This blog had a hiatus for the month of September. Originally unplanned, and then every time I went to start it again, something else happened. A new calendar month, and a new crack at this, but first to recap.
I started my September with another amazing show at The Farm in Hillsborough (photos here & video of The Weather Station “Came So Easy”). Then after the farm show I started my blissful retreat at my beach house, amazing as always. And then went from that calm & peace to diving straight into Hopscotch. You can see the highlights of my photos here or all my photos here here. During Hopscotch I was really more focused on video than photos, though. I was grateful for the video pass to help shoot videos as part of the Hopscotch/Indy team. My day party videos are all up here. Night show videos will go (hopefully) soon through the Indy/Hopscotch.
After the post-Hopscotch concert lull, I had an additional week break from concerts thanks to a head cold. But since have shot the following shows:
Shirlette Ammons w/ Humble Tripe @ Pinhook – photos & video
The Bad Plus @ Motorco – photos
The Imposters w/ Almost People @ Motorco – no photos up yet
Big Freedia w/ The Cuntry Kings @ Motorco – photos
Team Dresch w/ The Butchies & The Tomboys @ Pinhook – photos & videos coming soon.
But what I’ve shot since Hopscotch isn’t really what I wanted to talk about. Last Tuesday my ears started ringing, and they haven’t stopped since. (yes, I’ve already had one doctor’s appointment, have one with a specialist tomorrow.) As far as I can tell there is no real reason the tinnitus started and no way to really make it stop. It may go away, it may be in my life, my ear, my head, forever. I really and truly don’t think it is related to concert going. I’ve long been hyper-paranoid about ear plugs and protecting my hearing (hearing test before doctor’s appointment tomorrow to confirm). Instead it is just a thing that happened. And something I’ll slowly learn to live with.
And with that ringing in my ear, it is a hopefully easy leap to see why I’ve been thinking about circles and community lately. Every time I think about this amazing group of people who I’m lucky to call my friends I’m so incredibly grateful. This past weekend, I had a barbeque at the house, and am grateful for those of you who made time to come out and enjoy the good eats. And, truly, for everyone I talked to this last week.
I can already see this ringing in my ears shifting my personality a little, and I’m trying really hard to settle into it, to not talk about it all the time with everyone, but it is hard not to, and it is hard to explain what this constant ringing does to my mood, my desire, to what I enjoy. It isn’t as though my ears ringing for a week has led to great epiphanies about the true meaning of life. That would be overstating it.
But here are three things I’ve learned in the last week:
1) This ringing makes my attention span shorter; there is now always something else vying for my attention, this constant high pitched tone in the background. So if I’ve just wandered off (physically or mentally) from a conversation with you or seemed distracted, that is why. I’m working on it, on checking myself back to the world outside of that high note whenever I notice myself paying attention to it, but it is a struggle sometimes.
2) I don’t know how it happens, or why, but I swear to goodness, the tinnitus gets louder every time I close my eyes. Figuring out how to sleep has been… most challenging.
3) Bombardment helps. The literature I’ve read on tinnitus suggests that white noise machines help because they bombard your ears with other noise so you don’t notice the ringing. But I hate pure white noise; I find it as annoying as my constant high note companion. Luckily, other types of bombardment help as well. When I’m bombarded with happiness, or smiles, or hugs, or laughter, or joy, or conversations, or music – when any of those things happen I notice the noise less, sometimes I almost don’t hear it all.
And here is where my gratitude comes in. Thank you for the last week, for tonight and the next night and the next. Like I said earlier, every time I think about this amazing community we are in, I’m grateful. And now, as I live with the high note, this awesome community not only inspires me and provides me with a source of belonging and friendship, y’all also keep me from going crazy, from disappearing into a world where my high pitched companion is the loudest thing in my world. Y’all are more boisterous, more invigorating, louder, nicer, friendlier, and more on so many counts – more than the high note is loud.