The Perfect Life

The Perfect Life

Often I have been asked, by conference attendees who come to hear me speak, what I want out of life.  People are curious if my future includes people, independence, and decadence, or a scary isolated existence.  Not that there is anything wrong with living alone, but I do believe most people are shocked when I say “I prefer to live with someone.”

Money continues to be a large reason why I still am not where I want to be, only because we live in a society where access to money is necessary to live.  I’ve tried not to dwell on that too much, and instead try to enjoy each dollar to its furthest reach.  I don’t need millions, I just need enough.  Still, I think there is no harm in dreaming.  It helps us set goals, and is generated from that inner desire to see the word for all its good rather than the bad.  As I have said before, dreaming is the conceptual art of the inner self.

Assuming money is no object, and my life work blossomed just as I had hoped, then what is the perfect life for me?

I love the ocean.  I would want to be as close to the ocean as I could get, ideally in California, though any warm climate ocean town would be acceptable.  The beach at my back door, or at least in walking distance so I could view the waves anytime I needed to be calm.  My plot of land would be the smallest I could possibly have that would allow for my home to fit snugly.  My home would be a Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian style home, possibly like the Jacob’s house or the Goetsch-Winckler Usonian house.  It would have to have three bedrooms, even after my kids move on, because I would want my children to always have a room to stay in anytime they wish to come home.  Being environmentally conscious, I would love to fit the home with solar panels, and use led lighting. The wonderful thing about FLW homes is all the natural light.  My studio would be in home, where I could record, write, and create on my own.

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I’d love to own a Jeep, though I’d love to convert it to a no emission vehicle.  Hopefully, my home would be located in a place where bicycle, walking, or public transit would be sufficient.  I would spend time in town people watching, meeting locals, and learning about the world in which we live.  I would be the owner of an arts school that uses a teaching approach comprised of unconditional love, open to people of all learning types, and offered the most open scholarship program in the US, making sure that even the poorest of students can learn to play an instrument.

Given that my dream means that my financial needs are covered, I would donate most of my free time to helping public and private schools create disability friendly schools with integrated classrooms.  I want the next generation to grow up believing they fit into this world just as much as anyone else.

My perfect life would also include a not-so-perfect someone to live and to share the beauty of life with.  He wouldn’t need to share my interests or be anything like me, just simply be my counterpoint.  You see, to me, love is not like harmony, but really is more like counterpoint.  In music, a harmony supports the melody but is usually secondary to it.  Counterpoint is when two equal melodies are played together to create a complex and intricate sound.  They sound good together, oscillating between supporting the other melody and leading it.  Sometimes the two melodies even argue, but they always resolve in the end.  To me, counterpoint is love.

My perfect life has no specific goals or ambitions for my children.  I would simply just support what ever goals and ambitions they have for themselves, even if I struggled to see it clearly.  Just because we are forever tied together by DNA and by unconditional love, doesn’t mean I have any right or entitlement to insert myself into my children’s picture of their own future.  I must be invited by my children, and continue to love them even if I am not invited.

Finally, my perfect life would leave behind a story that could inspire others, even if it is just one other.  Pain sometimes needs to be shared, so others do not feel alone in theirs.  Yet, beyond that we should freely give away parts of our triumph, not to our own detriment, but in healthy amounts so as to show others that it does in fact get better.  If a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, then be the spoonful of sugar.

There is not much more to a perfect life for me.  Seeing new places in the world is always welcome, and I do hope to travel as a speaker to places outside my home country.  It really is just that calm stability that comes with accomplishment that I seek.

Happy New Year!

Snowflakes 2014

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All that could have gone wrong with this film, did. My mic stopped working, forcing me to replace the violin with a midi instrument on the soundtrack. Then, my camera failed, so I had to film the entire thing with my iPhone. Finally, my aging laptop caused iMovie to crash 16 times, and made the exporting take 2 hours. I hope to afford new equipment this year.

Nevertheless, here is my latest message.

Happy New Year!

 

A Song A City – Opening Thoughts

A Song A City – Opening Thoughts

For as long as I can remember, everything around me has a song.  My mind is linked with the universe through music, as if we all are laying on the same sound fabric.  I call these songs Shadow Songs, and the art of listening to them, Shadow Listening. Over the years, I have kept the songs to myself, fearing the reaction.  What if people didn’t like their song?  When I would visit a place, I would hear my song, and then search my ipod for other songs in the same key and mood.  This was all I was brave enough to share.Then, an opportunity came to me.  I was invited to play at an event in Macon, Ga.  The crowd seemed to enjoy my performance of classical pieces.  It struck me, afterwards, that the pieces I had selected were not pieces that the general public would consider ovation worthy.  These just weren’t hugely popular pieces.  So what was it that made the crowd so happy?Following the program, my daughter and I approached the guest speaker, Nancy Grace.  She really loved the music and invited us to play on her show in recognition of autism awareness month.  We were honored and excited.  Now, I just had to figure out what we were going to play.  I reflected deeply on the crowds reactions to my playing.  It occurred to me that my unusual view on music, led to unusual expression in my playing.  Maybe the world was interested in hearing my shadow songs.With a little over a week to prepare, I opened up garage band and recorded the violin part.  One by one, I layered in the other instruments, using a midi keyboard.  In two days, I had a complete song to present.  Once I was in touch with Ms. Grace’s show, I learned I had 2 minutes of air time.  I went back to the computer and cut down the song to 1 minute and 55 seconds.

Our time on the show went by quickly, but I was still very grateful for the exposure.  Fueled by the momentum, I uploaded the song, Stone Shadow, to iTunes.

The reception of Stone Shadow has been amazingly positive.  It seems listeners, fans and friends alike, enjoy my work.  It just seemed foolish to stop there.

A song a city is born

To write more shadow songs, I need to experience the shadows of more places.  I can only hear places I visit first hand.  To make that happen, I need the help of all my fans and friends.

Visit Indiegogo to learn all about the trip, and to be a part of making A Song A City a reality!

A Song A City

Thanks to everyone who has supported me over the years!

Laura Nadine

Stone Shadow

Join me as I debut my new shadow song, Stone Shadow.  In honor of Autism Awareness Month, I will perform on my violin along with Allana Rain on:


Nancy Grace
Monday, April 22, 2013
8:00 pm EDT
 
 
If you enjoy the song, you can help me make more.  Using Indiegogo, a fundraising website, I am raising funds to travel with a crew to 4 major US cities in order to experience new shadow songs.  I am calling this adventure, A Song A City.
 
Beginning in Atlanta, we will visit Boston, New York City, Denver, and Los Angeles.  As we visit each city for a minimum of 3 days, I will compose songs for each city, and along the way, my crew of two will broadcast a web series of my trip so you can follow along.  Ending in Los Angeles  I would release the A Song A City album of all the songs I compose on the trip.  Donors at the Platinum level would also get to enjoy exclusive behind the scenes material, and even a chat session via Skype!
 
So many wonderful new things can be born in the next few months.  Please tune in to Nancy Grace and hear us play.  Then, follow up with a visit to Indiegogo and make a contribution.
 
 
Thank you for your support!  I have amazing fans!!
 
Laura

Autism Awareness is in My Blood

Despite all that has gone wrong these past few weeks, I still feel it is important to do my part for autism.  Awareness is a huge effort and must be given our best efforts.  Since the 1970’s, the Autism Society has set aside the month of April to celebrate autism awareness month.  Many American’s join in with ribbion wearing, blue lights on the porch, and a host of community events.  Other organizations, such as Autism Speaks, has taken this idea a step further with World Autism Awareness Month in an effort to make autism awareness a global collaboration.  The movement is growing.April is certainly a big month for autism, but what about the year round efforts of smaller groups?  One such group that grabbed my attention was The Six Degree Project.  Spearheaded by autistic student Carly Fleischmann, and students Emily Albert and Mia Kibel, these students didn’t wait for April.  This group of students from Northern Secondary School in Toronto, picked the often frigid month of February to raise awareness for autism.  The project sent long, warm, blue scarfs to celebrities and patrons, asking them to wear the scarf during their public appearances, and then post the photo to the Six Degree Project’s Facebook page.  Acting as a wonderful metaphor, the scarf seems to illustrate the warmth that grows in the heart of the communities who embrace autism by spreading a positive image.

I was so moved by this concept, I immediately contacted the group.  They promptly responded to my inquiry and seemed excited that I wanted to participate, despite my non-celebrity status.  Delighted, I sent in the form an awaited the release of the scarf.

The package arrived on a cold, wet afternoon.  Ecstatic, I ripped open the padded envelope right there at the mailbox.  It was like I was a child receiving a special delivery from Santa!  I was pleasantly surprised to see quality and detail in the design, and that the scarf was long enough to be utilized as more than a decorative item.  I was pleased.

It didn’t seem enough to just wear the scarf.  I had been planning for months to make an autism awareness music video that would shed a positive light on autism, and the abilities of autistic people.  With the scarf as inspiration, I picked the song You Raise Me Up, laid out the storyboards, and began the search for participants.

Since autism is such a sensitive topic for many parents, I struggled to find families willing to brag about their autism.  At first, I was deeply disappointed by the lack of involvement, but then I realized how much we needed to make this video.

Frustration during a creative project is unavoidable, it seems.  Creativity also seems to be accompanied by a truck load of self-doubt.  Perhaps this is how we stay humble, or how we keep therapists in business.  Whatever the reason, I was 2 days from the deadline, and practically paralyzed by my erratic executive functioning skill set.

Not knowing where to turn, I texted my good friend Anna, “Why aren’t I happy with anything I am producing today?”  Using the exact number of words she knows I need to not be overwhelmed, she eloquently replied, “Because your ambition is being held back by your means.”  She was right.  Budgetary limitations and lack of access to programs has been a huge burden on my process.  Why were my means limited?  I am a hard working, productive member of society, but I just can’t seem to get that leg up I need to be truly independent and financially secure.  I didn’t need to make this project only for the Six Degree Project, I didn’t need to make this project only for the parents who feared being public about autism.  It was apparent that I also needed to do this project for me.  With a renewed sense of energy, and the positive reaffirmation of my good friend, I dove head first into the video.

Working until the early morning hours on the eve of my 36th birthday, I completed the autism awareness video.  The video below is on my YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/liquidc2

Visit my website for more information on what I do, and to watch the official countdown timer on the homepage!  http://www.lauranadine.net

Don’t forget to visit The Six Degree Project and show your support by purchasing a scarf.  http://thesixdegreeproject.com/

I am proud to support autism and the creative movement started by The Six Degree Project.  I hope the world will one day be warmed by the love that comes with awareness, and acceptance.

Laura