It is nearing the end of my eleventh day as a furloughed federal employee. I am doing my best to keep busy and make the most of my time off. For me, keeping busy entails creative expression. I have passed many hours working at what keeps me feeling alive—songwriting.
In the evenings, I have been forcing myself to get out of my cave and be with the world outside.
This morning, I broke with tradition and left my apartment before noon to make my way to the Martin Lydon Library on the Umass Lowell campus. After a panic-induced search for parking, I finally made it into the WUML studio. I had left one cave for another, but this one had better microphones and groovy graffiti.
The host was a wonderful woman I met recently through the Merrimack Valley Time Exchange. She talked me through, helped me set up a mic for my voice and one for my uke, pointed out a headset for me to put on, and we were off.
I left the studio far more relaxed than when I entered. I love talking about songwriting, describing the process of creating a song from a story, the people who have shared their stories with me, and the community and connections I have been honored to become a part of through music.
The only sad moment was when the host emailed me to tell me her hard drive had been fried and thus the recording of the session lost. But I suppose that was how the universe intended it. Not all stories can be captured, and this one will simply have to live on in my memory, which I am certain it will for a long time.