Sarah Calvert

"Time may change me, but I can't trace time." David Bowie

Cha-cha cha changes…….

The other day I was having a sweet morning at the cabin: secluded in the woods, my piano, my records and my dog. This all changed when I spoke to my sister on Skype over a tea. She, who lives in the city and actually knows what’s going on in the world, often relays current events to me , as I’m usually enveloped in some bubble in the world, sheltered from the horrors of current events. It was my sister who told me that morning that David Bowie had died.  

To say I was bummed would be an understatement; My heart actually hurt and I actually shed a tear or two. Okay, maybe three. The last time I cried over the loss of a musician was with my friend Becca once we heard John Denver had died. We were at her parents in Burlington and we put on his records all afternoon and cried.

This morning however, I couldn’t listen to Bowie’s record because on New Year’s Eve during a cabin dance party, Babaji (the dog) got freaked out by our neighbour’s fireworks and cornered himself by the record player, right on top of “Changes”, which we had JUST played and had not put back in its sleeve. Needless to say, the record is now scratched beyond belief thanks to Baba’s claws, and the whole record now skips. So instead, I Calvertized his tunes by doing a medley starting with a slow piano ballad rendition of “Modern Love.” 

I remember the Christmas that I got the Bowie album “Let’s Dance”. I was ten years old and it was the only thing I really wanted for Christmas, besides a Golden Dream Barbie. I tore open the wrapping paper (knowing exactly what it was) and was exhilarated when I saw I got what I wanted. Santa rocked. Literally. I immediately called my friend Shawna, to ask her what she got, and shared my exuberance with her, “Come over to visit! I got the David Bowie album!” I shut myself away for days in my bedroom with that record, memorizing all the lyrics to every tune, making up silly dance routines to “Little China Girl” and writing down the words to Modern Love so I could memorize them quicker.  Before that, I had loved “Under Pressure” which I had discovered in my dad’s 8-track cassette collection on the Queen album. I cranked that like nobody’s business in our family room with those big old school headphones. Maybe that has also contributed to the recent purchase of a hearing aid…not just all the ear infections. 

For those of you who have come to any of my shows, I often throw in a Bowie tune here and there to pay homage to my childhood. For those of you who know my life, you know that I’m always changing; homes, locations, jobs…the list goes on.  As we know: Everything changes. As a teacher on call, my life is a bit chaotic and I don’t know if or where I’ll be working the next day. Even today, I got called for a half day of work this morning and packed up my bag to ski this afternoon. At break in the staff room I was asked if I could stay the whole day to teach guitar this afternoon. And so, once again, my plan ch-ch-changed. 

**Next day: I left my computer in the staff room last night (quelle surprise! I always leave something somewhere!) so couldn’t post this blog last night. So, I’ll fill you in with my lesson plan from yesterday during the guitar class. We did what was on the actual lesson plan, which was to practice the 12-Bar blues in A; I got to play piano and listen to about 20 kids jamming simultaneously. It was a whole lot of cacophony going on. During the last half of the class I decided to give them a Brief History of Bowie: 101. Most of them were pretty interested; especially when I got talking about the sex and drugs part. That being said, they were also pretty interested, mostly because they were sick of playing 12-Bar blues probably. I cranked a few of his tunes on YouTube, then played Ziggy Stardust for them, explaining that Ziggy was really a facet of Bowies alter-ego. They loved it, so I printed up the lyrics and chords and taught it to them. They actually learned it in about 20 mins. And once again, this was a prime example of the day changing, the lesson plan changing, and hopefully, someones’ musical taste changing. If I get one kid to go home and look up more Bowie, then I feel like I’ve contributed to the world. Seems like change is on my brain a lot these days; I taught a music class a few weeks ago in Salmo and played “Landslide” for the kids, by Stevie Nicks and we talked about change with her lyrics, “I’ve been afraid of changing….” It’s the only thing that’s constant in this world, so I don’t know why we’re all so afraid of it. 

Today I sit and watch French Immersion students writing their provincial exams. I’m only booked to work half a day today and I still have my ski stuff in the back seat from yesterday and intend to go skiing this afternoon. But who knows? That could change.  

Thank you for coming along on this crazy journey with me and I look forward to hearing what you think about changes...

Love and Light,
Sarah 

Question for You:

How do you cope with constant change? Do you resist or accept it with grace? 

 

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