verb (used with object)
1.  to break (something) into pieces, as by a blow.
2.  to damage, as by breaking or crushing:  ships shattered by storms.
3.  to impair or destroy (health, nerves, etc.):  The incident shattered his composure.
4.  to weaken, destroy, or refute (ideas, opinions, etc.):  He wanted to shatter her illusions.
verb (used without object)
5.  to be broken into fragments or become weak or insubstantial.


The only thing that is still the same in my life right now as it was 18 months ago, is that I am currently breathing and have a heartbeat.

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Kat Downs

Starting from Scratch

If there is one thing I have learned that I constantly need in my life, it’s perspective. For some reason, when anything becomes even remotely challenging that’s the FIRST thing that goes. Every time.

This is why I enjoy teaching private music lessons.

Seems unrelated, I know. Just stick with me.

I had the joy of starting a brand new flute student a few months ago. I love this. You both sit on the floor cross legged and open your flute cases. You tell the new student the names of the different parts of the flute. You ask the student to put the instrument together the way they think it should be put together and then play it for you. It’s this great cozy bonding moment. One of my favorites ever.

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The Healthy Artist

It is perceived by most (and seemingly proven time and time again) that most artists are in some way shape or form, insane.  But do they have to be?

Beethoven heard music in his head so strongly that he had to write it down immediately, no matter where he was.  Rumor has it his landlord ripped out the window sashes after his death and sold them at auction because they were covered in his handwritten music.  Van Gogh, of course, cut off his own ear.  Dali saw owls on peoples heads among other things.  The Beatles were infamous weirdos, not to mention the extra levels of weird once Yoko came on the scene.  Syd Barrett, Michael Jackson, the list goes on and on.

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9/27/11 – The Jitters

My last official day of work was Wednesday the 21st – so tomorrow will be one week since I went “full-time-artist”.

I’ve been getting a lot of questions from people – “how is it going?” “how does it feel?” along with, I must add, an ENORMOUS amount of support. (thank you thank you thank you thank you all)

How IS it going?  Well, I’m having a hard time settling down.  I’m still getting over the remaining dregs of a bad cold (of course I get a horrible cold when I’m making big change) so I still bust into coughing when I exert myself, which has kept me from going back to yoga.  My mind is spinning about 9,000 miles per hour – a wild blur of to-do lists, and, more exciting, WANT-to-do lists.  Lists and lists of the things I want to do now that I have time.  Those are fun lists, but they are still just as distracting, constantly taking me away from NOW. I’ve dealt with it by building actual to-do lists the way I always did at my day-job – adding on things that I accomplish that I also did that weren’t on the list to remind myself when I get frustrated with a task that no, really, you ARE kicking ass, just give yourself a break.

The kitchen has been scoured from top to bottom more than once.  The laundry has been done.  Today I actually let the living room slide because I’ve been working on the new SKS website, and the other list of to-do’s – which is impressive.  That is a really really LONG to-do list.  But we’re doing it.  Bit by bit, and with a lot of help.

The part I have a hunch I’m going to have difficulty with is the removal of one hat to don another.  For instance, I’ve been working on IT, data entry and admin-style work ALL DAY.  Now, after finishing this post I will be heading off to rehearsal with Mike – time to be the artist.  Time to perform and let the music flow through me – talk about a completely different type of energy.  That’s like trying to get the water running out of a hose to run backward.

I’m very glad that I have learned the skills to be aware of this challenge, and to be able to watch how I react to it before I make any changes (here’s to 6 years of therapy)