What lies at the bottom of the ocean and twitches? - The Lyorn's Den
Sun Nov. 27th, 2011
02:08 am - What lies at the bottom of the ocean and twitches?
The commute is doing me no good. The situation at work is doing me no good. I'm cold and tired all the time. I feel that I eat enough, yet I am always desperately hungry for sugar. Several times this week my hands were shaking so hard I could not use a cell phone unless I braced it on my knees. I am moody and I have the mental resilience of a soap bubble. I behave like a drama queen and I just cannot stop myself.
Today we finally had the choir concerto we had been practising for since July. It's an advent concerto: Three advent songs (an old French one, "Noël Nouvelet", the traditional German "Maria durch ein Dornwald ging", and a modern English, Chilcott's "This Joy"), then the ensemble sang Nystedt's "Velsinet veare han" (in the German translation, none of us speaks Norwegian), Milliken's "Missa piccola", Duruflé's "Tota pulchra est" and Busto's "Salve Regina", and finally as the main dish, we sang Britten's "Ceremony of Carols", accompanied by a harpist, and with two solo singers who are not part of the choir. There were also two harp solos before and after the ensemble set.
A very, very beautiful concerto, not a single piece that was not a joy to sing and listen to, but very hard work, first because some of the pieces were challenging, second because second soprano had to sing in the range of the first soprano for most of it, and the altos in second soprano range, which made it hard work physically.
We had practised for six hours on Sunday week before last, for three the Wednesday after, and for three again last Wednesday, and three yesterday on Friday, and I felt that with about 12 hours more we would be starting to go somewhere. But that's how I always feel.
I had planned to do my weekly shopping quickly today, have a good breakfast, catch some more sleep, then meet Ceridwen for voice warm-ups. We were due on-site at five, to warm up and arrange the order of things in space and time, and people would be let in starting at 7 p.m.
Everything went more-or-less smoothly, except that I messed up breakfast by being too hungry to early, having sugary sweets, feeling sick, not having enough time for a nap, and drinking coffee instead. So when I left home at 4, I was over-caffeinated and shaking. And then I closed my door and couldn't turn the key in the lock. It felt as if there was a key in the lock from the inside, only I knew 100% there wasn't.
I freaked out. Total breakdown. Knew I was being silly, but couldn't do any better than to call Ceridwen on my mobile (needed four attempts although her number's in the memory, hands were shaking so hard) and cry. True to the rule that only one person at a time can have hysterics, she dealt with the situation calmly. ("It's just the lock's cylinder being cranky. I've seen that before. We'll call Snow. She has your second key. We'll pick it up when we get back and see if that one works. If not, we'll get Gwydion to fiddle with the lock, he's good with it. That will be no problem at all. Get yourself over here now.")
I did get myself over there. We did the warm-ups. I had two octaves and a fourth of range, quite sufficient. But I still was insufferable during practise, and tethered close to another breakdown when we had a break from quarter to seven to quarter past seven, and I desperately needed food (sugar!) and all those stupid damned cafés closed at seven, and did I mention it was cold? We ended up at McD's where the staff didn't understand a word I said, and I had to repeat everything very slowly and gesture a lot, and still nearly did not get food. (Not being understood when I speak is a nightmarish situation for me and usually enough to have me flee the place.)
And we sang beautifully. The harpist was amazing. The acoustics in the church were a dream. The soloists were good enough to make you cry. There were more than a hundred people in the audience, and they seemed to really like it. It was not one of those perfect moments when it all came together, but it was quite good enough, and far better than I had dared to hope.
Then we drove home and Gwydion fiddled the key into the lock in about ninety seconds, discovered that one of the door hinges had worked itself loose, causing the issue, and fixed it. I made tea, oven squash and salmon with Dijon mustard for Ceridwen and myself, we listened to some old rock music and talked.
I'm not sure that I got an idea about the solution yet, but maybe I'm starting to get an idea about the problem. It's multicausal, but nothing tangled and no feedback loops -- just simple, rather minor things, but a lot of them. Starting from work and commuting and lack of sleep, over food issues, self-image, an over-stuffed schedule, relationships becoming shallow for lack of time to just hang out together, that cursed perfectionism, and a mismatch between the amount of food that suffices to keep me functional and the amount I'd need to keep me strong. As I do not intend to re-gain the weight I lost (I will not buy all those clothes again!!!) just to regain my creativity and resilience, I need to develop strategies for running on fumes.
So that's the beginning of the idea for a design for an outline of a plan for next year.
Oh, and, what does lie at the bottom of the ocean, and twitches?
A nervous wreck.