Posted by: BART Station Bard | May 6, 2013

Finding That Sweet Spot

Setbacks happen to everyone. We all have to ask ourselves each time, “is this a crushing blow, or an opportunity for growth and applied brilliance? For me, the latter wins every time. Overwhelming odds call out my Inner Pixie and really, the other alternative leads nowhere.

Busking every day was one of those decisions that seemed like the right thing to do at the time, but turned out to be a big mistake. I took a break and went to the acupuncturist last Tuesday. Monday’s here and there’s no real change.

This is scary, but I have to turn my back on the spilled cups before me and look at the ones that are still full. I still have a voice, all I have lost is the frame around it. I have tools in the form of a yoga routine, various holistic and allopathic medicines, and body awareness to try and heal myself. Then there are the healthcare options to consider. Step one: If it hurts, don’t do it.

I asked Brighid today, as I do every day, what she wanted of me. As I looked up at her picture, quietly giving her space to speak, I heard a fond, slightly exasperated, “Well you could move my picture down so you didn’t have to crane your neck looking up at me.”


Set her as low as I could. I still have to look up, but if I stand up straight and pull my head back–in short, if I stand the way my last physical therapist wanted me to, she comes into focus. Hurray for daily practice, and the gifts a simple devotion, repeated regularly, bring.

We all have a choice. We can do our best to dig our way out of our various holes, or we can let our problems consume us. It’s that simple. What is the first helpful action that can be taken? I’ve found that no matter how bad things are, if I just do that, the next move comes to me. When you’re in a trap, don’t struggle.

I’ve put my frame aside for now. I’ve given my partner a bodhran assignment: learn the drumbeat verbatim for one of the new songs I’ve written, and luckily, have a rough recording of. She’s a great dance drummer, and as a belly dancer I have heard her pick apart what the music “told” her body to do. She understands the basic concepts behind what I do and she’s capable of mastering them. More to the point, she wants to. She suggested this.

I’m going to bring in my small backpack and busking sign tomorrow and see if I can find a spot. How will I do in a BART station as a pure singer? My choice of spots will be more limited, but there are plenty of areas I can use, I think.

I’m going to the open mic at the Freight and Salvage tomorrow night. I’ve done a capella on that stage often enough, nothing much will have changed.

I’m going to continue to rest the stuff that hurts, and call either my healthcare provider or my acupuncturist again. I can’t decide which, I can’t afford to see both of them this paycheck. I’ll see the other one in the next few weeks, though. Daily meditation is also a must. I’ve been falling down on that the last couple of months and I need my subtle superpowers more than ever.

I’m going to continue to learn repertoire. Sadly, two of the three songs I’m working with demand a drum. The third one might stand on its own. Time to pick some others. I’m also going to spend some serious time with my tinwhistles. Damn, but they sound fine in a transit system corridor!

This blog entry was originally about balancing the optimum amount of busking time against the demands of my body. I figured that I could surely go back to one or two days a week no problem. As the week progressed though, I realized that the hole I’d dug for myself was far deeper than I’d imagined. I can still see the light, though. All I have to do is follow it.


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