I am writing this blog today as it is my Mom's birthday and I am thinking of her, although she has been gone for nearly 25 years now....I have been writing and working on “my music” for a number of years now, and many people know that I left the corporate world a number of years ago to spend time writing music full-time…and so I have been, and produced a number of CDs and worked with many wonderful songwriters, musicians and composers in the interim, and attended many great songwriting workshops in the blissful mountains of British Columbia, and learned so much….so much about life, other people, their lives and dreams.
So it took some people aback when I started teaching college night courses a couple of years ago in Quality and Operations Management, a harkening back to my formative years as an engineer and “process person” as I came to be known in the corporate world. And then a couple of years ago one of my old bosses (who has turned out to be a true angel in my life on a number of occasions) called me up out of the blue and asked me if I was interested in some consulting work, as she was working at a new place and had some work for a good “process person.”
This all came about at a time when I have come to realize what my art is, and isn’t, all about…I don’t know if I’ll ever make any “real” money from my music, and that’s just fine with me. I write and compose music because it’s something that helps me understand the world, express my own emotions and thoughts, and hopefully share that with some other folks with whom it connects. I also went to a concert at the Chicago Symphony earlier this year, a series called Beyond the Score, and I learned about one of my favorite American composers, Charles Ives. And as great of a composer as he was, composing was more or less a hobby for him, as he was an Insurance executive for his actual “career.”
So I’ve been consulting more recently, and really enjoying both the adventure and intellectual stimulation it brings, as well as seeing how and where it fits into my larger life. Other big changes have also happened in my life in the past year…..I bought a weekend home on a lake in Wisconsin, and everyone wonders why I did that (John Lennon’s “people asking questions” lyrics spring to mind). And so I continue the consulting work and teaching, as I have this beautiful place I need to earn some money for….and that’s where the tradeoffs of life begin…..
I bought it because it’s outrageously beautiful on this little lake, and I also wanted a place to retreat to and hear the magical music this place has to offer, let alone the tranquility and the sheer blissful nature experience of the birds, trees and wildlife all around. It rejuvenates my soul, and I am learning about the glaciers that formed this wondrous beauty all around, about the fire at Peshtigo the same day as the great Chicago Fire, but went unnoticed…and I am fomenting in my soul…and the consulting work and teaching and the nature and the lake and the music composing in my head all blend in to one…so I will start to write that music soon…and hopefully find the music that quietly says “yes, that’s exactly right, isn’t it?”