Friday, January 25, 2008

A New Day

Well, the program went well, save for the frog that introduced us from my throat. I blamed my son who began our morning with recitation from his Icky Sticky Slime Lab book: lab of choice: Recipe for Phlegm. I insisted that this was not an appropriate way to begin a day set aside for singing. My idea for breakfast was hot tea and quiet.

It was a blessing for me. I was able to see again and meet for the first time some wonderful people from my and my family's past; as well, I was touched by pain, joy, loss, sorrow, prayer... sadness from grandparents who have a grandson who is very ill... an elderly friend was filled with delight at seeing my mother and had come with a loaded photo album of the past. The past being people she held dear, some who were present, some who'd moved on to the next life. I shared with her how comforting it was for me to have her husband come by after my dad had died when I was a teenager... we were renovating and her spouse was the workman my parents had hired just before Dad's death. We were blessed by fresh and new features in our home at a time of great sorrow, and what for my mom must have been a painful time of uncertainty. Both ladies had forgotten about the work and timing, "Oh is that right?! I had forgotten about that..." But we all have different remembrances and things are significant to us, past and present, for various reasons.

My sister reminisced with an old friend whose family had taken her in many times when her mother, my dad's first wife, was sick with cancer. Some grieving occurred that hadn't happened in 60 years, I imagine. We all have tears that haven't been shed yet, for whatever reason-- tears that have been stuffed, forgotten, and welling up for decades-- tears that must be shed for our load to be lighter. But O God, You who counts our tears, show us the hope amid the waters-- that they will not drown us, and that You will never leave us nor forsake us-- those that are Yours.

My friend said of the potluck, "this is my favorite kind of meal." I especially enjoyed Judy's beets and special mention to my well-behaved little girl who ate her meal (this is a big deal for little Jill) and didn't fuss much when I put a quota on her desserts.

It wasn't a program really for song, it was a time to relate; and hopefully, to spread the Word that there is someOne who desires relationship with us. God offers we sinners right standing with Him through His Son Jesus. Song isn't about song, the past not about the past, food and fun, not about that. It is about relationship, somehow. We can be present for it, or avoiding it, running from it, suffering from the lack of it. But there is One who is always there if we will turn to Him.

Father, bless your Church and show each person there a clear image of the tomorrow You have for them and their loved ones, give healing Your way and peace without measure. You are true to Your promises for a future and a hope for those who are found in You. May we be found right there.

My husband asked, "What are you going to do in the evenings now?" My next project is going to require quite a bit of preparation and I think I'll try to regroup to determine what exactly is on my plate. I'd really like to get into a studio again to record a couple new songs. Then get back to the original album.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Piano Man

Today was my brother Bruce's memorial service. I, along with my husband (vox), niece (flute), friend (violin), offered music. The musicians I played with today are awesome. The music was beautiful (save for my accidental accidentals :))... I look forward to playing some duets with my niece in the future for fun!... today, the very first time we've played together, what a gift... and with Joe and Michelle I'll be collaborating again in the next couple of weeks. The treat of that is that my children get to hobnob and play hard with my friend's five, count them five! children! They have so much fun... yes, the music was nice (upon arrival I asked a family friend to offer a verse in Swedish for "Children of the Heavenly Father" and she obliged. Lovely and sweet addition.) My niece said as she unpacked her shiny flute, "Well, this isn't the music Bruce would have wanted... but." She couldn’t help but chuckle, tongue in cheek and said with a fondness. But, I'm not certain that she is right. It's not what he would have played, but he was always affirming of the classical music emanating from the piano; to my voice, he quipped, "What'd ya do with the money Mom gave you for voice lessons?"... but re: keys, he was a true supporter, and would tell me I should audition for Julliard (he talked big) but I was neither convinced or motivated to that degree, and found my ego was kept in check by my other brother who, thankfully affirmed my vocalizations, but trampled on my keys, dutifully, nightly pounding retorts on the ceiling to my practice sessions (to which I’d dutifully and aggressively play louder.) But nevertheless. Back to the story, my niece was alluding to the fact that Bruce was a jammin' awesome piano man. I lamented I'd never 'experience' his piano again after he had had his stroke. Others remember it, too. Like Babette's food, there are those who knew and savored Bruce's piano.

We visited at the service with our friends for whom we will play again this year, church program for their senior group and it will be a great time. Preparation for it is really fun, like I said. Then I will be gearing up for a little studio time, since I have to get moving on it... new songs are bumping the old ones, and the old ones aren't recorded yet! I can't wait. And until then, I look forward to collaborating with some musicians for a special concert this spring or early summer. God-willing.

Bruce's favorites he'd faithfully play upon visiting my piano bench were "Something in the Way She Moves..." "The Entertainer" and "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" that he always played for the woman who married him and bore his children... he never stopped playing that song; for them, I think it was a love song. I'd stand and watch and nod, the piano would rock the house down, until the somber nostalgia of the tunes of yesterday and his expression would not allow me to move.

But, thanks be to God, I can move now. And so can he.

Until my next 'note' have a 'rest'-filled journey!