Saturday, January 9, 2010

100 Days of Practice Round 2 Day 87: Stopping to Sort the Ribbons

I've been trying to be good, I really have. Since New Year's, I switched to black coffee. I cut down on desserts. I'm taking smaller portions. But when I busted out my five overflowing boxes of ribbon last night in order to sort them by color and type, I really did have to break out a beer.

The last four days have been spent, amid daily musical practice and much family fun and laughter, sorting through the "Craft Area" in Mini Me's playroom. Imparting order, at last, on the mess of craft stuff I've been collecting for a little longer than I'm prepared to admit, all in hopes of someday having a little girl to be a little girl with... you know... to giggle with, listen to Muppet albums, and make stuff out of other stuff.

What stuff? Well, like, five boxes of ribbon, to start. Then there's the box of floral supplies. The box of stamping supplies. The box of pompoms, pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, and googly eyes. The drawer full of candle-making and soap-making materials. The box of Playdough, and the drawer of clay. The yarn drawer. (I don't really knit.) The miscellaneous drawer that has magnetic mirrors, Velcro squares, fuzzy curly blonde angel hair (?), the sewing drawer with spare buttons from every dress I've owned since I bought my first business suit in 1991. Three drawers of fabric. One box of "wedding ribbon," one box of rolled ribbon, one box of "warm colored" ribbon, and one box of "cool colored" ribbon. A basket of shells, rocks, pine cones, and one dried up starfish. A drawer I call "specialty paper," a box of construction paper, and another little drawer with small specialty paper. A drawer of gift bags. A drawer of tissue paper, which also holds a box of wrapping ribbons. The drawer of candles, incense, one sage smudge stick, and a bag of dried lavender. Next to it, the box of candle holders. The shelf! Ah, the shelf: Eight bottles of tempera paint and four jars of glitter in green, purple, red, and gold. And a partridge far from his pear tree, but still looking majestic while lying on his side next to the adhesive felt. Everything labeled in all caps with a Sharpie on Avery 5160 labels. God, that is good. I think I need a cigarette.

My sister once called me a Type A. I recoiled. But I'm sure she's convinced now. Does spending four bliss-filled days of sorting, in order to create ten carefully Sharpie-labeled drawers and 12 neat little Sterilite storage boxes, count as Type A? Um... can we move on to the next question, please? Isn't that your mother I hear calling you?

The moral? Well, nothing profound; just a bit of good news/bad news.

The good news is, if you've spent any time whatsoever on wrapping a gift that you've given to me, Soul Papa, or Mini Me in the last seven years, the work did not go unnoticed. We still have the ribbon.

The bad news is, you might receive a gift from us someday with the same packaging.

What does this have to do with music? Lots, my friends. I've been meaning to sort the craft stuff for seven years. Seven years! That is a long time. For me, this is a reminder to pay attention to life. Perhaps we've been a little too busy playing gigs, managing a musical life, and practicing to keep control of the craft gremlins. They got fairly busy when we weren't looking. They got into the fridge, the cookie jar, and now they're eyeing the last beer in the fridge. Worse, I think they multiplied. But have no fear, they can be corralled. They won't mess up your kitchen.

Aha. Here's the moral: No matter what our work, passion, or avocation, we still have gremlins to take care of. Keep practicing, but every now and then, stop to sort the ribbons. Smell the roses, but please, please, please, I implore you: don't smell that dried up starfish.

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