two colors

Jan. 23rd, 2009 10:33 pm
spiralflames: (music)

buffalo lake winter2, originally uploaded by spiralflmz.


for the first time, today i was tired of the predominant winter colors- two- blue and white, punctuated by occasional black. i need color. flowers. growth. lilies. SPRING. no wonder some people get into exotic indoor plants like orchids and amaryllis- especially up here, especially in january/feb.

today 2 of my sisters and i went to the como conservatory- ferns, palms, 100% humidity..and a 2-toed tree sloth hanging out in a large faux-tree. what an amazing creature, such arms, such legs, such a funny face. which i'm sure is exactly what SHE was thinking about US...

week-end looks to be interesting. sunday, a group of women is/are getting together to plan a 'crone' ritual-one of the women 'won' the services of a unitarian minister for any kind of ritual/ceremony, (she entered a bid at a charity silent auction) and she thought she'd honor this time of her life with others. should be interesting. i don't know if i feel i'm right for the Voice of Wisdom, but i've certainly, (thanks to surgeons) gone past my "mother-goddess" state, so perhaps this is a time to celebrate the next 2/3 (i enjoy optimism, it's so new to me) of my life.

and there's always faure', whose music has been listened to all week as i proceed alphabetically (yeah, i know) through my CD collection.

life is good.

spiralflames: (Default)
about EllJay is that sometimes, in the light of day, you can look back at an entry and think "i was upset about that? pfffft..." other times, it's important, and requires deeper thought/writing. my own reaction to my yesterday's rant was "and i was actually upset about THAT?"

this is, as a famous poncho-wearing Ex-Con would say, a Good Thing.

fact: i'm not devastated. i didn't even KNOW dude.
fact: it didn't cost me a dime.
fact: (for better or worse) i'm still the same person i was 2 weeks ago- meaning, i didn't make any major decisions/changes based on this person. basically sensible i am, says yoda.

fact: last weekend i spent the afternoon and evening with two new real, local, tangible, humorous, new friends.

those who don't exist and prefer to keep it that way? buh-bye.
*
it's interesting, though. in the last few weeks- only- i've felt a new emotional side of me returning. it's my native ANNOYANCE factor.

i think, being now a 2-time cancer survivor, and having had it drummed into me how negativity can cause cancer, i've been trying to be SO POSITIVE that i've cut out half of the human emotions in the world. WHAT A MORON! it's not EMOTION that can cause cancer, it's BITING BACK emotion, holding things in, repressing them! so then something unimportant happens- and i react too much. someone says something totally innocent and domestic on LJ, and i jump down their throat. (still feeling stupid about that, but i'm getting over it.)

this 2.5 years since i was diagnosed with cancer, had surgery, recovered, and the next 20 months of chemo has been a major juncture in my life. i've changed because of it. but i'm still a full, living, human being. i think i need to go to the edge of a cliff (no, not jump off, shut UP!) and scream. just let it out- be done with it- the end- finis.

it was interesting- last weekend, meeting a woman for the first time, i realized, this is the first potential friend i've met (not counting students, professional people etc) who doesn't know i'm a cancer survivor. and guess what? SHE DOESN'T HAVE TO KNOW. it's no longer, in my daily interactions, the number one topic of conversation. i don't have a big C flashing neon from my forehead.

someday, maybe it can quit being the number one thought in my OWN mind. i'd like that. i think it'll be awhile, though.

a friend recently said, "when i first met you, you were like a big C (for cancer) with legs!" in my mind, i still am.

reading stats saying people with stage-4 ovarian cancer have a 20% chance of surviving 5 years is truly bone-chilling. it's the first time i have had the nerve to write it down. i hate living my life with stats like that hanging over me. so, what about not allowing it? what about just living my life as it comes, not over-analyzing everything, not trying (and failing) to be some adorable human being? that's plain silly.

the key is letting it go. all of it. people can be infuriating. let it go. wonderful things can happen. let that go too. i'll never be the zen 'empty vessel'- i don't think i'd like to be. but i CAN make some 'drainage spots' in my vessel..incoming? great. keep that which nurtures. allow the rest to flow away.

right now i'm doing damn well. i am healthy and strong. lately, finally, to other people at least, i'm just me. i'd like to replace the big C with a small M. Me, Musician.

**

so here it is.

deal or no deal- all the boxes you open have my name on them, some are worth a buck, only one is worth the million, you can walk away at any time. deal or no deal. it's up to you.
spiralflames: (fuckcancer)
today with dr weinshel, the "good cop". i, of course, totally rock. lost 10 pounds since last visit, hemoglobin up to 14.6 (i am so healthy i verily GLOW). blood pressure a bit high but i'd been running around and was stressed/excited to see everyone in the clinic.

so the upshot: come back in 6 weeks, make an appt w/ dr boente (bad cop) 6 weeks after that. he said there's NO REASON to take a scan, since my results of the one 6 months ago were *p*e*r*f*e*c*t* and my numbers support that.

"now we just sit around and hope it doesn't come back."

well, yeah. *I* knew that. actually, i'm trying not to THINK about that, since fretting accomplishes nothing, and all i can do is stay as healthy as possible, ignore nothing, and live my life.
**

3 years ago now-
*could only walk 15 STEPS without collapse
*would sit in my car for 1/2 hr before getting the courage to hoist out of the car and get to my teaching
*could no longer go out, restaurants, or shopping- my parents had to bring me everything
*was scared, sick, anemic and having SERIOUS girl problems

i am now:
*cancer-free
*walking, swimming, shopping
*as social as my budget allows
*no longer scared, feeling like i own the world, and...

contemplating playing brahms with the Hand of Majesty.

not a day goes by when i don't see myself stuck in bed, stuck in the hospital, stuck in the physical rehab facility, weak, weepy, unable to get out of bed on my own, scared, scared, scared.

and not an hour goes by where i do not become thankful, grateful and awestruck by something as simple as getting out of bed, carrying in a 24-pack of water, or walking the length of the mall.

that is all.

that is ENOUGH.
spiralflames: (random_1)
a comment someone left in my EllJay when i asked about responding "from the Heart."

**
From the Heart
In many systems the heart chakra is the integrator for the "lower" and "higher" chakras. It's seen as a bridge between the "base, physical" and the"higher, spiritual" realms. The heart chakra integrates and supports the work of the other chakras, and keeps the system open to let the qualities of the different chakras better inform each other.

When asked to respond "from the heart" I try to give my truest answer. Not my most thoughtful, not my most practical, not my most emotional, but my truest answer. Because it's the "heart of the matter," or the heart of who I am.

To use a musical analogy: intellectual is all technique, emotional is all expression, but the heart is the message for you to share within the music. You need to use both the technique and the emotional components in order to communicate the message you have discerned fully and clearly.
***::end quote:***

and that's it. many of the answers i got spoke this in various ways, but this one sums it up for me and seems to make the most sense- Heart Center not as "sentiment" or "emotion" per se but as the integrator between the unfinished, lower chakra emotions/sensations, but also putting humanity into the higher, philosophical/spiritual centers.

Speaking From the Heart means speaking one's Truth from an evenly balanced perspective.

Gawd, i truly love EllJay. so much wisdom, and so freely given. thank you.
spiralflames: (spiralgoddess)
light a candle.

set it on the floor.

let your gaze focus on the light.

if you close your eyes completely, you see nothing.

if you open your eyes wide, it's Just a candle.

once your mind is quiet, relax your vision and open your eyes only the slightest little bit, just behind your eyelashes, where everything is unclear.

first, the candle's light looks like the aurora- shimmering curtains of light.

open a fraction more, you see a tear-drop. it might be yours.

open a fraction more, a four-pointed Star.

in a candle's light can live all of nature, all of your Heart's emotion, and all of God's grandeur.

and it's just for you, since nobody else can see it in just that way, and it's all gone in the instant you blink.

have a lovely Sunday :-D

much ado..

Nov. 14th, 2007 11:15 pm
spiralflames: (psychology)
and probably about nothing much.

my therapist told me to 'concentrate on emotions' for the 2 weeks between our visits.

what's that supposed to mean?

i HAVE emotions. deep ones. shallow ones. profound ones, silly ones. i can be as adolescent-mooded as a 13 yr old and and i can be as strong as a damn mountain.

HAVING emotions and EXPRESSING emotions are two different things.

EXPRESSING emotions assumes
1)an audience
2)an audience that cares about the state/effect of your emotions
3)and that you're willing to take the fallout from that emotion's being expressed.

i usually
1)do NOT have an appropriate audience- i'm teacher/caregiver/Big Sister to too many people
2)most people would FREAK OUT of they knew the force of the emotions i keep inside and 3) the emotions i feel would definitely impact my business, my family life and god knows what all else.
3)tend to absolutely wither if someone is mean to me, justifiably or not. i avoid conflict whenever possible.

so, counselor dear, it's not that i don't HAVE emotions.

it's merely that i'm not willing to EXPRESS them, since they would probably result in my entire life changing.
*
interestingly (to me) i find that this question of 'emotion' gets translated by me into "NEGATIVE" emotion. i DO feel that i'm constantly, and rightly, expressing the POSITIVE emotions in my life. i could list a thousand thing that i adore/appreciate/am grateful for. that's never been a problem- i've always considered myself one of the world's great "appreciators."

what i do NOT have a real-life outlet for is: BEING ANGRY. being frustrated. being pissed off. being just plain whiny sometimes.

it's funny- i also realize that i'm "over-pathways'ed"-- that with all the positive/sweet/affirming/calming sessions i've had there, i've actually brainwashed myself into believing that i'm NOT EVER ALLOWED to be just plain snarky, obnoxious and rude.(read: "human") on occasion. in moderation. doh!

so.

the icon i chose for this entry is one symbolizing the 'winter equinox.' i think it symbolizes MY SELF and my self-imposed Spock-ism. i need a major THAW. i've been holding everything in way too much, and that, my dears, equals ILLNESS- psychologically, spiritually, and physically.
spiralflames: (soul retrieval)
I Have Come Into the World to See This...
I have come into this world to see this:
the sword drop from men's hands
even at the height of their arc of anger
because we have finally realized
there is just one flesh to wound
and it is His - the Christ's, our Beloved's.

I have come into this world to see this:
all creatures hold hands as we pass through this miraculous existence we share
on the way to even a greater being of soul, a being of just ecstatic light, forever entwined and at play with Him.

I have come into this world to hear this:
every song the earth has sung since it was conceived in the Divine's womb and began spinning from His wish,
every song by wing and fin and hoof,
every song by hill and field and tree and woman and child,
every song of stream and rock,
every song of tool and lyre and flute,
every song of gold and emerald and fire,

every song the heart should cry with magnificent dignity
to know itself as God:
for all other knowledge will leave us again
in want and aching -
only imbibing the glorious Sun will complete us.

I have come into this world to experience this:
men so true to love they would rather die
before speaking an unkind word,
men so true their lives are His covenant -
the promise of hope.

I have come into this world to see this:
the sword drop from men's hands even at the height of their arc of rage because we have finally realized there is just one flesh we can wound.

~ Hafiz (translated by D. Landinsky)
spiralflames: (healinghands)
i spent a couple hours giving information, encouragment and a 'middie ground' to a woman who's going to start a pretty serious regimen of chemo and radiation.

in many ways, having been through so much, this is what i am meant to be doing.
spiralflames: (scriabin)
i'm going to email my choir director and tell him i'm out. they decided to sing at the 9 AM service this year- which means me getting up at 7..on a sunday. no thanks.

also, and which would have made the first statement tolerable, i get the unmistakeable feeling that he's decided psychologically- either consciously or un- to give up on the job. the music for this fall season is lame- easy stuff, old stuff. instead of the Brahms German Requiem which he teased us with last spring, a repeat of a requiem we did 3 years ago. i think he's decided the choir is as it is and isn't going to improve any more. i know the feeling with church jobs. i can remember the VERY day i decided this or that situation wasn't going to change- so either tread watter ad infinitum or quit. not being an adept 'treader', i always quit. i have to have at least DESIRE for improvement.

freeing up my sundays from the lutheran suburbans will allow me to wander over near the university campus to http://www.spiritunited.com/ , which i think i might actually be interest in attending. they're quasi-eclectic spiritual. besides that, ron, one of the truly gifted teachers at pathways who did the year-long overview of the chakras that i took last year, is on their staff. i think it's time to go somewhere that's more in line with the weird combo of indian/native american/buddhist/yoga/reiki stuff i'm into.

i hate it. to be a part of a good-sized church choir, i'd more or less have to go to the suburban mega-church. unfortunately, they're usually lily-white, suburban, and, ok i'll say it, mindless as hell. smaller, older churches in the city can be wonderful and have a sense of community, but their music programs are usually miserable. and the Big City/Paid Soloist churches here are pompous, audition only and more or less professional singer gigs. damn.

oh well. ready for The Next Thing, whatever it is. but i'm feeling the need to make my presence known in SOME kind of church building this year if i'm going to take myself seriously next year as a seminarian. d'oh.. what an odd sentence there.
spiralflames: (healinghands)
last night was Drum Circle.

i asked that were it appropriate, i'd like a Soul Retrieval done for me. i'd been doing some reading, and it seemed that during times of stress or illness (hello) pieces of one's Soul could separate. also, that we consciously break off and give away pieces of our Selves willingly- to friends, jobs, lovers. that i had had a bit of my Soul taken by illness, and that i had willingly given part of my Soul away to a few past relationships, and that i would LIKE THEM BACK, please.

one of the leaders (this guy is so profound..he rarely says anything, but contributes his presence and a few well-chosen words) said that in Soul Retrieval, if someone, while Journeying, came across a part of the person's Soul, they could use a hollow bone (of course he happened to have a few with him) to 'blow' the part back into the person- once at their crown, once at their heart.

so then began the 15 minutes or so when people do their personal meditations in silence, accompanied by the beating of a drum, low, like a heartbeat.

when that was finished, one man came up to me, put one hand on my shoulder and stood in back of me, chanting, and then 'blew' the Soul back into me. afterwards, the other leader did the same. it was totally silent, but for some reason it made me start crying.

after that, the other leader said that if anyone had seen anything specific for me on their journeys, they should take me aside privately and tell me later.
*
later, after the circle was broken and we were chatting over treats, timothy told me that he'd seen a younger, happier aspect of my Self, and that she had been waiting for a long time, and that she was waiting outside because i had said "i will never love like that again in my life." (this is true..i think everyone's said that one time or another) he wanted me to know that she was standing next to me, saying, but you WILL love like that again!" and she wanted me to embrace her back into my life.

i got a little weepy and he said the one thing that, throughout my life, when said to me, has always made me cry: "WELCOME HOME."
*****
****
***
**
*
it's true. i'm standing on the precipice of The Next Big Thing. i think it will be grad school next year. i KNOW it will be music-making, THIS year.

welcome Home, o my Soul.
spiralflames: (spiralgoddess)
this saturday, at drum circle, i am going to ask timothy, the group's leader, to do a Soul Retrieval for me. here's the info: soul retrieval )

for some reason, it came to me that this was an important thing for me to do. a number of years ago, i had 3 major relationships. all of them were long-distance, all of them were with amazing men, and all of them except one made promises that they didn't keep. i was young- younger than many at that age- and threw myself into them with all the passion i possessed. each of them, in their way, took a part of my Soul. i offered it freely- make no mistake- but part of me was gone.

2 years ago, cancer took a part of my Soul as well. i have worked hard- physically, spiritually, emotionally- to discover some of the reasons why my body decided to destroy itself, and i have learned much. now it's time to take back what was stolen from me without my consent.

i am demanding my life- all of it- BACK.
**
even though i have had time, i've been finding it almost impossible to practice piano with any regularity. i realized this weekend that it's because part of my Soul is still in hiding. Beethoven is immense- towering. throwing yourself head-long into a beethoven sonata requires not only that you be complete, but actually that you be MORE than complete, in order to have the Extra that is demanded- physically, emotionally- by this master.

a person has to possess 150% in order to give back the 50% demanded by Beethoven. that's why there are so many "i could have been a musician''s on our planet. there's no real excuse. you just didn't have it, or chose to give it in other ways.

i am starting a new part of my Life.

i demand to come at it fully, roundly, deeply.
spiralflames: (loneliness)
had a lovely and languid weekend, spent mostly by myself.

a few things set me to thinking- one, a line in [livejournal.com profile] rm's journal, said by one of her fencing mentors, that fencing is "like having a mistress, one needs to care, but not be emotionally involved." i found the statement interesting at the time, and it's been in the back of my mind for a few weeks now. i realized that that 'middle way' was a space i'd seldom, if ever, experienced.

my emotional life tended to be too much "all or nothing"- either i hurled myself in head-long, or i detached entirely. the former gave me a somewhat desperate, "nobody-loves-me-everybody-hates-me-now-i'm-gonna-eat-some-worms" child's sadness. the latter gave me an 'adult' "ok, so nobody cares as intensely as *I* care, i am alone in this universe and therefore slightly superior as i eschew all emotional involvement' type of spock-ism.

i was constantly 'trying' to detach, and the 'trying' made me even more intense. there's really nothing sadder than someone consciously 'trying' to CONVINCE the world, by tantrum if necessary, that you are REALLY. NOT. UPSET.
*
so this 'mistress' concept- essentially to be respectful, but not fall in love. to set a limit, both in honesty to another person and also to yourself- i'll go HERE, but not there. i'll be here now, but not then. and to be honest? if you push me, i'll leave you.

heartless, a bit.

which brings me to the other statement that's been bugging me- which i heard on the radio a year or so ago, and which many people disagreed with when i mentioned it here- that the person who cares the LEAST has the MOST power.

and it's true, especially taken in light of the above paragraphs. with students? the one who decides not to care is the one who loses interest and quits. in a relationship? the one who stops caring, or cares more about someone else, is the one who calls the shots. in an affair? it's not the one who lies in bed twisting and crying because the phone's not ringing who controls, it's the one who forgot to call.

so what's the point here.

for me? it is to CHOOSE. there are a few things- wonderful things- that DESERVE my intense, all-encompassing, overwhelming, love and caring. there are a few things where absolute objectivity is the best thing- driving on the interstate, balancing the checkbook. but the middle ground- places like my teaching, a few peripheral friendships, daily interactions with strangers- it really WOULD be great if i didn't find myself totally ripped apart emotionally by things nobody else even knew were HAPPENING.

MUSICALLY this is important also. figure it- the intense, burning, musical passion- the thing that rips your heart and changes your life- feeds the desire to be a musician. the detached, non-involved musician? who has time. but- in performance- the middle ground is ESSENTIAL. the major emotional experience MUST be had- but it's the calm preparation, the dissection of every passage, the constant re-enforcement of all consistency, that makes a successful performance. mid-ground.

i never, frankly, want to be the one who 'cares the least'- but i CAN choose my battles better, quit throwing myself at every experience as if it were going to be my last. i can afford to allow much of it to calmly pass by. it's OK. i don't control the whole world. surprise? i never did. and not behaving like i DO will make my own life one HELL of a lot easier.
**
the last few days i've been looking at pictures from NASA of deep space: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/archivepix.html
i've been looking at things MILLIONS OF LIGHT-YEARS away.
gives a person pause to ponder.

i am like an elliptical galaxy- a whole body of swirling stuff in the middle, some stuff being created, other stuff being thrown out, and big, reaching arms opened wide out into open space.

and it's good.
spiralflames: (open heart chakra)
i am purely awestruck by the wonder in my life.
spiralflames: (fuckcancer)
today was my 11th monthly chemotherapy session for my DEFUNCT (hear that? i'm saying DEFUNCT!) ovarian cancer. next month, friday, september 7, will be my LAST session of chemo- i have been through 8 months of weekly, then one YEAR of monthly blasts. next month is the end. after that they'll scan my bod every 3 months.

miracles. dr weinshel said today, "when i met you 2 years ago, i was looking at a woman at the end of her life. successes like this make what i do worthwhile."

*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!*!

tonight i am home. there is incense, a candle, my singing bowls on the counter. last night my friend anne gave me a lovely pink damask formal table cloth she'd bought at an estate sale and a silver and turquoise tibetan cross. life is good. tomorrow i am going to sleep until i truly can't sleep any more- if i do that the day after chemo, i really am good to go after that. miracles abound.

this month my CA-125 reading, which tells you how much OV-CA is in your body (normal is 0-33) was FOUR. four. vier. quatro. IV. my pre-surgery reading was 1,027.

there are people who love me and let me know that. there are wonderful friends close AND far who make me feel cherished even though they are, rightly so, busy with their own lives.

god. what an incredible journey this has been. and thanks and blessings to the EllJay friends who've been there encouraging me throughout.
spiralflames: (seriousnan)
(on front page at cnn.com)

today, the bridge over the mississippi river, where interstate 35W connects downtown minneapolis with the university of minnesota, collapsed. this is a major transportational juncture- it's estimated that over 200,000 cars cross this bridge daily.

dear great spirit:

i don't understand tragedies like this. natural disasters, flukes of architecture (evidently a MnDOT report cited structural weaknesses in this bridge LAST YEAR), terrorism- events that do not distinguish between good/evil, young/old, well or ill- absolutely confound me. i look for meaning, i look for direction.

there is no purpose here, there are no appropriate actions.

nobody on their way home from work or school thought that they or their loved ones would end up dying in the river this evening. we take things for granted all the time. we can't help it- not to do so would have us huddled under our beds in fear, and then worrying that our beds might collapse upon us as well.

so what do i do? i feel like i should go somewhere, help in some way. there's nothing i can do except send love, healing energy and prayers to the families and the individuals who are without their loved ones tonight.

Spirit give us all peace.

[livejournal.com profile] ia3n sez:

Jul. 28th, 2007 04:48 pm
spiralflames: (singingbowl)
about singing bowls and chakras:

In my research (since my spethial sthubject is using music to enhance the body and mind) the singing bowls/bells are good because they produce a wide range of overtones (ie a fundamental pitch, plus the octave, fifth above that, 2nd octave, 3rd above that, 5th above, 6th, minor 7th and so on up the overtone scale) and this improves the chances of a bowl resonating at the natural resonant frequency of our cells/organs, thereby stimulating them, while the high frequencies produced (8000hz+) are necessary for healthy function of the brain and chemical balance in the brain and lymphatic system. So they are pretty useful little gadgets!

As for chakras etc: while i am a big believer in such things, i am not convinced that the chakras resonate along the C major scale. That, to me, sounds like a rather nice coincidence drawn by some newage californian who lacked musical training (and therefore believed as many untrained people do that the C major scale is the most natural fundamental scale, that is has some kind of special properties. When, in fact, it is only the most simple, and nothing more.) If you go back to the original descriptions of the chakra system by yogis, the pitches do not equate to the even-tempered C major scale, and they attribute different colours to the chakras, not our convenient 'rainbow' (which is in itself rather contradictory since there was never really a colour 'indigo', the church simply didn't want 'god's pure white light' dividing into SIX colours (the number of the beast!!!) so they added one.
BUT since singing bowls produce the entire overtone series, somewhere in there, however faintly, the frequency for each chakra is present (though probably not at the right octave, and maybe not exactly, but i haven't really done any research with chakras because the university kind of draws a line :P)

**
fascinating.
spiralflames: (singingbowl)
here's a new icon (i someday HAVE to break down and get a paid acct so i can upload more...) this is a picture of two tibetan singing bowls.

i acquired my second singing bowl today- an F-pitched one, for the heart chakra.

singing bowls seem like living beings. they work on the principle of running your finger around a wineglass to set up vibrations, and when a wooden striker is lightly rubbed around the outer perimeter of a bowl, a pitched sound happens which grows in intensity and lingers awhile later.

of course, truly profound, large ones are extremely expensive, but 'beginner' ones can be had at any tibetan store or, where i found mine, on EBay.

i have one now for 4th chakra- heart- and 5th chakra, throat. chakra info )

this is good.
spiralflames: (seriousnan)
yesterday, my sisters and i drove down to rochester, mn, to visit their friend ben, who has inoperable liver cancer and a few weeks to live at most. i wish his wife had prepared them for what they were going to see. myself, i've been there with two dear friends, so i knew the Look, and was saddened by not shocked.

hospital bed in living room. ben, spacey and sleepy from PRN morphine, which is given to a person when there's no medical help available, to make their exit from the world more comfortable. he'd probably dropped 100 pounds. i knew the look- i went through this with marion, i went through it with PF.

a person with one foot in this world, one foot in the next gets whiter, whiter, until they are nearly translucent. morphine allows an in-and-out of consciousness float. they are less and less here, until the next inhalation does not come. it can be a quiet thing. with luck, a person can indeed Go Gently Into That Good Night.

i can't get cosmic. my sisters wanted answers. i didn't have any. why some people die, why others are given an extra chance. whether ben, who'd finally found a life partner a year ago, felt that his work here was done. whether his wife is as cheerful when the last visitor leaves and the lights go out.

whether ben will have taken the next step when she gets up to check on him during the night.

whether we should indeed "rage, rage, against the dying of the Light." or whether we need to just let our hands open and accept the hand that's given us to take.

i have no more words.
spiralflames: (seriousnan)
on feb 9th, my 2 twin sisters (twins to each other, not to me) (i always get in trouble with that) and i will drive to rochester to visit their friend ben.

he's dying from cancer, just finally diagnosed a few weeks ago.

when i talked to him, he didn't know what the verdict was. he described his symptoms. in my gut, i knew- they were the same symptoms i'd had before being diagnosed. later, i told my sisters that they might have to say good bye to their friend, that i thought he probably had a huge cancer.

he does. his is in the liver and has spread all over. there's no treatment, surgery, or protocol for treating that.

he said 'come soon, the doctors have done all they can do.'

i will have to watch my sisters' hearts break. i will have to hold them when they cry, and i will have to Be Strong. i will have to say a prayer for this gentle man that he will indeed go gently into This Good Night.

it's my job. i'm neither a Creator or an ender/destroyer of worlds, but i am a guide as someone nears their Goal.

i am a Torch-Holder.
spiralflames: (seriousnan)
last sunday i attended a performance of the john rutter _requiem_.

this was a meaningful performance for me in many ways..
first, it was performed by the choir i sing in, and which i haven't been able to sing with since i had my thyroid surgery. (i'm vocalising every day and it IS getting better..there's a noticeable, but very weak, head voice returning.) i'd been SO excited to sing the rutter..what a glorious piece.

it was the first time i'd been able to really HEAR the choir, since i've never been in the audience before. it was gorgeous. i'm proud. he also had rounded up about a 20-piece orchestra, which sounded wonderful.

every all-saint's sunday (sunday after all-soul's day, nov 1) this church has a requiem/remembrance service. the music is a full requiem performance by choir and orch, and the people who attend are invited to take a candle and place it on the altar in remembrance of some loved one who'd died.

between the beauty of the music and the solemn procession of people walking slowly to the altar, it was a serious and moving tribute. by the end of the requiem, the entire altar area was glowing with hundreds of small candles. there was no interference by words of any kind, and people filed out with their memories and the music in their minds and spirits.

to be honest, this level of seriousness doesn't occur often in a suburban mega-church..or in basic american life, any more. i'm privileged to be involved in this group, and cannot WAIT to be back singing with them. the only reason i'm even making the trip out to the 'burbs is because of this director. he's 70 yrs old and a retired professor, and he absolutely runs the rehearsals seriously.

they talk about the Greatest Generation, meaning WWII soldiers and such...i'm really beginning to understand that the Greatest Generation of such teachers is not long with us, either. in some ways, maybe that's a good thing. in other ways? we will be at a great loss once they pass.

requiem aeternam, dona eis Requiem.

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November 2016

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