Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Gratitude Journal - Day 1

So in a risky move, I am going to mix two of my cyber worlds even more, and post more pictures from my photo blog here on my 'whatever this is' blog. In theory, however, they do cross-polinate in a way, so I should be OK with the CBP (Cyber-Blog-Police).

I know I'm not alone in this (at least I pray I am not) but for all the travelling musicians out there, life on the road can be quite difficult. Don't misunderstand me - I am well aware that I am not shoveling coal for a living, or doing hard labor under a scorching sun for $.48 a day -- I am without question living out a dream, and I'm well aware of that each and every day. But I'm also aware that my lifestyle challenges me on many, many levels: how to maintain balance in my professional and personal life (HA!), how to navigate through the pressures of new roles and openings and constant demands on your time and energy and talent, how to keep perspective amongst the pursuit of perfection and idealistic, unreachable goals, all the time being good to your psyche, knowing you'll never reach that utopian perfection you strive for, etc. I found years ago that it all comes down to what I choose to see, what elements of this life I choose to focus on: the good or the bad.

Since coming to this realization, I've been successful more often than not in focusing on the positive, but God knows there are still periods of true difficulty and struggle in this business, and through those ghastly moments, we still have to breathe in and "turn it on" for a public that deserves our everything and, rightly so, could not care less about how hard it was for us to get into makeup and warm up that particular night. I consider it a LARGE part of my job to keep healthy mentally so that these difficult moments happen less and less. (In part, it's wishful thinking, I know, but it's my goal!)

In a slightly unrelated topic, for the moment only, I've recently taken up a hobby of amateur photography, relishing how it takes me out of the world of music for a moment or two, but how it also fulfills part of my desire for art and beauty. I've got loads to learn still, but here's the beautiful part -- I'm not a pro, so I don't have to be perfect or brilliant! I was thinking recently, "what do I actually want to do with my photos?" I don't HAVE to do anything, but then again, that's not exactly my nature -- my mind is often going in the direction of, "what do I hope to accomplish with this", as I tend to be a bit result-oriented! Well, last night, I hit on it: I can use photos not only as a way to chronicle my travels, but I can use it as a type of "diary of gratitude". (I think I may be stealing this idea in some form from Oprah!!!) I know it sounds horribly cheesy, but I have found that when I start thinking about looking through a lens to capture a moment in time, I look very differently at the world around me - my observation takes on a much deeper, slow-motion quality, and I LOVE that! I thought, if I can attempt to take ONE photo a day, to show something that I am grateful for or something that brings beauty into my life, then my search for balance and perspective will surely have a better chance for success!

So, that's a big prouncement, and considering my procrastinating tendancy, I will STRIVE to make this a "365 day" project, but you know, I will give myself a lot of latitude on that front -- it sounded like a great idea at 4:00 am this morning, we'll see how I feel about it in 2 months!

So, my first submission:

"Opening night rose"
I think Geneva florists must do some of the most beautiful arrangements in the world. This is from opening night of "Ariodante" here in Geneva, and the colors in this bouquet are amazing!



Hello, Ms. DiDonato:

What a gorgeous photograph of a perfectly blooming rose, diva!

You most absolutely captured the shimmering peach color and silk texture of the flower.

Simply beautiful!

I, too, adore photography. Thanks for sharing.


Marcellina said...

A blog is an excellent place to hone your photography skills. You are surely seeing things around you all the time in your travels, which will be new and unusual for most people out there.
And yes, other artists understand the stress of being "on" for the audience and on the road. Don't forget to schedule time to relax with your family and your friends. Your career will be all the better for it.

Eric said...

Yay! More photos ahead! I'm glad to see this has really taken off for you, and I can't wait to see more of the world through your lens. Much love to you and the Italian Poker.

Rahree said...

This is a great idea - and a beautiful picture. Thank you for sharing it! :)

Yankeediva said...

Thank you so much - especially to Eric who fully encouraged this crazy habit!! Maybe the idea is a bit 'cheesy', but I will enjoy the challenge, and hopefully, the result as well -- above all, I hope the journey will be engaging!