Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Okay, I have to say that blogging every day is starting to get difficult. This is a real challenge for me when I'm not in some foreign country making a fool out of myself and living to tell the tale. This is just me, living in my New York apartment, not feeling particularly exciting or full of insight.

All that said, the subject on my mind today is "nesting." I didn't really have a word for it before today, but I was having lunch with a friend, and explaining to her that I had this inexplicable desire to paint a room in my apartment. The reason it's inexplicable is because in a couple of weeks I'll be leaving again, and I won't be back for 4 months, and then I'll only be back for a week or two before I'm away again. So why do I want to decorate my apartment? So my subletters can gaze at the nice shade of sandstone that I have painstakingly applied to my walls? "No, Jenny - you're just feeling like nesting!" my friend Leah explained to me. It's natural to want to make your home nice - if that's something that interests you - even when you're away from that home more than in it. It's almost instinctual. And, as Leah pointed out, it's another way to express your creativity. But it can feel so pointless sometimes to buy those nice window treatments when you know you'll soon be staring at the cream colored venetian blinds in the Marriott Residence Inn once again.

It's a real conundrum for a lot of singers; what to do about a home? If you're working regularly, you are probably in your home for at the most two months out of the year, and that's usually spread out with a few days here, a few days there. Some people forgo having a home altogether, and just live as nomads on the road. I however love the feeling that there is a place I can call home, where at least my stuff is hanging out, so that I can come back to it and bask in that feeling of security you get when you're wrapped in the duvet cover that you picked out (at Ikea, but still, I picked it). I spend so much time in other people's apartments, or worse, totally sterile hotels, that there is something really soothing about being someplace where I get to decide which wall to put the couch against.

Right now I'm trying to decide what to do with the next year and a half of my life. Since I have a lot of jobs in Berlin, and since I love that town so much, I am really considering a move over there for at least 6 months to a year. But that also REALLY scares me, since so much of my feeling grounded comes from being in the place that I have lived for so long with so many people I know. But Berlin has the excitement of being someplace new, with endless possibilities, and new friends, new jobs, and a closer connection to so much more work available in Europe.

In the meantime, I guess I'll go ahead and paint my bedroom. Even if I only get to enjoy the feeling of having mossy grey walls for a couple of weeks, it's better than nothin'. And then my subletters can lie in my bed and complain to each other about what bad taste I must have to have chosen such a weird color. Too bad, suckers. They're MY walls. So there.


Anonymous said...

Everytime I read your posts, I want to yell "yeah! I TOTALLY understand!"... this case not being an exception! I think our desire to nest is also a reaction to the craziness of being a singer. Painting walls and pushing furniture around are simple satisfying jobs that do not require a huge intellectual commitment. You get an immediate sense of accomplishment while allowing your mind to wander about as it wishes. There's nothing like a day of physical work and house organising to offset days of performances and auditions and practising!

Mitch said...

Leah Wool?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a plan, the going to Berlin - it will be an adventure and you're right, there's more work opportunity when you're based there. Keep that NY apt as long as you can, though :-).

sestissimo said...

Mitch: Not Leah Wool (although she is lovely - we've met) but Leah Partridge, a fabulous and amazing soprano.