Sunday August 14th 2016
I always wake up feeling hopeful that a person with a room in NYC has written back to me, but it hasn’t been the case yet. I have to keep the hope. I’m doing the best I can, and that’s all I can do. I have to try and keep calm. We went downstairs to watch the video Marja made of yesterday’s performance at the art studio. All four of us sat down to watch it on the screen TV. It was a special moment. It showed me the magical thing we have done over the past several years with Wim and Marja. We played with his art back in 2010. It’s a long process of creative collaboration and friendship.
We took the very bumpy and hot tram to the park and I was sad. I’ve been very emotional these days. I started crying thinking of having to leave Wim and Marja so soon. We’re leaving for London the day after tomorrow. It’s too soon. We don’t see them enough, and they’re some of our dearest friends. We got to the bridge in Vondelpark and a very talented violinist was playing. It really is astounding the talent some people possess and what they have to do to survive. He was gracious and after a few songs motioned for us to play. An artist came to paint us. She sat right in front so others felt more comfortable to watch us.
It was one of the hardest plays we’ve had physically in a long time. I couldn’t breathe and my legs hurt a lot while we danced. Ow. It’s because we haven’t been playing as much. We take a risk by playing in that spot. It’s not a very fun play by any means, but if we gather a crowd and sell CDs, it’s worth it. We always know people are moved by what we do. Because of yesterday’s very special performance, I felt performing in that space today under the bridge in the dust was beneath us. We would like to perform in museums! Play to and around the art! Now that would be amazing.
We took the crowded tram home, and I was pretty down, but we had a lovely dinner with Wim and Marja, which always cheers me up. Being with friends who understand us makes all the difference.
Saturday August 13th 2016
This morning I was hungry, but not in the mood to go get food before we went to Wim and Marja’s art studio at 2:30pm. We would do a short performance with Wim’s art around 4pm today for several of their friends. I took a pill for motion sickness, which left me incredibly tired, so tired I had to lay down and take a nap. Marja got out a mattress and put it in a dark place for me to nap. Bunny lay down with me for a few minutes. I got up with a half hour before our performance. I was groggy and confused. I quickly did some simple makeup and got dressed. About 10 people had arrived to watch. Artist friends of Wim and Marja. I didn’t know what would happen, and was anxious to start. Once we did begin playing, I was completely relaxed and unafraid, more so than I’ve ever been. We’ve played with Wim’s art over the years, but this one was the best and most fun for me since 2010. Here is the full performance.
It felt so freeing and fun. I was the one who started playing, instead of Thoth leading me, like what happened when we played back in 2010. I led. I started. It felt really good. We did this thing at the beginning where we started stomping together, and we ended the song together. We’ve always ended together, even when we first started playing together back in 2009.
Wim was so pleased. He sat and talked with us while we ate food Marja had brought. He told us all the things he loved. I love that. I was sleepy so I lay down on the bench in my furry pink coat. Wim pet the arm of my coat. It was sweet. We went home and played a fun game trying to read the Dutch signs on the highway. It was hysterical. We were all laughing. Later that night we went to get some dinner. Last few days in Amsterdam.
Friday August 12th 2016
Much better day today. It didn’t rain. We made a good choice and got ourselves out of the house for most of the day, from around 11:30am until about 5pm. Wim and Marja were at their studio until after dinnertime. We wandered around, had lunch, and then continued walking. Thoth kept me away from the house and away from my stress and obsession with finding us a place to live in NYC. It was a wonderful day. The kind of day that will stay with us a long time.
Thursday August 11th 2016
A dark day, in more ways than one. It was raining and cold all day long and we didn’t leave the house. I was stressed the entire day about finding a place to live in NYC I could barely handle it. I looked and looked, but people don’t even write back. I was so obsessed with it I felt like I would be sick. That’s what I do to myself. I get so obsessed with something I don’t have much control over, I make myself crazy. It’s a strong trait of mine, but it also is a weakness that can hurt me. It’s the reason a lot of things have happened in my life. It’s how I got Thoth and am living the life I live, but it’s also how I scare people away.
We went downstairs at night to have dinner with Wim and Marja. It was delicious, I was still depressed and frustrated about us finding a place. Wim gave me some major perspective. He reminded me how we went to Europe the first time and I wasn’t scared. We barely had any money, we had no friends or contacts, just us and our faith in our music, and it all worked out. He asked if I would have done it any differently. Even though it was as times immensely painful and frighting and a total unplanned crap shot, no I wouldn’t have. I wouldn’t because what ended up happening. I am a happily married woman to that same man I began traveling so innocently and fearlessly all those years ago. If I wasn’t brave and I didn’t make such a crazy choice, my life wouldn’t be what it is now. So, I have to take risks and be brave. If we don’t have a place in NYC now, I have to have faith we will when we need it. We flew to f**king Marrakech with nowhere to live and survived there with no money for almost two months, we can survive in NYC now with years of experience, a few good friends, our beautiful work and faith. It’s not going to go exactly as I want, but nothing does. Thanks Wim.
We still don’t have a place in NYC for September-November. Fingers crossed.
Tuesday August 9th 2016
I spent the entire day waiting to speak with a possible roommate in NYC. Even though it’s still not for certain until we send a deposit, it feels better to have something rather than nothing. After eating lunch, Thoth and I took a walk to another part of Amsterdam to explore. We were very tired by the time we went home. At 5pm I was finally able to talk on Skype with the NYC roommate. The place was legit and looks fine. I’ll feel more relieved when we have everything settled. It’s stressful, because we are never in NYC when we’re looking for housing there.
At 7pm, we walked to our friend Lieve’s house for dinner. I lover her house. We met her in 2010 in Ruigoord, just when we met Wim and Marja. Maybe we’ll meet more amazing people when we go back there tomorrow for a festival. Lieve made us salmon pasta and I looked at her art books. After eating, Thoth lay down to nap with a cute fluffy little bunny rabbit babe and we listened to music. We hope to go to her house one more time before leaving here next Tuesday for London.
Monday August 8th 2016
So the thing I feared would happen, happened. The apartment we were hoping to live in in NYC fell through three weeks before we’re flying there on August 31st. We got the news last night, plus some other disturbing news about a friend dying. We slept in fear and worry, having just heard the news. Woke up and spent the day desperately and obsessively searching for housing, unable to think about, talk about or do anything else. At one point I became so overwhelmed by what I had to do to find us a place, and the feeling of impossibility in doing so, I lay down with Thoth and cried. I hate looking for housing in NYC! It’s just too stressful.
We took a walk to the grocery store to get food for the day, then went home to eat. We went back upstairs and I continued searching for housing, even though I’d told myself I wouldn’t. I could help it. I wanted to find us a safe place to live. Wim and Marja came home around 6pm from the studio while Thoth was out getting me yogurt. I heard them talking, then when he came up I went to say hi. “Hi sweetheart.” Wim said. We talked about death and the fear of loosing our loved ones. Marja has the same fears as me. “You’re great.” Marja said. “You are welcome here anytime.” Wim said. I hugged them both. I love them both so much. I wish we could see them more than just two weeks a year!
Around 10pm, Thoth made chicken sandwiches for us. I was so frustrated about finding housing I couldn’t stop talking about it. We cleaned up, went back upstairs, and there was a message for me on Facebook. It was a possible room for rent! OMG! I immediately wrote back and we started talking. It’s off the L train, but an hour by train from the park. Same as always. At least it was a possibility. We scheduled a Skype talk for tomorrow at 5pm. I felt relieved. Of course it’s not certain yet, but it’s something! Thoth had been sad and quiet for 2 days, but he got in bed all happy and giddy and sweet.
Sunday August 7th 2016 Another great day. It was rainy and cloudy when I got up around 10am. Thoth was quiet and feeling the mood of the weather, as we sensitive people do. It seemed like it would clear up around 2pm when we’d go to play, thankfully. Wim and Marja had gone to the art studio to work this morning. They would spend the night there and come home tomorrow afternoon. I made a little breakfast, toast, yogurt and a fruit smoothie drink. Thoth ate nothing. He didn’t eat anything yesterday either.
We took the tram to Vondelpark. It was still cloudy and there was no one playing under the bridge. We set up more easily today and played. At first, we didn’t have a crowd at all for our first song. That space is hard to sing in with no crowd. No acoustics, so it’s important to have a crowd. The crowd becomes the acoustics, you know what I mean? I bet you don’t. Only we understand this. As we kept playing, we gathered a big crowd around us and played 4 more songs, to my surprise. I was proud of us for getting through it. I had wanted to stop after just one song! It’s hard, but we did it. We’re so lucky we don’t have to play very long here.
Thoth and I packed up our stuff and sat down to hug and kiss. We were successful, and tired. We walked to the tram, but it was too packed with people, so we walked through the canals home. It is such a beautiful city. We went home to put our things away and change clothes, then walked to Steven’s bar for dinner. They didn’t have the sandwiches we’d wanted, so we went to another bar on the corner. It was more expensive than we’d expected, so I had to run home for more money. I brought extra. We got mini pancakes for dessert, then walked home arm in arm.
I called a friend who said we might be able to rent her apartment in NYC. We had been hanging all our hopes on it, even turning down some other offers in hopes it would work out. She told us tonight it won’t. She had another possibility, but it’s way too far away. So as of right now we have nowhere to live in NYC September 1st through December 1st. Our friend gave us the news that another friend of ours was dying suddenly, which was shocking, and difficult to get to sleep to.
I have trouble not worrying about the future. We are lucky to have our health and have each other. I can’t imagine being without Thoth. I have him now. I can’t worry about the future, but it is terrifying to think he could just be gone one day. No warning or anything. God forbid. I mean that deeply, GOD FORBID!!! We have a place to live in every other city we visit all other times of the year, accept in the Fall. We’re thinking this Fall could be our last time in NYC since finding housing is so stressful it can take away from our happiness when we’re safe and secure in Lisbon or here in Amsterdam, and when we’re in London. It’s ridiculous. All we need is a safe place to live in NYC for 3 months! It’s not a lot to ask. At least we’re lucky this is really our only worry right now. We are safe, happy and everything is fine now.