Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Song Circle last night

Tuesday nights are Song Circle nights at Rockhopper's Folk Art Coffeehouse in Clinton, down the road, and it's always a lot of fun to sit around with a bunch of musicians and singers and harmonize. Dan and Rene, proprietors of Rockhopper's, have installed a mini-cam and the furniture is comfortable and wildly decorated by Rene's creative spirit. Two hours spent there singing with others in that informal, whimsical setting is quite an experience. You can get a taste of it by going here and scrolling down to the Oct. 2 entry with the video clip (actually almost two hours long----but you can get a glimpse in a few moments). I'm not on camera but you can hear my voice in the songs.

It was a welcome antidote to the grumpy mood I've been in for a couple of days after a tangle with another person which, unfortunately, I was unable to blame solely on her. Isn't that the pits, to be so "reasonable" that you have to take responsibility for your own s--t, that you can't just say "well, it's somebody else's fault" and walk away blamelessly. I was wrong to say something in the way I did and got a thorough dressing-down. I do think that what I said wasn't worth the diatribe I got, but that's the breaks.

I keep a journal and do a lot of stream of consciousness writing in it when I'm mad, so there are several pages dedicated to telling this person off without actually communicating it. I don't tend to dump on other people in the way I got dumped on, but that's my style, not necessarily someone else's. I also think that diatribes often say more about the other person than about me, so I try to let it roll off my back. But it's always hard to be the target of remarks that go beyond the requisite "this pissed me off, so quit it". I did learn a couple of interesting phrases in the process: "working my last gay nerve" was the most colorful but it doesn't seem very useful in my setting.

The grumpy mood is on its way out and that's good news. I hate being in that place, angry and feeling as if I have been treated vengefully for very little reason. It would feel good temporarily to blast back, but the negatives outweigh the positives, in terms of my own peace of mind. People have to be themselves and sometimes the authentic self doesn't make others happy. Again, that's the breaks.


LinguistFriend said...

The song fest sounds like fun; it is too bad that I know that it would take minor laryngeal surgery for me to participate well in such things again as I did once.
Now what you need for practice in letting things roll off your back without doing people the favor of giving them the response they deserve is to move for a year to someplace run by the Good Ol' Boys. In such places, the UU churches have the nonreligious/therapeutic function of simply being the place where the members can be themselves, was what I concluded in the middle of my time in such a place. I wonder what the incidence of ulcers and such like among the professional ministry is, compared to the general population, with some controls as for education and income.

ms. kitty said...

Good question, LF. There's a lot of stress engendered by trying to figure out how to let things roll off instead of soaking in. Thanks for the sympathy!

Mile High Pixie said...

"my last gay nerve." Baahahaha! Thanks for the pick-me-up that this phrase brings!
Your comment is interesting indeed. It makes me mindful of how can I criticize people without overdoing it? I often find myself figuring out how to make the criticism fit the crime, as it were. And you're right: it can be just as stressful trying to let it roll off your back as it can be just to stew in the "knock it off, dumbass" that someone gives you. I find with most folks that it's not that we don't like criticism--I certainly want to know if I'm bugging someone--but it's how it's given to me. A kind tone always helps.
Meanwhile, mad props for enjoying the singing and lifting the fog of ookiness. Lately, I've been lifting my ook fogs by dancing to The Bee Gees' Greatest Hits. Thank God(s) for the iPod!

ms. kitty said...

Pixie, it's great to hear from you! I'm laughing too.

Comrade Kevin said...

I have a pretty intense temper when I let it get the best of me.

Thanks for reminding me that the best possible outlet for my anger should be my writing, not another human being who likely has done nothing to deserve my ire.