Spirit Grooves Blogs

Published on September 11, 2013

With temperatures soaring into the 90s, that sweat lodge I am referring to would be just the three of us, me, myself, and I. It has been years since I have been to a regular sweat lodge, but you could have fooled me yesterday.

For some reason, finding someone to help me do stuff around the library has been difficult lately, so I end up just doing it myself. At my age I have to be careful, particularly since moving heavy things like books can put my back out, and I don't want that. As they say, there are just two kinds of people, those that have had back trouble, and those who have not had back trouble…. Yet.

Still, with no regular help, I am not willing to wait when I have a deadline, and I am trying to pull this library-to-studio change together before the upcoming Harvest Gathering next week. Plus we will have some seven people staying here at our home and so on.

So yesterday I spent trying to "be reasonable" about how much I can move myself and at what pace. Years ago I would just brute-force weigh in, have at it, and by god, just get it done. Instead, what I did do was to move slowly and not carry too much at any one time.

Still, in the course of the whole day, I did myself much of what I have been waiting for help to do. So far as I can tell my body is still in one piece, but I definitely pushed myself into a different space for the day.

With outside temperatures (and humidity) super high, I quickly turned (as mentioned earlier) into my own personal sweat lodge. I drank a lot of water, but my shirt, etc. were soaked to the skin, with not a dry spot left, at least on the shirt. And my thinking went into a kind of suspended animation, as I concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other.

What I had to do was haul and arrange books and magazines on every other shelf in the entire library, a building 40 feet long, 20 feet wide, and stacks 13 feet high. And I did it one box at a time. You would think that after my library was hauled off in an Allied Van that I would have no books, but think again. In the basement depths I had dozens of boxes of duplicate periodicals and other book-like stuff. In fact I had enough to fill every other shelf in the library with the stuff.

The empty shelves in-between are waiting for some special sound-absorbing panels to be placed in them. In addition, all of the books I loaded on shelves yesterday were placed so that every other book was indented, lending a comb-like appearance with the books. This better diffuses the sound waves.

Remember that the library is not principally a library in its new incarnation, but an audio and visual studio, and the balance of sound is now important, not getting at the books. I can still use it as a library, but that will not (at least for now) be its principal use.

So, as the hours ticked by and the sweat poured out, a lot of the finer self-related chatter and innuendo gave way to silence and just work. It didn't kill me, and it did make me stronger. You can be sure I will have photos of the new studio look as soon as it is completed.

What started out as an attempt on my part to reshape the studio so relative youngsters like my daughter May and her husband Seth can better use it, has turned out to overreach that goal and I find myself emerging into an inner space where I just want the studio to be the best it can. It is no longer just for them, but for me too.

For years the library has doubled as a studio and there is a separate control room on the floor below, which also has two very nice sound-treated rooms. However, everyone likes the ambiance and sound of the library itself, so that is what I am now trying to materialize – a better studio. I have made it available for years to various music groups for free, just because I can and none of the musicians I know have any money. I certainly had no money when I was a musician, etc.

Plus I love the camaraderie of a recording session and like to cook for a group and generally hang out. Also many of the musicians stay over in our dharma center and at times (if I remember right), I have found up to twenty young musicians sleeping on every available bed, couch, and floor. It keeps life interesting.

So I am up, as too-usual, in the middle of the night, but hopefully I will get a little more sleep later on, and before morning. And I have learned a little something along the way, that creating a studio for others to use is second best to creating a studio for myself and to my standards and then offering it to others, even though I have no intention of ever using it myself.

Let me repeat that theme because I find it meaningful. The slogan might be "Don't do for others just because they are others, but do for others as you would do for yourself, and as if you (yourself) were the others." Make sense? I am pleasing myself and hopefully what I accomplish will be pleasing (and useful) to others.

This may be a small point, but it makes a lot of sense to me.