Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I'm back... ready to write again. Lots has happened since the last entry. I realize now just how intense my late winter was. I ended up actually really hurting myself trying to put on that damn recital. The recital I never did. Well, it's been a while now since that whole crisis unfolded. Yet, rehashing it now, almost two months later, feels like a good way of confronting unhealthy patterns that are slowly emerging again. So, what happened? I didn't practice at first because I was lazy. Then I didn't practice because I was stressed. Then the panic set in and I finally motivated to practice and learned the stuff. I was actually doing pretty well, that is when I wasn't experiencing mental collapse which is a side effect of self doubt and insecurity. But three weeks before the concert the "you suck, you can't do this" feeling was kind of overwhelming. At the same time, I was totally not taking care of myself physically. Not excercising, not eating well, feeling like shit inside out. Questioning basically everything. My mental state triggered a physical reaction--nerve impingement. I had to cancel the concert. I had completely unraveled, but it was so good. I was inspired, instantly, to nurture myself. I almost forgot what that felt like recently. But, you know, I'm only human. I fall back and then I pick myself up and start again. Oh, and I learned something that I already knew about myself--I like playing with other people. Not so much all by myself.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Breathe....not breathing...ouch....

I haven't written any updates on this here blog because typing and mousing makes my right hand numb. Oh, and did I mention that the beautiful Fugue movement of Britten's 3rd cello suite is giving me tendonitis?? Yeah....I find myself not able to breathe and sustain simultaneously. Actually, perhaps the not even looked at once Fantastico movement (which is not so fantastico in my mind right now) is psychologically giving me tendonitis of the brain. At least I'm practicing. And it's great. Now I've truly become masochistic. The true definition of the word.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Being your own personal cheerleader

Nobody's going to stand by my bed and cheer me on as I stuggle to get out of it at 7 a.m. While I sit at the computer, dicking around, nobody is there holding the "Team Carolyn" banner and chanting softly at first and then with mounting excitment, "go Carolyn, go Carolyn, go Carolyn...." My cheerleaders wouldn't be annoying though. They would blow sunshine up my ass at just the right moment...Well, this morning they're not here so I'm doing it myself and getting OFF the computer!!!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

The Voice

Okay folks...so it's exactly 36 days until I sit down in front of an audience and play these enormous works. Have I been practicing? (doubtful tone, tilted head, one slow blink followed by an even longer and slower blink, shake of the head and one audible sucking of the teeth). My subconscious is a bitch. But seriously though. How does one kill that disdainful, destructive "voice" in my head? We'll call her Steve. It's particularly loud and obnoxious when I'm trying to learn something...something new and difficult. It's been so loud lately and I've been dealing with it by trying to avoid any confrontation with it and not practicing. And yet this of course only adds to the volume and severity of Steve. Ok, so what if I pretend to feel crazy positive and kind of fake it for a while until Steve starts to get all confused and discombobulated and then she has her own little crisis and decides to move out? It sounds easier than it is I think and now frankly I'm feeling a little schizophrenic. But I think I may be on to something here. I have a little 6 year old student who yesterday came into his lesson to tell me that he doesn't want to play the cello. I was pretty sure he meant just not today, but who knows. But he crossed his arms, frowned his face, pouted his lips and looked at me through his eyebrows. My first reaction was, well, I don't feel like teaching. Too bad for us? right? But then instead I went into this whole rigmarole about how he has to first turn that frown upside down and that when he plays his cello it's like he's giving me a gift (and anyone else that hears him) and it's a special gift--only one that he can give and it's full of love and joy and happiness. It was quite a scene actually. He was sort of stunned at first...but then I realized he was just caught up on the word gift and it sent him spiraling into thoughts of Santa and Toy R Us. He ended up not playing a single note, but at least he didn't feel like crying. So, what does this have to do with ANYTHING??? Not sure really...but I think it may have something to do with practicing what you preach and just turning that frown upside down.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

This is me

A prolile

Me and my cute husband

I ate this. It was mighty tasty.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


One of the most difficult problems I face everyday is finding balance. Most days, as of late, have been veritable failures as far is this is concerned. With my rocking new bed (and kick ass sheets!) getting up in the morning is basically impossible. Often because I'm up from 5-7:30 panicing about how unbalanced my life is. Of course just when the first alarm goes off (there are about 5-8 snoozes each morning)I am finally in the midst of blissful sleepy time--on some beach in the bahamas getting a massage or something. The thought of getting up and facing my day is painful. Then when I do get up I really only have time to do some basic stuff...So when am I supposed to fit in the real work I need to do plus the mind/body stuff. By the end of the day, I'm exhausted and stressed out! Is the only solution to force myself out the most treasured part of my day?? Wake up at 5 am when I'm stressing and do some yoga? At this point, I've been down this road so many times...altered my lifestyle for like a week maybe more and then usually I find myself back in my current state. Some words flying around my head right now...work ethic (no work ethic), failure, and a desire for peace. In my early morning insomnia I had the thought that I should leave New York. I'm kind of yearning right now for a warmer more simplistic life. Does that even exist? Probably not. Do you think they need a cellist in the Bahama string quartet, a group that incorporates massage along with breakfast, lunch and dinner?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

So, I know how this looks

And the truth is, it is just how it looks. One day I'm all hard core with the intensive detailed practice schedule and then I drop off the face of the earth. Once my life started to get a little hectic with my teaching schedule, rehearsing, and then taking care of Dan, I completely stopped practicing. Scary, because now it's just two weeks closer to my recital. I like to refer to this program as the one I was smoking crack when I chose it. Two cello suites--that means memorized--one Bach, one Britten. I am now...let see, 6 weeks away!!! Sounds like a lot, but it's not!!! Especially when the music is not yet learned!!! OK...waiting for the panic to set in...