Part three in my personal strategy: Practice compassion. Daily. I truly believe in this strategy and try to live by it. These three parts are secular concepts that interface well with whatever spiritual or religious beliefs a person may have. Compassion makes the world a truly wonderful place in which to live. It is contagious, too. This can be a very cold and difficult world. The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly challenged us all.
On February 3 of this year, while taking a walk in frozen Minneapolis, Minnesota, I slipped and broke my wrist. It was a fracture of the scaphoid bone on the left hand. Extremely painful. I freaked out and began thinking my career was possibly ended. It was hard to deal with and surely put me face to face with my neat little strategy. Tranquility became difficult to attain and I encountered a good deal of anxiety. I still am. Finally, after many long weeks, the bone is healed and I’m doing physical therapy. I’m also playing guitar again, painfully, for an hour or so each day. I am, at last, confident that I will return to playing at my former level, perhaps even better, due to the many insights I have gained.
Little did I know my Meditation/Sleep/Relax music would be an important part of my healing. I also discovered some chanted mantras—one is 10 hours long!—that, along with Richter’s 8 hour piece, “Sleep”, have been great blessings. At times now, I am knowing a deep sense of peace and tranquility and compassion. I am learning to deal with anxiety. I’d only experienced it on rare occasions before. My compassion surely extends to those who experience it on a regular or even daily basis.
I am putting my music up here on the website as downloads without any cost. It feels so satisfying to do it. I hope to eventually get my entire recorded “ouvre”—how pretentious! Ha ha!—up and available to anyone who would like to listen to it. We hear so much about “monetization” these days, and I do get it. My monetization comes from performance fees, and perhaps the odd donation someone may choose to make. My book, in hard copy, as well as physical CDs I’ll continue to sell at prices sufficient to cover my production and mailing costs. That’s it. The world can be a beautiful place and I’m so eager to get back to playing live music, with other live musicians, for a live public. What a luxury!