Album Release

Friday, August 29, 2008

Things Mrs. Wolfe Didn't Tell Me- Part Two

This week I got to relive the first day of 6th grade, middle school, and high school... all in the same day, and this time in high heels.

If I had I dollar for every time I accidentally introduced myself as "Megan" instead of "Ms. Metheney," I would buy us all a round.

Speaking of which, I had no idea that school teachers partook in so much alcohol consumption during the first week of school. I must admit: a cold beer never tasted so good on Monday. I was exhausted! A very fulfilling, relieved, exhaustion.

I really love my new job. I get to travel to four different schools each day and teach harp to a selected bunch of really bright, kooky, hilarious kids aged 11-18. I love them already.

And just for the record: high heels on the first day... never again.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Things Mrs. Wolfe Didn't Tell Me- Part One

So it's official. The Permian Basin is totally flat. I even went to the tallest building in Odessa and walked the full circumference of its top floor. Not a hill in sight. This is strange for me. I've always lived in a place enveloped by mountains; I feel a little naked out here.

I'm slowly finding my bearings, though. I've spent the past couple of weeks accumulating keys, being powerpointed to death, meeting new colleagues, and changing harp strings. School starts tomorrow!! This is going to be fun. Tomorrow starts the reason I moved to Odessa... to meet up with 38 young people that want to play some music. THIS is why I'm here.

6 of them will have never touched a harp before. I get a little geeky about first lessons- it's an honor and a huge thrill for me. FUN. This is going to be fun.

I came across an old school paper earlier this summer as I was going through a room in my parent's house. It was from the 6th grade, and was apparently some assignment we did in writing down our goals for life. Here it was- a whole page of goals I had created for myself. My mom and I had a good laugh. I won't list them all, but there was one that stood out:

"I would like to be a school music teacher and teach harp."

Odd timing that I would find this paper now.

Above, in red ink (of course it's red ink), my teacher had written: "Super goals, Megan! I know you will be successful!" Her name was Mrs. Wolfe.

There's a lot of things Mrs. Wolfe didn't tell me, though... things that I'm finding out as this "goal" is starting to play out.

She didn't tell me what an amazing energy there is when you walk in to your teaching room for the first time, fumbling to find which key goes where, flip on the lights to an empty room (full of harps), set your bag down on the desk, and take a full breath.

I guess she couldn't have really explained it. I can't seem to, either.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Half Full

I'm really not a "half empty" kind of girl, so I'm glad that the moon was looking a little more half full tonight.

Still dealing with a little culture shock.... In Cannes after a church meeting, we'd all meet in the back for a glass of wine to chat and hang out with each other. It was strange for me at first (drinking in CHURCH?), but I had nothing wrong with it; it made a welcomed addition to my Sunday morning ritual. In Odessa, they open up school teacher's meetings with prayer. I was at a music teacher's association meeting today and with an auditorium of random teachers, everyone bowed their head as they were lead in prayer. And I think it was legit- they were all really praying. This is strange to me, but it's the same story: there's nothing wrong with it. Why not join them?

The moon is half empty because there are so few local businesses in Odessa. No local coffee places. 2 Walmarts. This bums me out. But the moon is half full because all of the local eateries and such are usually authentic Mexican. I had a sopapilla the other night that changed my life.

The moon is half empty because Odessa doesn't recycle. This causes me to fall asleep with guilt in my stomach (thanks to my mom and my friend Francois... not for the guilt, but for instilling a "green" habit in me).

The moon is half full because everyone is outstandingly nice. I don't think there's a single mean person living in Odessa.

The moon is half full because people appear to know all the lyrics to hip hop songs. Every single lyric. This is respectable.

The moon is what it is: I'm embarrassed that I ask people to repeat themselves sometimes.... the accent is stronger than I am.

The moon is half full because Odessans and I have something in common: we are fans of a Red Volvo C30 with Arizona plates.

The moon is half full because there's an ice-skating rink in Odessa.

The moon is half empty because I miss my niece and nephew. I can't even type this without having wet eyes.

I read something yesterday that rang true: "A man's steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way?" (Proverbs 20:24) Who in the world can understand what the heck we're doing and where we're headed? All I know is that somehow, my little feet were lead here. I'm not going to ask questions or try to understand it for now. Instead- I'll enjoy another sopapilla and go ice skating.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Half Empty




"What possessed you to move to Odessa, Texas?"

"You moved to SlowDeathA? Why?"

"Odessolate? What for?"

The moon is half empty tonight. It will be half full again soon, and even completely full later on. But just not tonight. Tonight it's half empty.

Driving into Odessa.... I have to admit.... I did shed a tear or two. Oh my goodness- what have I done?

I'm living in Odessa.

But the moon will be half full again soon, and even completely full later on. But just not tonight. Tonight it's half empty.

I had the French figured out. Upon meeting a French person, I knew what to do. I had a grip on the culture and fit in okay despite being a foreigner.

And now I'm a freshman again.

With the French, I knew that all you had to do was talk about the weather for a few minutes to be "in." Throw in a couple complaints about bland food and George Bush, and I was good to go. I had worked through the difficulty in understanding the accent. I was on level ground.

And now I'm a freshman again.

I don't think the "weather" topic works the same way here (and PS this is Bush's home town). I'm back to square one with the understanding-of-the-accent, not to mention them understanding mine.

The moon will be half full again soon, and even completely full later on. But just not tonight. Tonight it's half empty.


Saturday, August 2, 2008

It's not about the harp

The summer as I know it will be ending very soon. What an amazing couple of months- and a bit of a blur. A few Saturdays ago I was honored to play in Nashville with singer/songerwriters David and JJ Heller. The following Saturday was a cozy solo concert tucked up in the mountains near Colorado Springs. The Saturday after that was a concert with my harp quartet in tiny Isolabona, Italy. And today... another Saturday... drinking coffee on my aunt Beth's porch in Riverdale, Utah. Like I said, it's a little bit of a blur... and this is only the past 3 weeks. I didn't think I would ever, in my life, say this, but I'm really looking forward to moving to West Texas next week. It's going to be great to have a home base (other than my car) for a while.

Some things I'm particularly thankful for in these past couple of months have been meeting new people and meeting up old friends and family. It's been a blast to be able to play in such varied venues... this makes every performance fresh and different and risky. I love it. I'm one lucky gal.

One of the highlights in playing this summer was this recent concert near Colorado Springs. I'm still just warming up to the idea of playing my own compositions in concert, and that night I decided to play one that I wrote for my mom called Mimosa. No, it's not just brunch booze anymore! It's a tree that blooms radiant yellow blossoms in February. Anyway, my mom's birthday is in February and I wrote this song for her when I was in France, as I had a giant mimosa tree outside my window. So I played this Mimosa song at the concert, and a beautiful woman from Argentina said to me afterwards that it really touched her. Her mom's birthday is in August, which is when the mimosa trees bloom in Argentina (Southern hemisphere). Somehow, this song meant a lot to her because it reminded her of her mother. I don't like making people cry, but I think this woman did.

I've said this before, but I believe it more and more: it's not about the harp.

It is, but it's really not. My life seems to be totally oriented around this instrument - this piece of wood with strings on it. It's caused me to search the world over to learn how to play it better and better for the past 17 years. It's what I depend on to earn a living. I spend much of my time thinking about, teaching it, or sitting behind it. When friends introduce me, it's usually, "This is Megan the harpist."

But it's not about the harp.

So what is it about? People. Love.