Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Winter Solstice and The Frisky Moon

Yesterday, a day of darkness and light, quiet and wild, rain rain rain, jarring turns of events, mechanical malfunctions, meowing cabin fevered cat, more rain rain rain, communications from afar, internal upheaval, internal silence, and in came winter. A time for Bear Medicine and introspection. A time for hibernating and planting internal seeds. A time for infusing those seeds with energy and expansion. A time for growth.

This world of ours, that we have co-created, needs every one of us to become the blossoms that were twinkles in God’s eyes when he dreamt us up! We need to shake our feathers and extend ourselves to each other in new ways. We need to plant our feet deep into Mother Earth and reach reach for Father Sky and sing while we do. We need to stretch to the east, where illumination inspires and lean to the west where our goals are realized and touch each other all along the way. We need to shilly shally along, with thanksgiving for every breath, in our hearts, and smile at the young and nod to the old as we do.

If every single one of us, would leap off a cliff into the unknown every morning, by springtime, oh what a garden we shall be!


Monday, December 6, 2010

The Messiah

Last night my daughter, Melanie took me to Los Angeles’ Disney Hall’s annual Handel’s Messiah Sing-a-Long, as a pre Christmas gift.  I have so much to say!

I grew up in household where music played an integral part of every day. My mother’s piano playing was our rising bell. During non holiday times she would alternate between hymns and Chopin. During Christmas were we roused pre dawn by every Christmas carol you can imagine and usually my Dad’s voice could be heard singing along in the background, slightly off key, while he brushed his teeth and got dressed for work.  As the English muffins and marmalade began to take center stage the ‘victrola player’ was turned on and we would swallow our toasty morsels with either Benjamin Britton’s 'Ceremony of Carols' or Handel's 'The Messiah' as background, but in actual fact we were all humming and singing along.

During my prep school days, by some miracle,  I sang in the highly respected girls’ chorus. I say ‘miracle’ not because my voice was at fault but because I sang  the way that I played tennis: wildly, with no restraint and no plan. For graduation the chorus presented our long rehearsed ‘The Messiah’ with our brother school, Mount Herman. I never really did know if I was an alto or soprano but it wouldn’t have mattered if I was a bass! My best friend, Samm, who sang next to me had to plant herself firmly and periodically lean over and say “ This is not a free-for-all, Plum, you must sing your part!” I could not. I knew this music, not the words necessarily, but the music,
and I sang to my heart’s content whatever part was happening.

It has been years, decades! since I have officially sung “The Messiah”, and now my parents are gone, the victrola player is no more, my friend Samm is gone, and here I am, being invited by my daughter to this dream of a gift in the most acoustically  acclaimed music hall on earth, to sing ‘The Messiah’. Pure enthusiasm filled my soul at the thought. This music, this daughter, this moment, the depth that it touched, the memories that it evoked, the passages that it punctuated, my throat  constricted with emotion and my eyes blurred with tears  before we even arrived in our seats.

And then ‘Comfort Ye My People’. Comfort. Comfort. And the tears poured forth.

Melanie and I together sang our hearts out, were moved to tears, laughed until we couldn’t catch our breaths and sang some more. This evening ushered in Christmas for both of us. The greatest gift that I could ever imagine was this evening.

My advent is alive and my heart sings thanks to God, the story, Handel, the conductor, and Melanie. This year I could not find my expansive, joyous, Christmas self and connection to the true spirit that birthed it all, prior to this evening and now I have.