Sunday, August 16, 2009

Rest in peace

We lost another good man a short time back. 5th funeral this year for us plus our van dying in the driveway; so considerate of her not to die when we were at the cottage. We are getting our fair share. One of my acquaintances told me he doesn't go to funerals anymore. Myself, I enjoy the stories and memories being shared, besides death is the only sure thing in life. Why does it scare so many.

Since I believe there is more to us than this existence on earth, I do find it less daunting than some. It is curious to me that die hard Christians (no irony here!) resist death so much. So many sit in church every Sunday but don't actually have faith that their souls will be taken care of. It is this unknown, unconfirmed realm. Who would have faith when there is no proof? Oops that is the whole point of faith isn't it?

I guess for me my chosen profession requires a lot of faith, everyday, that all will fall into place as it should; that if this is what I am meant to do then what I need will be provided somehow. There is a lot of practicing of letting go. I used to be quite the control freak now that is wanning. So maybe all of this makes it easier for me. When I say goodbye to someone I love, I keep my warm memories and let them rest in peace.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

8 Days A Week

My daughter points out to me that the Beatles have made a mistake as there are only 7 days in the week. Ah the mind of a child is so literal and things are so obvious. I did explain to her the poetry in that phrase. She nodded her head, eyes looking toward the sky saying, "Okay, okay."

Is it only my child? No. I see so many students, teenagers and such on whom poetry and the double entendre so masterfully applied in the past is just lost. There are so many times a student has returned from an assignment to say, "I don't understand what they are saying in this song." I think I will go teach a course on this subject for wannabe singers. As much as I am an advocate to say what you mean and mean what you say, I believe the best songs are those that can be interpreted from more than one perspective. It gives power to the singer and to the listener to make it their own. It is how a good lyric can reach out to so many different people and keep them listening 8 days a week.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Getting back on the horse

Sometimes we can forget why were are here. We forget what brought us to this place. We get up and go through the routine of everyday redundancies. Woven through every moment we experience, we can choose to see as redundant there are treasures: joy, love, laughing, even crying with someone near reminding us we are not alone.

There are many moments where I feel alone. It may not be founded but I fell it as a truth when it overcomes me. All the logic I throw at it is futile then, a treasure. A spark ignites and then the wick is lit and off I go; I’m back in the saddle again.

Let’s be grateful for the people who surround us and remind us of who we are. I certainly am.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

And the lingering effects are…

So last night I sat at my desk and I listened to some choice pieces of music while I worked at getting an announcement out for a collaborative effort: Grapes & Grooves™ .

I had not done that in months. Yes I am ashamed to say I forgot to enjoy listening to music by myself. Well all this to say that today I had this really good day. I was very productive and was able to think clearly. I dealt with a bunch of stuff I had been putting off. I talked to people I needed to talk to. All in all I was in a better state of mind.

My advice is listen to something that makes you happy and be happy. It is a good thing.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Words, melodies and the stillness of night

At this moment, I am listening to a lovely piece of music. I find the lyrics profound and touching. The melody is troubling but somehow liberating and soothing. It is a delicious moment.

I am a night person and I like to be up when everyone is asleep. I enjoy the quiet of night, the glow of a full moon and the sound of Canada geese flying overhead at 2AM. Maybe it is because life is so full of action, tasks, buzzing Blackberry’s and email notifications, kids laughing, husband beckoning and thoughts endlessly coming. The calmness is precious.

Musicians know that the space between the notes is as much a part of the music as the notes themselves. I love that space. When the tune is fast paced, that small space builds a rush and excites us; in a ballad it is the very breath of emotion. “Sigh”

Next time it is late put on a favourite tune, listen to the spaces and breathe. Mmmmm. Now that was good.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Perspective

When I was out walking this morning, I remarked to myself what a pretty view I was taking in. I was on a hill; what I could see was broad. I know there are many days where I do not capture this landscape even if I am walking along the same path. If I am with my children, for example, the perspective gets very intimate. What I see is only relative to this bubble we are in. If I am thinking of the future and projects I am working on, I tend to look up more and can see far and wide. There are also days when I am just admiring as many details as I can: flowers, birds, people and things. It is my opinion that it is a good thing to have an awareness of the different perspectives we have to see the world. Moreover become aware that we can choose to change how we see the world around us. Now there is an interesting thought to put into practice. We can always find something good to reflect upon. It is just a matter of deciding to open our eyes to what is really there, not just our expectation of the world around us.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The arrival of spring

I do enjoy the crunch of dry snow under my feet and the purplish light of those short winter days but would gladly invite into my life a gig that takes us to a warm place for January and February. However with spring the garden is always a source of inspiration. After the cold slumber of winter, awakens life everywhere we look. We see proof that life is renewable, that something is being transformed even when we see nothing above ground. We even see how "whatever we sow in the ground must die before it is given new life" as the seed you sow is not what comes out of the ground but a new creation entirely.

Well that's it isn't it: creation, orchestrated by God. We are part of that. Somehow our ego allows us to presume we can be great creators too. Maybe we can. I had a wonderful teacher, Kenny Werner, who attempted to get us to be a vehicle for the music that was already within us. It is based on the ability to let go of our ego even for just a few moments and allow the creative force to come through us. I have had that experience on occasion. There are nights when you couldn’t hit a wrong note if you tried. Where everything comes out sounding amazing and the feeling is connected with something greater than me.

A few nights ago I went to see Andras Schiff play three Beethoven pieces at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. He was alone at the piano. His years of study, practice and dedication combined with talent were our guarantee that each piece would be rendered justly. As I am a visual person, I always like to watch the performer's faces. I took out my little binoculars and set my eyes upon the artist. I saw it. With my own eyes I saw the expression of pure joy radiating from his being, coming through the music. All his enjoyment within the moment brought me to elation. Even as I sit at my computer and return to that memory I feel all of that beauty fill me up. Was that creation? Was it the vehicle for creation?

From many sources I am told to seize the day or more precisely enjoy the moment I am in. So I go out and admire what new life is emerging in the garden. I open the screen so my son and I can touch the buds and tender leaves on the lilac outside my window. I spend more time laughing and do my best to find compassion within my self for all of those I meet. A new me is emerging after the darkness of winter? To quote Paul Johnson author of Creators, “It is a privileged life no matter how hard and arduous a process it may be.”