I have been neglecting this poor blog all summer, but I’d like to think that I have a bit of a good excuse.

I was busy recording a spoken word album, working with a professional producer here in DC. This is how my life goes; when I take on a new project, something else gets neglected. I cannot get any less sleep than I do (5, 6 hours on a good night), I cannot spend any less time with my son or work less. One of my other creative or self-care pursuits must go.

This summer, alas, my blog had to give, as the recording schedule was rigorous: 2 sessions a week for much of July and August. I was often up late into the night reworking pieces, playing with GarageBand, recording and re-recording in my room as Sami slept, into the wee hours of the night, trying to get the cadences and rhythms nailed down in time for the studio the next morning. Many times in the process I would not be able to get to sleep; so excited and high was I on the creative process.

The album, entitled “Take Refuge,” is one of the things I am most proud of creating, probably second only to Sami. I can scarcely believe that it’s done. I continue to be amazed that I had a dream in February and gave birth to it in August. Different tracks have different imperfections, most of which only I would notice, but I am OK with those. The collaborative process was incredible; Bomani took the raw clay of my work and with his amazing technical skill sculpted it into something I never could have accomplished on my own. He was able to recognize where there should be a harmony in the chorus, where a bit of an echo effect on my voice would match a mood. His attention to detail was extraordinary and I am very fortunate for the opportunity to work with him.

I am very cognizant at the circumstances coming together that allowed me to make this a reality: the technology that allowed me to mix and record music and vocals in my bedroom; a grant from my generous, wonderful organization to pay the producer; flexible work schedules; and an impending deadline (two major fall conferences I will be attending and want to perform and sell CDs at) that caused me to be disciplined and just get the songs composed and recorded.

If any of these conditions didn’t exist, the album would not be done.

This experience teaches me that all things are possible with a vision and the discipline to make it a reality. Sometimes the conditions are right, sometimes they aren’t. But this experience has given me a much-needed boost of self-confidence and a new faith in the healing power of art.