Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
The harpist was in her traditional black garb meant to fade into the formal background of any wedding, but in this case did anything but in this beautifully pale setup.
September 11th has always been a difficult day, for each of the past seven years. Seven years ago a just-left love phoned to check in as a soon-to-be new love did the same. Now that new love is also an old love gone. So many feel this deeply today.
The journal hasn't yet been visited and so thoughts around this day spontaneously appeared in a uninhibited email to a friend:
"Today and maybe the entire week or even month is pregnant with loss. The music community lost BC this week, a close friend of the LM band and its members, and a formidable force in the local jazz and other-genre world. He was my age and though I didn't know him personally, the void he left creates a sorrow so palpable it's impossible not to cry. His calling hours were today.
"This morning I played a 9/11 memorial service -- it was me, the minister, and two other people. Very very quiet harp. This is always a little unnerving because the harp sounds best when it can really resonate, and I depend upon its resonance to help me resonate with my surroundings... playing quietly can make the instrument sound dull and ironically playing this way takes a lot of effort. But the season and reason this time was reflection and hope and peace so quiet harp accompanying a crying minister was the only thing appropriate.
"And then I walked the labyrinth in the church, this strange turning and twisting walk that visually is completely symmetrical and straightforward...
"I came home thinking that loss is so prevalent and my efforts to stop it are pointless. This doesn't apply to my getting rid of things. It applies to things exiting without warning, or exiting with warning and no logic, or worse yet with warning and an obliteration of all that was meaningful just prior to exiting.
"I didn't figure out until afterward that emptying the firepit of the mound of ash today was so very symbolic of my attempting to transform loss and obliteration into growth and regeneration. The ash went into flower beds and around plants in an attempt to nourish them. If they all don't die soon, this was a very good move.
"And the spreading of the ash was my tribute to B and all those lost in 9/11. I just didn't know it until after the fact. A very small whisper of an answer to the voice that is screaming, 'What are you doing with your life??!?' Instead of calling hours, instead of trying to mend a botched rehearsal attempt, instead of reading thousands of names.... I know fire well and why not use the outcome of that, fire as my link to both life and death. Ugly ash that hopefully calls forth more life and less death.
".. diminishing the ash pile (is necessary) so that said plywood has the room to breathe to burn. Because the loss of... trust / friendship / love / intimacy / security... ultimately demands, in some twisted and serene way, room to breathe, in order to burn..."
Peace, love, light to all, today and in all ways.
Saturday, September 06, 2008
-- Unknown, but very known, from an old friend
I've unintentionally been posting weekend weddings and other happenings one week after they occur. So, illogically, look for the wedding I played today one week from now.
The Franklin Park Conservatory wedding found me performing from a vantage point I don't usually take -- behind the guests.
From this position I could watch the mothers and wedding party tentatively make their way down the curving staircase, then steadily wobble past me and down the aisle to the "altar."
Navigating through the Conservatory is much easier now! That is, when the doors to which Security directed me are unlocked, I don't leave my keys in the car in my haste to get in the building after locked-door-delay, and the plants intending to deter passerby from heading outside aren't placed exactly where I need to make my exit.
The Taylor Mansion boasts an aging patio in the front of the building; a hedge of sorts separates this spot from busy Broad Street. Setting up on one side of the fountain seemed appropriate.
But then I moved to the other side after realizing I needed a better view of the wedding party as they entered, and equally important, to keep a wary eye on the western sky. A waterfall of rain through which the sun oddly blazed graced the wedding site just as I got the harp in the car after the ceremony.
Last weekend's two weddings were capped off with the first gathering at my house in a very long while. Really good fresh food, great people, and a bonfire for purging items / thoughts that no longer fit in our lives conjoined under clear skies. The house actually felt good despite its various states of construction -- turns out plywood floors are a hit -- and preparing for this was a healthy way to complete projects in and around the house. There is nothing better than being amidst the glowing positive energy of new and old friends.
The work I've been doing to step up with the harp is paying off bigger and sooner than I anticipated, creating a strange amalgamation of distress and wonder. Balancing attempts --> planning another get-together, listening to a diverse array of music, chopping off a good amount of hair, experimenting with limited-ingredient vegan cooking, and eating dark chocolate. Oh, and consuming chocolate-covered strawberries -- the instructions specifcally say they must be eaten within 48 hours of delivery and I'm behind.