More to life than music

One of the first groups I played with was a sometimes duo, sometimes trio with another dulcimer player, Tom. Once when I was lamenting the end of a gig or rehearsal or jam session or something, he mentioned that there’s more to life than music, and I said, how could you say such a thing?

He explained: If all you do is music, all the time, it will lose its flavor and richness. Life feeds music — so there has to be room in between the music moments for the rest of life.

It’s true with other hobbies, jobs, pastimes, whatever, too.

I have a tendency to burn through on one project until I get it done, but I find that I enjoy that project — and others — if I just work a little on each one here and there, as I feel like it, and not out of any compulsion.

My top project lately has been a sweater. Several years ago I unraveled the commercial sweater it started as — which I’m pretty sure I bought in 8th grade, and which had gotten all stretched out and had some holes. Then sometime this spring I started knitting a new one. Got as far as half the sleeves before I realized it wasn’t going to work, and unraveled it, too. Started yet again, and now I’m nearing the hem (the sleeves come after the hem), and it’s the project I turn to just about whenever I have spare time, because I really want to get it done.

But it’s been more fun to do a few rows here and there, or work on it while listening to a book or watching TV, and take time for other things like making a blanket and a Boppy cover for a baby shower and practicing percussion rudiments on dulcimer or scales and tunes on whistle or flatpicking on the top three strings on guitar. And a little computer time, or lying down time, or reading, or petting the kitty.

I’ve just been talking about the use of spare time — but of course there’s all the rest of life, too, like spending time with Amy and Mark and friends.


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