Some Things In My Study — Part 2
(Because One Day There May Be A Part 3)
You can read Part 1 here.
Wherever I’ve lived, I’ve always had a study, a room of my own, where I can create, process my anger and sadness and rage, contemplate life’s mysteries, read, write, and simply be with myself.
Here are some of the things in my study that wanted to be written about today and what they mean to me.
Speakers for My Laptop
It’s all about productivity and ambiance. When I’m stuck and don’t know what to write or can’t figure out how to get out of the corner I’ve written myself into, Mozart always pulls me out. It sounds so good, and I’m not tied to my laptop by headphones with wires. Although the first paragraph or two I write is usually junk, it gets me going in the right direction.
Usually when I write or edit, I often play soft, relaxing music without lyrics. It’s better that way because if there were words, I’d be tempted to sing along when I should be writing. But there’s one no-no while I’m writing:
I do *NOT* play drumming music.
Because every single time, I stop and drum along instead of writing.
Which brings me to . . .
How I love my djembe! If you’re not familiar, a djembe (pronounced gem-bay) is an hourglass shaped hand drum. Mine is about 2 feet tall, with a 14-inch diameter. It’s a professional quality djembe, and it sounds sooo good! I have a professional djembe because it’s loud, and I needed to be louder than all the other djembe players I used to play with so they can hear when I play the signal to start, to stop, or to change rhythms. Also for doing solos that can be heard above everyone else. This drum delivers all that, and more. Full disclosure: I’ve been tempted to sleep with it at night.
I took up the djembe soon after my husband Alan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. It was my sanity-saver, something I’d recommend for any caregiver…or anyone else. When your hands touch the skin of the drum, you’re making contact with a number of acupressure points on your hands, and this in turn may provide health benefits that improve conditions like chronic pain, hypertension, arthritis, stress, anxiety, fatigue, addiction, and many others. It also releases endorphins and stimulates alpha brain waves which help to improve your sense of well-being. As I stood by helplessly watching my husband slip further into dementia, drumming provided me with all these things, as well as a ready-made community.
When I used to drum with a group, it was an all-encompassing thing for me — performing and working on drum arrangements to be performed by a group, rehearsals, classes, and learning more and more about the djembe and the West African rhythms that are traditionally played on it. I spent most of my time drumming.
I don’t drum with a group any longer. Alan has been gone for nearly 12 years, and my interests have changed. I used to eat, sleep, and breathe djembe. I’m no longer willing to spend the amount of time on it I did, although I still love the drum. I believe drumming came into my life at the exact time I needed it — to help me get through my caregiving days. I’m immensely grateful for this, but I also recognize it’s time to move on to the next thing.
My djembe is in my study because I still play it. I love the sound and the feel of it. These days, my favorite thing to do with it is to don some headphones and play along with just about any song. Anything by Santana is my favorite. Planet Drum’s new CD In The Groove is great for a rockin’ good time. I especially like Track #3, “Tides.” I also like anything with sparse vocals/instrumentals so the drum will stand out. Something like this:
A 2023 Wall Calendar
Yes, I’m old school when it comes to some things. I like to have a calendar on the wall close to my desk. It’s easier than looking on my phone — and prettier too. And because I’m a mature woman, I need the numbers for the days to show up big and bold so I can actually *SEE* them from my desk. That’s why I like Lang calendars. (Sorry, but I don’t mean to sound like a commercial.) It’s the only kind I’ll buy for my study, since I haven’t seen any others out there with big, bold numerals.
For 2023, I chose the Around the World wall calendar, with artwork by Evgeny Lushpin. Each month shows a cityscape or countryscape with buildings you’d expect to see in each setting. The paintings are dusky. There are lights on in the buildings but it’s still light enough outside to see the scenery, the mountains, other buildings, the trees, the water. I’m a fan of the building architecture in these paintings and find it easy to place myself in the center of each picture. It’s a mini vacation you hang on the wall.
It’s running as I write this, as it often is during the winter months. It fits perfectly between the bookshelves and the wall with the window, and it’s pretty much the same wood color as the bookshelves — espresso, I believe it’s called. It’s actually a fireplace/TV stand, and of course I put a TV on it because you just never know when you’ll need to tune into CNN for hours on end, like on January 6, 2021. And okay, yes, I admit it. I’ll often have a Hallmark Christmas movie running — muted, course — while I write. (See my post about that here.)
That’s it for now. Probably more to come at some point.
If you liked what you’ve read, please click about 50 times (no kidding) on the applauding hands sign on the left and consider subscribing to receive my posts directly in your email.
And if you really liked it, share it and tell your friends.
And if you really, really liked it, you might want to check out my ebook, The Grapes of Dementia: My Journey of Love, Loss, Surrender, and Gratitude, available worldwide through Amazon.
For free tarot readings focusing on personal development, check out my other Medium page — Wren Reads Tarot.