, telling me to hang in there, that I would find what I was looking for. He looked exactly the same and even shuffled with his (toward the end) signature slight limp, wearing his ratty house slippers, with his big t-shirtless belly.
His voice was soothing but full of strength, leaving you with the feeling he could break out into a joke at anytime. It was him. It was really him.
At the end of this dream, he gave me a hug and told me not to worry, he will always be here to help me find what I'm looking for. Then I woke up.

Or like the recent tragedy-induced dream where I was on a cruise ship going through a Tsunami, while holding onto to the top of the turbulent ship and the other hand was holding my phone, calling my dad.
In this dream, I wanted to tell him the story of my sinking ship. He wouldn't believe how fast the ship was going or how gray the sky had become. He would want to hear how I was hanging on and how as soon as it came to a stop, I would tell him I'd hop off and would be home soon. This was a dream after all and in dreams you can do that. Hang on to cruise ships in rough waters and make phone calls.
Before I made it off the ship or told him any stories, I woke up.

Call him because he was the first person I always called. No matter where I was, what country I was in or what was going on - good or bad.

Like the time I called him from Austin, Texas after seeing it for the first time and telling him I belonged there. Or the time a few years after I called him from London to tell him I was lonely and didn't know if I belonged there.

I used to imagine if I were in a plane crash who would I call if I had the chance. The answer was always my dad.

Stories are what made me who I am.
Stories percolated in my head for years until one day I picked up a guitar and brought them to life.
Stories put me on the roads of America, in taverns & cafes, on the couches of strangers.
Stories propelled me into the life of a touring folk songwriter.
And one day, stories flew me to Europe where I met and fell in love and now live with my Austrian husband.
Stories gave me my daughter and my new life.
Stories taught me to be grateful.

The day my dad's story ended, I was celebrating at my baby shower. The one my sister decided last minute for me.
Eating Costco heavily frosted cake. Playing baby shower games like 'who will our baby look like, me or my husband' and 'how many baby items can you come up with that start with B.' Opening teeny tiny baby socks and onesies, little jeans & sweaters that almost seemed made for a doll.
All the while, creating new stories that I would someday tell. "Remember the day we had the baby shower and..."

Unknowingly, hours before, my father's story had come to end.

He was invited to my baby shower and because I am only in the country once a year for Christmas, I was disappointed when he said no.
My brother also said no but he was clear why - it's a chick thing.
My younger brother - well, it was being hosted in part by his wife (meaning his house) = he was cornered.

My dad, had a business trip. Nothing major but it had to be done and anyway, he loved traveling. The few years prior to his death, he had to slow way down so any chance to hop on a quick flight and he was ready. Besides, it was only for a night and my husband (who he loved) and I would be spending New Years Eve with him a few days later.
Instinct maybe, but I kissed him goodbye several times that night, which turned out to be the last time I saw him.
I hugged him harder than I ever had and I even ran out after his car for one last goodbye - making it four goodbyes in a span of a few minutes.
He said he was only going for one night and would see me in a few days, but my heart knew different.

In retrospect, the morning when I was getting ready for the baby shower (very pregnant and feeling very fat) storming around very grumpy & irritated, unable to settle, makes sense to me now.
Something was off and all the way up to driving the hour it took to get to my brother & sister in laws house where they were hosting it, was spent telling off other drivers, whining about being uncomfortable, feeling like I didn't want to go to a party even if it was for me.

My papa's story was already over at that point.

In some ways, I believe he was already with me. Back at my sister's where we were staying, while I stomped around trying to squeeze into the clothes I packed weeks before that were already growing too tight around the middle.
I decided to wear the black dress and shoes I packed out of sheer desperation because nothing else was fitting or comfortable. Wondering at the time why on earth I even packed it thinking I didn't need a black dress & dress shoes. I'm nearly six months pregnant and I'll be lucky if I get out of my pajamas.

The same dress that turned out to be exactly what I needed for his funeral a week later.

He was probably there, rolling his eyes telling me to hurry up and get to my party, quit worrying, calm down. He had a story to tell me that at the end of my baby shower would be revealed and he needed me to be strong, surrounded by family.

When my phone rings, the first thing that comes to mind is, let it ring
I am not a fan of talking on the phone. In fact, I don't even like to take it out of my bag and see who's calling. Most times, I either turn it off or let it ring and go to voice mail and more often than not, it takes me hours, sometimes days to check messages.

This day was no different.
No different except I was in the middle of my baby shower and had a mouth full of white Buttercream frosting, which this very pregnant lady was not about to spit out.

When I looked at the name, I didn't recognize it and when that happens, you can almost guarantee I won't be answering, but because the story was already being written (unbeknownst to me) I was compelled to answer.

After a short exchange of, "Are you related to xxxxxx xxxxxxx Ledoux?" even a foggy-brained pregnant chick could make out this wasn't good.

I ended up throwing the phone to my dad's wife and ran out of the room in a panic.

Circling everyone and saying something is wrong with dad, something happened, I was told off more than once to stop jumping to (hormonal) conclusions and wait until the phone conversation ended.
Looking over at my dad's wife to see a red face full of tears was all the conclusion I needed.

To this day, I'm still shocked out of everyone in the world the morgue could have called, it was me. The daughter with a phone number only used (via sim card) a month or so out of the year.
The daughter who rarely answers her phone, if ever.
The daughter, who was nearly six months pregnant and right, smack dab in the middle of her baby shower.

Why would you leave me with this story? How can you expect me to retell this? You were supposed to come that day and if you had, maybe one of us could have had the ambulance there in time to save you. Instead of your story ending on a cold, dirty airport floor while boarding a plane, you could have had us retell it, change the ending.
Maybe we could have saved you.
Maybe I could have saved you. Me and your unborn granddaughter.

If I could go back in time, I wouldn't answer that phone and at least that part of the story would be on someone else.

It wasn't meant to be because you intended for them to call me. You weren't finished telling stories.

In moments of peace, I convince myself you gave it to me as one last gift from father to daughter.
From storyteller to storyteller.
From mentor to student.
It's in those moments, I accept your ending.

With a strong heart, I attempt to find the right words to take such a sad day and make it into a story someone would want to hear because I know this is just what you would have wanted - another story.
Your last big story.

I am a storyteller.

I got it from you, who got it from Nanny who got it from who knows where and because I can't get you to tell the story I want to hear, I have to find my own words.

I will retell it each time it feels right. Like when your granddaughter asks where is her Grandpa. I will remember as much detail as I can. I'll put a spin on it when needed and change my voice for added drama when necessary. I won't miss anything. I'll make you proud.

I'm going to retell your story
the best I can dad.

Just like you taught me.

Friday, March 19, 2010

waking up all over again...

For the first time since my dad suddenly passed away this December, I am beginning to wake up again, get a grasp and fully realize this amazing time, my pregnancy.

Although logically I know this is an important time for me, my baby and my family, since my dad died I just kind of shut down. In every possible way.

I stopped thinking about what I ate, I couldn't go to the bathroom properly anymore, I stopped answering the phone, returning emails.
I kept the blinds closed, everyday and my bed surrounded with pillows and comforts. It's where you could find me nearly at any given moment, the day we flew back to Europe after the funeral.

Today, after the first real spring day, the first real feeling of winter ending, I made it out to the park with my dog.
A simple and necessary task for most people but for me these past few months, an impossible feat.

Not only was it a beautiful day but I didn't feel dragged out. Despite the pressure in my pelvis, the cramps and the overall uncomfortable feeling of being 8 months pregnant, I had a good day. A really good day actually.

So I owe hundreds of friends that wrote beautiful, meaningful messages, replies.
I've gotta' sit down and playback my voice mails and one by one, call each person.
I have thank you cards and packages to mail, pictures to download, save and forward and overall, a really big life to get back to.

By no means I am over it. Healed or moving on. That will never happen.

I am learning to live with it.
It's the best I can do.

I know my papa wouldn't want me to wallow in my pity. Lately, I hear his voice telling me so. It pained him to watch me my entire life worry about him.
When he first began having heart problems, I was far away touring Europe and he made it a point, not to tell me. He didn't mean harm, he knew I would drop everything and fly home. When the news reached me, he was right. I dropped a long, planned out tour in Britain to be by his side. Although he insisted I didn't need to return, I don't regret it for a minute.

Our lives are short. Our time here is borrowed. No one can get around this.

There comes a day for everyone, eventually, when you realize this and all the worries of tomorrow disappear. The wrongs let go and the future, what is left of it, embraced.

For me, that time is now.

Although my heart, thinking and life is forever changed, I know in the end, I am a stronger, better and more loving person for it.
I will never again take advantage of the love that surrounds me.

Today, it's as simple as baby in my belly, my husband, my dog and this breathtakingly beautiful spring day in the alps.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The new year's eve message that never was

I wrote a message to you on New Year's Eve but didn't send it. I'm going to include it now.

Dear friends, December 31, 2009

I have contemplated just deleting my web presence altogether. For a long time now actually.

I don't seem to have much to say these days and have completely changed direction in my life.

In the spirit of new years eve and new beginnings and instead of disappearing, I will share a short update. Perhaps it may shed some light on where I have been and what has been happening.

As you know, in 2008 I released the new record. Throughout that summer and onward, I suffered very bad health, more hospital stays and began yet another long, inward journey.
I came out of my illness strong despite it running me down in every possible way.

I was also happy to be holding a new "baby" in my hand. A new CD I was and am, very proud of.

Following the release of the new CD and tours that followed, a lot of changes took place in my music career. Including the walking away from what I thought were friends, both related to the music business and not.

Sadly, I learned a lot about people, real friends and the music business and overhauled my life entirely.
It wasn't an easy transition to make, but I knew it was coming and followed my instinct allowing it to fade.

I spent the following year recovering my health physically and trying to salvage spiritually, what the music business single handedly crushed.
I don't say that lightly.
For those of you that have followed me over the years and/or really know me outside of the business, you know there was nothing more joyous for me than finding my voice and chasing what at the time was my dream - being a musician.
I found it late in life but when I did, it changed how I lived. For a girl who spent the better part of her youth not choosing life, this is saying something for me.

Musically speaking, time and politics eventually killed the innocence, while the travel and stress of being a full-time touring songwriter killed my body and mind.
In the end, I was rundown in a way I wasn't sure there was a way out of.

Fortunately, fate took me in a direction I could never have imagined.
I met my wonderful husband and began a new life and completely new direction.

It was really scary at first and honestly, I fought it for the first couple of years. Both getting married and living in a foreign country took some getting used to.
I've now reached a place in my life that I understand, embrace and adore.
I am completely at peace and full of contentment with how my life has turned out.
I couldn't feel luckier and happier with the path I am on.

Since being sick and releasing the new CD, my husband and me have begun a new journey into parenthood.
A journey I dreamed about my entire life and one I knew that someday I would be ready for.
Dying and never becoming a mother was one of my worst fears. For realizing this dream, I am so grateful. Carrying a child and preparing for motherhood is one of the biggest gifts I have experienced yet. I am so grateful.

Sadly, while experiencing the wonders of pregnancy, my dear, sweet and amazing father has passed away.
It has only been a few days and why I am sharing this so soon, I am not sure.
Trying to heal, find a way to grieve maybe. I don't know. I just know that I felt an overwhelming need to share how different I feel. How much things have changed and how despite the closure of certain people in my life, I have moved on from any negative feelings I may have had about well, everyone and anything. It all seems so unimportant now.

Because of these life changing events, I feel completely removed from all the little things I used to think mattered.
It's true you let all those things go when bigger things in life come at you.

I am focusing on the big picture now. The only things that really matter to me which are my family and real friends.

Life is so short and so precious and I will never, ever again waste one minute of it focusing nor distributing any type of pain or negativity to those around me or in the universe as we know it.
I will do everything in my power to let it all go and everything I can to give my little family the chance we so deserve.

I will always love and appreciate my music and you, my fans that I have given so much hope, love and encouragement to me over the years.
For that I thank you from the bottom of my heart and will forever be grateful.

It's just that, I no longer feel any need to prove myself. To chase my own tail just to prove I can catch it. Or just for the show it puts on for those around me.

I've moved on for now and would like to live out of the spotlight, both online and in person.

I will likely still have a foot in the business and continue down new avenues to satisfy my soul.
However, the full out chase has been called off. Happily.
And this new age of everything public and online has finally taken it's toll on me, I am gracefully stepping back and hiding behind the curtain.

My biggest fan, my father, has moved on from this physical world.
I will never, ever be the same.
I dedicate my humble little career to you papa. Thank you for everything you have done for me, believed in. I miss you so much it's hard to breath and I will love you forever. I wasted so many years running around the world trying to prove myself, when all along you already saw who I was. For that, I feel really sad. I wasted so much precious time.
Now I see what I was running to and from and as life moves on, I realize it's too late to take it all back and come home. I will always regret that.
I hope I can counteract that by reminding others not to waste one, single minute of their lives.
If you think you are not living your life for yourself, look closely and fix it right away.
Tell your loved ones you love them - everyday. Love and forgive yourself no matter what. Don't let anyone get in the way of that - including you.

Dear friends, thank you for taking this journey with me and until and if we meet again, may you find peace, love, happiness and joy in both your family and friends and all that you do. Both in 2010 and beyond.

I am routing for us all.

Love, Chris

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hello stranger... :)

So you've probably been wondering where I've been.
I'm still here. :)

Sorry I've been so out of touch with you guys. I know I used to be much better about journal'ing here and keeping in touch.

Since my illness last summer, I've kept a pretty low profile and as you probably know, not doing too much in the way of shows other than close my region in Europe.

I have been however going in new directions with my music and getting some great results. Music film/tv and I'm working on a lot of exciting musical projects here at home in Austria.

It feels amazing to have been off the full-time road and I must admit I don't see myself going back anytime soon.
It's a lifestyle better suited for people that don't mind being away from home for weeks or months on end. I used to be one of them but since getting married and beginning a new grounded life, my priorities have shifted drastically to family and taking care of myself.

I still love each and every one of you and am so appreciative of all you do for me. <3
Thank you so much.

Just so you know, I am not done with live performing. I just need this extended break to first and foremost take care of my health. Now that I am in the clear and feeling strong and healthy, I will continue to take a leave of absence (other than a few one-offs and a week here and there) until I feel the time is right to jump back in. Even then, it won't be the crazy months and months on end on the trains of Europe alone. I can say with heart I have seen enough and don't feel the need to chase it in that way anymore.

In the meantime, watch your favorite shows and listen at your local cinema's for my music. I'm very excited at the developments in that department and to be honest, the residuals from this will allow me to continue with less touring and more records.

I'm working on a few new record concepts which for now, I am keeping a secret. :)
I promise when the time is right, I will tell you more.

It's finally Autumn here in the alps and I must admit I am fully enjoying being home with my husband and our sweet rescue golden retriever, Buddy. We're about to renovate our place and soon thereafter it'll be time for our Annual Christmas trip to see my family. The highlight of our year - especially mine.

With that said, Fall and Christmas time here in Innsbruck is spectacular and I feel so lucky to be here every second to enjoy it.

So let the pumpkin-carving, pie-backing and leave-raking begin!

I am thinking of you and hope so much this finds you happy, healthy and full of love - wherever you are. Thanks for being in my life and believing in me.


Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Are you breathing?

I admit it, I’m afraid to die.

I got to thinking today about the past couple of years. Where my life has gone.
How did I lose so many people I love recently? Both in death and in friendship?
When will I go? And when I do, will the ones I lost touch with care? Will they
even know?
More importantly, will I have lived honestly and fully? Will I have
done all of the things I set out to do, didn’t know I should try and love as hard
as humanly possible?

The answer was a resounding no and that is where it began.

With all of the media deaths lately and more important to me, my friends passing on, I’ve been quite the morbid one.

I can’t deny I have always been petrified of losing the ones I love. So much so that I routinely since a child checked to see their chests were rising and falling with air.
Yet with all the time I spent worrying about losing my friends and family, back when I was younger, I never really put a second thought to my own death.
It’s only something in the past couple of years I have not only really started to try and wrap my head around but fear. Not a good feeling.

I got to thinking what if someone in the music industry interviewed me about my recent hiatus from the music business. What if they wanted to know every detail down to every thought.
At the end of the day, or life as it will someday be, any interviewer will have long forgotten a little folk singer like me. He’ll hardly remember he asked such profound questions.

So here I go. I’ll interview myself.
But instead of questions I am going to start with answers.

I often tell people the story of being 28.
When I was 28 I didn’t really know.
What I mean is, I was still in the phase of my life where things just flowed from one thing to next. One year bled into the next. One heartbreak to another. One town to one city, to another country and so on.
I wasn’t really watching the clock. Time was moving slowly.
Of course I could have died at 28. But I didn’t. And more than anything, I just didn’t have a huge sense of my own mortality. I lived pretty free and allowed people, places and things to touch me as deep as they could and not give a second thought. I knew how to live. Mostly.

Then at 35, on my birthday, I woke up with not only the obvious fact I was 35 but a psychological, physiological sense of being 35. Like waking up with your eye mask when it’s light but for a minute, you think it’s still dark. When it comes off, it’s a major shock. That’s how I felt. Shocked into 35.

And I believed and still do, in the 7 year cell change.
They say every 7 years your cells change and along with your whole make up.
I wasn’t waiting for it or anything. In fact, I don’t know that I was aware of it then. I just know on that day, I leapt from 28 to 35. Really, in one day I felt 7 years older in every way.

It wasn’t long after that while touring in Greece I met my husband.

I knew when I left for that particular tour I was a changed woman. I knew something was coming and I saw everything in an entirely new light. I was waking up, again. For the first time? I can’t be sure. However I do remember clawing and scratching my way onto the Transatlantic flight. I didn’t want to go. I didn’t want to leap anymore. I started to get scared for the first time in my life.

To make a long story short, we met, we courted, we married. And here I am happily married and living in the alps of Austria.
Sounds like an ending doesn’t it?
And it is in some ways. But a beginning I couldn’t possibly imagine took a strong hold and has not let up since. Everyday it’s stronger and everyday I feel my skin is going to burst open.

I was married, friends started dying. I mean, really good friends. Not that any passing is ok but these were the ones I expected to sit in old age with on the porch.
Just like that, gone.
And then I realized I may have missed a few important stops on my life path. How could that be? Time was moving so slow. I had so much of it. I thought.

All of sudden my clock starts ticking. I mean, it just went off one night. Screaming, blaring, thumping, bashing me over the head with the sound of it.
Baby. Baby. Baby.

Then when I thought things were weird enough, I started to have some health issues. Major ones that required a lot of hospitalizations and with that, show cancellations. In turn it was like dominoes and pieces began tumbling.
I couldn’t stop it, I couldn’t save me. I had to let things fall where they may.

It was like one day I am 28 and the next I am reaching a ’semi-middle age point, baby making time but I have no time, where are my friends, what did I miss, what should I do point.’
Crisis? You bet.
And how did I deal with it? I stepped away from the very thing that gave it to me. Music. It’s just what happened.
I can’t explain it any better nor excuse it anymore.

I’m coming back now. Slowly. On my on terms. But I’d be telling a big, fat lie if I said I am not sick of answering the questions about where have I been, when will I come back and why did I leave in the first place.

Life. Life just caught up with me and there was that one day that I just woke up.
I woke up and realized it was mine and mine alone and I had to accept where I was, what I was going through. Live it, deal with it and move on.

And I have.
It was a slippery one this time. Hard to keep in my hand. Not tangible but I think I understand now. I’ve got a hold now.
Truth be told, you couldn’t pay me any amount of money to go back to 28 or 35. Really. I worked too damn hard to get here, I’m not going back now.
It’s time to get to work on the next phase.
Before my time runs out.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Will you be my friend? ...Socializing today.

With the digital age almost permanently (I said almost) replacing meeting real people in real time, it got me to thinking about my digital "peeps" out in the world ... wide web that is.

Back in the day, you met them face to face. You know, at a concert or party, maybe in school or a holiday. Participating in an extra curricular activity.
Nowadays, being online IS the extra curricular activity.

Where does that leave us?

To get with the program (quite literally) or step away from the computer?

I tread both to be honest. Some days I am all over the place, tweetin' this, facebookin' that, myspacin' him and her, bloggin' my every thought.
Other days? I try and delete the people I'm not sure why I added in the first place, erase the photo's I should NOT have posted drinking wine the night before. You know, things you wouldn't dream of sharing before the internet deemed it not only ok but almost necessary if you want to play fair on the web. Maybe the cool kids will want to be your friend. You show me mine, I'll show you... Uh.

Wine, internet. Got me to thinking...
Although this is the opposite of someone you don't know but instead a real person you, knew and now with years passed it's been propelled into the world wide web, I want to include in this unfortunate situation an example of a bad night in the world of technology...

Scenario; Girl (ok, that's me) decides it's a good idea to drink more wine than she needs. Fair enough. She had a hard day and she had been laying off the booze for a good amount of time. She gets on Facebook. She sees her x-boyfriend had emailed her back. Yes, she found him on FB and sent that "Hello stranger" letter, oops email. Um. She's happily married now but she's still alive you know. So she stares at his picture and from the look of his suit, wonders what he's up to now. He looks successful. She gets nostalgic (even more than when she first emailed him) and starts to think of the old times. For a songwriter, this could get dangerous. And she does it. Yes, she does the very thing we all dread someday we might do, or cringe when we get the "Hello stranger" email ourselves. She begins to write. She tells him some of the songs on her records were for him. She gives titles. She talks about her new life and husband. She tells him he was great and she was stupid. She says it took a LONG time to get over him. Yes, she emphasizes that. Um. She says, "I let you go now sweet boy" as a footer. Yikes. She hits send.

Do you see where I am going with this?

Ok, I admit I don't. I started talking about friends we don't know and somehow veered into the world of x's pre-online to online... Um. Nevermind.

And with that minor distraction out of my system, I can get back to what I really want to say and that is... If I need to talk to a friend really, really late at night (at length) about really personal things, will these 'digital' friends be there? Only online I assume. If I needed to borrow money and couldn't pay my mortgage, would they help me? What if someone close to me passed away and I needed support at the funeral from a friend? What if they saw gross things I did or me at my worst, watched me make big mistakes and see how imperfect I really am? Would they still be my "friend forever?" Exactly.

So why is it that online friends seem to be all the rage? Am I missing the point?
I suppose I would be lying if I said I haven't made some 'real' friends that started online myself. It's just... just. Well. I dunno. Just seems so dirty somehow and so fake and sad. Everyone hopping around trying to leech what info they can, get inspired or bring others down, share ideas or steal them, make a buck, steal a buck. What gives?
Will this only get worse?

Of course there are very good people in the world. Of course we are all good at the core and online like everyone else just doin' our thang. But it can be so private while being so open. It's so easy while making things so much more difficult. Giving us work we didn't know we had.
It can make nice people mean. Mean people can appear nice. Ugh.

I took a hiatus from my music and although health issues were my main reason, I admit I was all too happy to get out of and off of the crazy online world of gimmie gimmie gimmie more...gimmie more. Britney is annoying but she nailed that on the head wouldn't you say?

When I just let the email box pile up and sit, deleted the hundreds of emails from my peers asking for help, didn't sign up for any new social networking sites and let the ones I had sit dormant, stopped putting press kits, CD's and whatever else in the mail... I felt a HUGE sigh of relief. I mean, the kind of relief you feel when you think you lost your rent money and it turns up. The kind of relief you feel when you think you didn't pay a parking ticket and you may have a warrant out for your arrest and head in the pokey at any given time. No, those weren't referencing me.

So I just got on with living and guess what? I met my husband and for the first time in years I had a real place to live, make love, cook, decorate, nest in.
I made really good friends with people I could actually see on a regular basis. Build a real face to face trust that only comes when you spend live in person time with people.
I got good at knitting but I blogged less. I started to dig through my old photo's and send them to the people I had promised to send them to for years.
I even picked up my guitar, without agenda and just played. Like the old days.

Going off line should be like the book 'The Sugar blues.' We should go off it once in awhile. We should experience it more than a few times in our lives. At the very least, widdle it down. For some, way down.
Really. It's that good. Better than... Yes and with less time online there is more time for that too. Ehem.

And now as I sign off my digital readers, I wonder who reading this is my friend in real life or friend online. Whichever you are, I really truly hope you are planning to get offline soon, get out of the house and hug a real person. Those virtual hugs take too much time anyway, leave you with guilt trips if you don't send one back and don't feel as good as the real thing.

If we happen to meet out there, I welcome a real, live in person hug anytime.

p.s No, my x didn't "friend" me.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Hello everyone!

I hope this finds you well.

Since the release of my new CD, "Dust 'n branches ... songs from a wanderer" has been doing so well, I have decided to come out from hiding this winter and book a little Spring tour throughout my region, Europe.

I am an American songwriter currently based in the alps of Innsbruck, Austria.

Although I am located in Europe now, I hold strong ties all over the world, most noteably America - including Austin, Texas where I keep a place.

If you'd like to share a show, trade information and/or help me book a show in your country, please contact me here on FB or here: singingchris(at)yahoo(dot)com

I am also booking house concerts which are the absolute best way to get your own private show for your friends and family.

Thanks for reading!
I really look forward to hearing from you and possibly working together.


Friday, January 30, 2009

More and more I both miss and cherish the far and few between sincere and honest connections I have been lucky enough to make in my thus far, short life.

As a friendly collector of everything including all things broken kind of person, I used to waste too much on people that could really care less. And if they did, it was for some reason other than exchanging love, good energy and encouragement. At least in the business of music, if someone 'be-friended' you, it usually mean they wanted something from you. And I don't mean love. As far as I can see via social networking and some of the emails I receive, this hasn't changed much.

It took me a long time to see this and when I did, even longer to both accept it and do something about it.

Since moving abroad, something happened to my sight and heart that gave me the strength to move on from feeling like I needed their approval, had to help anyone and everyone that asked, felt compelled to 'prove' myself to someone other than me. It's been a long haul and a bumpy one at that, so many dirt road bends.
For that I am grateful. I am learning.

Tonight as I think about the ones I love most - still here, lost ... I realize I am coming dangerously close to mid-life or whatever that means to me and well, I'm just tired of wasting time on anything and anyone who isn't on my side. Because faults an all, I am on their side. Someone and somethings gotta' give.

I've made a huge pile of mistakes. More than my share actually. Such big messes that while I was making them, I knew throwing everything under the bed wasn't exactly going to get me a star on the board. At the time, all I cared about was getting through whatever moment convinced me I couldn't. Somehow saying and doing whatever I needed to; escape, get closer to, run from, understand...
I wish I could say that means I understand that even.
I am still so far from getting it.

With that, I wish for the strength to recognize the takers from the givers, the part of me wanting to hoard without sharing. And when I do see all of this, act on it. Instead of the complacent acceptance that goes with procrastination, laziness, not wanting to bother changing.