Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Meet Me Halfway!

I am taking a break from holiday cleaning to write a quick post. I have my turkey and all the fixings ready to cook tomorrow and at the moment I feel just fine. Yesterday was real tough, but I had a therapy session where I poured my heart out about many things and I got lots of validation and caring. I cannot begin to explain the value of therapy that connects and works for you. I cried lots of tears about many things and in the end my therapist said that I was an "incredibly unique human being that exists outside the mainstream" and that I should be glad about that. But, she shared that she is concerned about me because as a result she also sees me as very lonely and alone. Some of that aloneness is the result of my uniqueness and some is because of others who cannot connect and see me for me! I get lots of crazy mail from people trying to help explaining everything to me as though they KNOW what is...... and that only seems to muck things up for me. I end up feeling like I am in a crazy place..maybe like a traffic jam with no way out!

Anyhow I don't want to rant here. but I do want to include that my therapist feels that I need more connections (like RJ) that can literally get me!.....My minister and friend has been the one person who has reached out and I must say practices what he literally does preach....check out his blog... I know he doesn't seek this kind of praise but I have had a strong feeling that I need to say this. Without him I am not sure where I would be right now and ironically this connection to him is a GIFT from Vicki. I am not going to explain that gift here but I know he will understand! I will continue to search remain open-minded and at the same time steadfast in my desire to follow the new myth that Jesus proposes and explained in Thomas Moore's book, WRITING IN THE SAND.....

"Jesus is proposing a new myth to live by, an alternative vision for accomplishing these four goals: to have a spiritual existence, to have a appropriate relationship with the natural world, to live by real communal values and to be psychologically secure and CREATIVE."

I cannot believe that the only reason I began this blog entry was to play a few new tunes....I know I post lots of older music and that is the result of 45 years or so of listening and collecting, but I do still listen to new music. It isn't as easy as it one was. I used to have time to just sit on my bed in my room as a teenager and young adult and just listen and also read every word of the ALBUM cover, sleeve, etc...

I watched the American Music Awards the other night and I enjoyed the program. Some music grabbed me..some didn't! Here are a couple of songs and groups that I listen to. The first song by the Black Eyed Peas actually has some meaning and I think some connection to this blog entry which I did not initially intend. You may want to go to You Tube to see this one since it is HD and you can't see the whole screen here! Fergie is very nice to look at as well!:-) I hope a few people who know me hear it and can make some sense of will take some imagination.

The next song is from The Kings of Leon and again I think some connection to this blog. I am still a bit amazed that my desire to just share some music has resulted in connections. Ahh..the souls longings can be so amazing if we have imagination and creativity in our everyday lives! I love songs that have an other-worldly feel ( Toad the Wet Sprocket) and I think this song has that feel!

Back to holiday preparation! The pics included in this blog are from my Christmas past! I love the picture of Bailey posing under the tree! He is truly a gift!

Monday, November 23, 2009

REMASTERED But Never Replicated!

The November/December issue of BERKSHIRE LIVING has another great review and article about the Beatles and their newly remastered music. Seth Rogovoy is right on again, not only about the quality of these new recordings, but also in his analysis of their music in his article titled, EVEN FABBER. He begins with...

I mean, I knew they were great—heck, beyond great. They were essential, innovative, transformative, simply the greatest ever. I knew that it went without saying that all music that came after them was unthinkable without their influence, that nothing was left untouched by their musical legacy, reaching far beyond the confines of rock and pop to include even the most avant-garde new classical music by the likes of Bang on a Can. Their influence was so widespread and widely felt that it was rarely worth noting; it would be like saying Western religion is influenced by the Bible or modern physics by Albert Einstein. The Beatles created and defined modern pop and rock as we know it.He then goes on to make 5 important observations...

1.The Beatles were first and foremost a vocal group.

2.The Beatles were at once a minimalist combo and a rock"n" roll orchestra.

3. The unsung hero of the group was George Harrison.

4. Producer George Martin was right: the "White Album" would have made a great single album.

5. The Beatles were not John Lennon's group. While it’s a fact that Lennon put the group together, and in his inimitable, passive-aggressive fashion, broke the group apart, the Beatles were, perhaps more than any other band before or since, an organic entity of four equal parts, the sum of which was much greater than any individual element.

All that I can say is that I loved and still love the music and know that when I heard those songs at age 6, 7 and 8 I felt like it I had never heard anything like it before and LOVED to sing along!!!! I am glad to own all of these remastered Cd's and they sound great on a great sound system!

Here is the link to this great article for all of you hardcore Beatles fans! (RJ) :-)

One more great song!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Letting GO

I would really like to be writing on this blog more, but while I think it is going well, school is extremely demanding. I have to admit that my mind continues to be flooded with memories of a year ago. Most of these memories are about the hospital and are difficult and sad! In fact, Bailey and I went to his orthopaedic surgeon yesterday to check his arm out and schedule his next surgery to remove the hardware. We were right next to the hospital and I thought about Vicki's last surgery and just how scared I was for her! My heart knew things were not well at all! The date for Bailey's surgery is set tentatively for Friday January 15. His arm has healed well, although one of the two bones does have a curve to it, which is causing no harm! The Doctor said the curve is probably caused by the impact of his fall! He is thrilled with this date because he can play his part in the school winter concert the week before! He was funny because I heard him talking to a friend on the phone and he called himself the luckiest person in the world because he will be able to perform that night!

I also received the Hospice mailing that discusses "the hurdle" of the first anniversary of the loss of a loved one! It advises having a plan for the day and seeking support since one can never really know what the reaction to the day will be! The letter also contained a poem as usual and I want to post it here!

Letting GO not to deny, but to accept. not to nag, scold or argue, but instead
to search out my own shortcomings and correct them. not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future. to fear less and love more.

...does not mean to stop caring for my loved one;
it means I can't live for them. to be able to admit powerlessness,
which means sometimes outcomes are not in my hands. to allow myself to learn from natural consequences. not to change or blame my loved one,
but to make the most of myself.

IS not to judge,
but to see mistakes as a part of learning and of being human.

I like to follow my instincts and this is the song that popped into my head after typing the poem above...

I loved Dan Fogelberg when I was younger and ironically he passed away December 16, 2007 at the age of 56 from prostate cancer. When I went to You Tube to get this video I read some of the comments and this is one of them.....

I just found out Fogelberg died because I looked up this song--man, that's too bad. It's too bad because, I believe, Earth loses a lot of love and positive energy when we lose people like Fogelberg.

I think people deep in their souls recognize the spiritual value of the arts and especially music and poetry which somehow make life more visible, clear, and comprehensive. I posted the link to Fogelberg's is very profound!

One last song!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Way Away or Spiritual Friends

Some things are just too hard to ignore as we live our lives! I spent a lot of time yesterday in therapy discussing my feelings and how crazy my life is. Loneliness,and how my new job, on top of this new life, has really robbed me of so many things that I enjoy doing (including being the parent I'd like to be). My therapist talked about our culture and how we are not a very nurturing one! She observed that mourning, taking care of the house, life, and Bailey alone would be enough..a full life! The message in this country is to be a tough individual, work hard to buy things, and the tough go it alone. Work hard and everything will work out! No one at work sees me as I really am. In fact, overall most people don't, which only adds to the burden! We talked about other countries with much different attitudes. In some places, I would have been allowed time off to mourn and regroup as a result of public policy and as my therapist said, "You have literally been born into a new life!" and that birth was and is just like labor, painful and forced into a cold world with tears and fears. Yes, in the long run the process can become joyful and fulfilling with a new life built upon the previous one. Not really replacing it, but evolving from it, never forgetting what once was. Now, I did get time off after Vicki died, but only time that I had worked for and earned, not time as a result of any understanding of what THIS JOURNEY is about! I am grateful that I had the time I did and for sure it was more than most people get in this culture with it's emphasis on violence, war, and force, as opposed to kindness, caring, peace, love, and understanding!

Then I went home and read the Blog, WHEN LOVE COMES TO TOWN, (the link to this blog is in my side bar) and in a familiar pattern that I feel has been happening to me for at least two years...major synchronicity! Here are a few lines from Rev. Lumsden's blog post.....

Now here’s the thing: NOBODY can do this all by themselves. One of the key truths for making sense of the darkness and finding value and even healing from our suffering is that we all need help. We need some evidence that Christ really is with us on the journey through our darkness. You see, there is an unholy and dangerous lie that most of us have accepted and affirmed – often without really knowing it – that sounds something like this: God helps those who help themselves. • Have you heard that before? It isn’t true – completely – and doesn’t even come from the Bible. Like I’ve said before, this is an aphorism from St. Ben Franklin – who was a wise old dude – but not a spiritual master.

You see, there it is, that cultural attitude of rugged individualism that we can only survive a Dark Night of the Soul on our own. The Rev. Lumsden goes on....

Do you grasp the difference? If all we know is the command to tough it out in private all by ourselves, you can bet that we will become deaf to the Lord’s sweeter but more quiet song...

You won’t hear that promise outside of worship, my friends. It just isn’t a song that is celebrated in our popular culture. The wisdom of our consumer society is if you work hard enough – and pay dearly enough – you can get everything you want and need. And if you don’t… you are a loser.And that is why our tradition reminds us that in order to make it through the valley of the shadow of death, we need -SPIRITUAL HELPERS-wise helpers – to serve as Christ to us in our need. Without them, we’re sunk. And one of the most blessed things you can do for another is journey with them through hard times.

I think most people have kind hearts, but the difference is like a person who buys you a nice gift, but one they think is cool and you might like, as opposed to a gift that is the result of listening, knowing, being present, and connected, and something you truly need and will enjoy! Ultimately, we have a culture driven by "selfness" and a desire for things we don't really need!

Here is the Link to Rev. Lumsden's sermon.....

I also have to say that Rev. Lumsden (RJ) has been a spiritual friend and it is a strange thing only because it feels so foreign to me. In other words, I recognize it because it is so very different and good!

Here is a perfect song by what has been the perfect group the last 18 months. Maybe it is just the way I see it, or this song fits this perfectly. I love music..I love the vocals..I love another Toad song. I am also posting the lyrics...

Lines of people to pass you by

Posing sympathy with their whitewash eyes

With the ladies feigning their mourning cries

And the men shaking hands:

Weigh away

Way away

All the pictures in your mind

As you're passed the thousandth time

Thousandth photograph

Listen to sympathetic lies

As their reasons change under mourning guise

With the gentlemen feigning sorrowed sighs

And drinking champagne:

Weigh away

Way away

As all the people pass and pose

You hold back the tears

And hold onto memories

Small talk hangs like a dirty cloud

Saying nothing real but deafening loud

An urge to run away from the crowd

And mourn all alone:

Make a promise to no-one

Wondering if you'd been worthwhile

Turn away from the chatter

And the hungry smiles

Friday, November 6, 2009

Closer to Love

Yesterday I attended a graveside burial service for for my Grandmother! Helen E. Taylor. She was my last remaining grandparent and was my grandmother from my mother's side of the family. She died in a nursing home at the age of 92. I wasn't particularly close to her but I have many fond memories from my youth of her telling cool stories. To me she seemed to love to laugh! She also was very meticulous about her appearance and always wanted to look her best! I did feel emotion at the service, but it was definitely Vicki emotion. I also felt sad to see my mother cry. She and two of her sisters spent a lot of time in the last 5-8 years caring for her when she still lived alone, as well as visiting the nursing home and making decisions with and for her. My mother told me that she said she knew she was dying and felt some fear when she said,"Are they going to hurt me!" She died a few hours later peacefully!

I just wanted to take a moment on my blog to honor her life and pray for understanding for her 9 living children (one son, Michael died about a year ago from lung cancer).

Please understand I am not trying to be morbid or overly sad. I am sad at times and lonely, yes...but I embrace this time in my life as reality and challenging! I have never been so busy, so overwhelmed, so tired! I sense some people keep distance from me and that only multiplies the aloneness.

Bailey, my son, has even been distant of late. Right after Vicki died we were very close, but day by day he seems to have drifted. I am sure some of it is just that middle school, growing up sy
ndrome. One day I spoke to him and expressed my concern....he sat there and eventually said to me, "It is hard to be close! If I am close and something happens to you it will be hard."

We had a good conversation, but in the middle of the night, that very same day, I heard my bedroom door open and it startled me. It was Bailey. He was teary eyed and he said he had a bad dream. He said that he dreamed that I died. He bent down and hugged me and we talked and he went back to bed.

So please understand I am not wallowing in sadness at all, but I cannot escape this reality. It is in my heart, it is in this house, in the closets and on the walls! REALITY IS THE WILL OF GOD as Rev. Lumsden said at Vicki's memorial service and I agree. I wish people would stop pretending to have all the answers to this mystery we call life. This morning I heard a song on the radio while showering and it really struck me.......

She got the call today
One out of the gray
And when the smoke cleared
It took her breath away

She said she didn't believe
It could happen to me
I guess we're all one phone call from our knees

We're gonna get there soon

If every building falls
And all the stars fade
We'll still be singing this song
The one they can't take away

I'm gonna get there soon
She's gonna be there too
Cryin' in her room
Prayin' oh, Lord come through

We're gonna get there soon

Oh, it's your light
Oh, it's your way
Pull me out of the dark
Just to shoulder the weight
Cryin' out now
From so far away
You pull me closer to love
Closer to love

Meet me once again
Down off Lake Michigan
Where we could feel the storm blowin'
Down with the wind

And don't apologize
For all the tears you've cried
You've been way too strong now for all your life

I'm gonna get there soon
You're gonna be there too
Cryin' in your room
Prayin' Lord come through

We're gonna get there soon

Oh, it's your light
Oh, it's your way
Pull me out of the dark
Just to shoulder the weight
Cryin' out now
From so far away
You pull me closer to love
Closer to love

Cause you are all that I've waited for all of my life
(We're gonna get there)
You are all that I've waited all of my life

You pull me closer to love
Closer to love
Pull me closer to love (You are all that I've waited for)
You pull me closer to love
Closer to love
Closer to love (Cause you are all that I've waited for)
Closer to love

Pull me closer to love.

So, I am off to the church to show a movie at Vicki's pet project..MOVIE NIGHT because I have been pulled closer to love!