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One Cobble at a Time

Thoughts on Some Things That Happen Inside Heads

Sandra Tayler's Journal

responsible woman

A cobble by itself is just a small stone, but when many of them lay together they create a path . My life is made up of many discrete parts. I have to find ways to fit them all into place so that I can continue to journey where I desire to go. This journal records some of the cobbles that create my path.

Thoughts on Some Things That Happen Inside Heads

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responsible woman

I’m not good enough, that is the background music playing in my head this afternoon. It colors my writing, colors my work, and brings me to near tears when poor Link had to wait a long time for me to come and pick him up because I miscalculated a timing issue. The music plays, but I find myself turning to the conductor and confronting him. So I’m not good enough, what does that have to do with anything. Also, good enough for what? Some weird warped standard in my head? Who, exactly, is keeping score here? I’d like it if the confrontation stopped the music and made the conductor slink away, but the music stays like a song stuck in my head which I can mostly ignore.

A young mother came and sat next to me at church. She is my visiting teacher and wants to know when she can come see me, as she is assigned to do. This is one of the programs of my church that I love. The women of the congregation are paired up and asked to go visit a third sister once per month. It builds friendships and community connections in some really good ways. It also adds things to my schedule. I pulled out my phone so that I could look at the calendar. After tapping through the next few days the young mother said “Wow, you’re really busy.” For a moment I pondered her life. She lives in a stay-at-home-mom world with one toddler to her charge. I suspect her hours are every bit as busy as mine, but her tasks are not the sort that get written on calendars. Mine are. I have calendars and lists. I have appointments and carpools. I wonder how my life appears to her. I had a life like hers a decade ago. I enjoyed it, but I don’t want to go back. I’m enjoying this life too. Funny how I can write that and mean it, so soon after writing about not feeling good enough. My head holds paradoxes all the time.

Kiki called yesterday. The minute I saw her name on my phone, I knew something was wrong or at least urgent. When she reaches out for social reasons she uses computer based communication methods rather than calling. She’d lost her stylus for her wacom tablet. She knew it was somewhere in her dorm room, could I please help her find it. The room, Kiki, and stylus were all over two hundred miles away from me. My ability to help was limited, so I walked her through the logic behind trying to find something that has been misplaced. Finding things is less about moving physical objects and more about tracing the thought processes that led to the item being put in an odd place. I know Kiki pretty well. Five minutes into our conversation, she found the stylus. I don’t know if I actually deserve credit for the find, but I’m going to claim it, because the story is fun.

We’ve reached the point in Patch’s cello playing where he does not always immediately drop what he’s doing and go practice when I ask him to. This has more to do with his natural disinclination to switch activities than a dislike for music practice. So I sat down with Patch and we agreed on a fixed time for cello. It comes right after dinner and right before homework. This is a good placement because dinner already interrupts and he can slide into practicing without any trouble. Of course it means that I now have yet another reason why I should be better about supplying dinner on a regular schedule.

Comments are open on the original post at onecobble.com.



  • Yo-Yo Ma has this, to say about that:

    "My hunch has been that many students don’t practice because it’s just not part of their daily/weekly routine. This is especially true among beginners who lack in self-discipline and work ethic anyway. Some parents aren’t much help in this area, not being eager to hear their kids make all that noise.

    One technique I’ve used to get students thinking about their practice habits is to help them find best time to practice. I ask them about their daily and weekly schedule and get a picture for their time commitments."

    More of the Interview

    You might also tell Patch that practice can lead to a whole new group of friends, who fully understand how one feels about the struggle, AND the miracle that it brings suddenly, one day.

    The Silk Road Ensemble



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