music

Blogging from A to Z, happy things. M for music, music, music!

oxparty 018.jpg

My father and sister and I had a chance to record some of the family songs. This one is called Down by the Sally Gardens. My parents used to sing the duet.

May you have a joyous Monday!

 

M

feeling, farm, friends

My theme is happy things: feeling, farm and friend.

Feelings: I find our culture a bit bipolar about feelings. Love and friendship and joy are celebrated and other feelings are labelled “negative”. Grief, fear, anger, basic  grumpiness. I see posts about staying away from “toxic” people and away from people that are “downers”. But we all experience all of these feelings. Feelings are as important as thoughts. Feelings are quicker that thought, hormonal and electrical information in brain and body: we pull the finger out of the candle lightning fast, we jump out of the way of the swerving car, we feel the cascade of fear if someone is following us at night. The feeling is not always correct — we may feel threat from someone who is not threatening us.

In high school my daughter said that most of the arguments she noticed were someone saying something not well thought out or offhand as they left. It is misinterpreted, stewed over, discussed with other people and then  the person who felt that it was “at” or “about” them will react. The first person is shocked and doesn’t even remember or understand the trigger. Misunderstandings all the way.  We have to step back from feelings and have the courage to be vulnerable and ask, “What did you mean when you said that?” We all get grown up and over that after high school… well, I try.

Farm: I got my first local CSA box on Wednesday, lovely vegetables straight from the farm and tulips! I get an email each week and often with recipes.  I love my CSA box. I eat more vegetables too, because I don’t like to throw them out.

Friends: My  friends give me  such joy! I have an email this morning from friends in Berlin, Germany! I have not seen them for more that a decade but they are coming to visit this summer! What absolute joy!

And may your day be joyous too!

F

Another photograph from Hawaii, my friend Patrick and one of the lovely green turtles. For scale….  

admire

Three happy things for the letter A:

I am thinking of the women I admire, whose names start with A. Anne, Amelia, Azula, Artemis, Adele.

They run businesses, work at the post office, make gorgeous hats, teach dogs and their owners, work in healing.

I am so happy I have so many women, whose names start with A, who I admire!

That is two happy things: the third is the abstract photograph and abstract art, that encourages me to dream.

Guess who’s coming to dinner?

Last night we hosted a Rotary Fundraiser, at another Rotarian’s house.

This fundraiser is called “Guess who’s coming to dinner?” People sign up, pick one of the nights, pay, and then on the day of the dinner they are told the location. We don’t know who is coming and they don’t know who is cooking or hosting.

I’ve been missing my father. He considered one of my shirttail aunts to be a very elegant hostess. Her meals were simple but in courses, starting with a salad. The salad contained only greens. My father said he didn’t approve of salads with anything but greens. After thinking about our main course I decided to start the same way.

First course: green salad. Spinach, finely chopped kale and red butter lettuce. The dressing is a balsamic vinaigrette with orange zest grated in and a little fresh orange. This is accompanied by a white wine. Before the white wine we had a toast with aalborg akvavit. I bought a bottle sometime: in my 20s? This is the same bottle. Just think how many times I’ve moved it: guess I don’t drink much.

Second course: soup. Green pea soup. Butter, sauteed onions and then frozen green peas, cooked just barely. It tastes verdant: spring.

Third course: corned beef and cabbage, turnips and carrots and onions, with roasted potatoes. We baked some cabbage as well. This is homage to my mother. In high school she gave us each a 6 by 8 three ring binder and said we had to cook dinner once a week. We chose the meal and she would tell us how to make it. The first thing I chose is corned beef and cabbage. I have her delicious mustard sauce recipe with it. I also looked at James Beard, who states that corned beef is neglected and can be done well. With this a malbec red wine or Guinness, at room temperature.

Fourth course: cheese and fruit. Three cheeses. A brie, a local Mount Townsend Creamery Trufflestack, and a cheddar. Bunches of grapes cut into small bunches and two varieties of sliced apples.

Fifth and last course: Coffee. Chocolate truffles and marzipan from Elevated Ice Cream. Irish Whiskey, Jameson Stout Cask Edition. That bottle will probably last me 20 years as well.

It went well. We did enough prep and had the dishes out. We used the big plates initially as chargers, with salad plates on them. We cleared the salad plates for the second course and served small bowls of soup. It was fun and our guests seemed to really enjoy it.

These funds go to all the things our small Sunrise Rotary does: picture dictionaries for each third grader in the county to take home, Polio Plus, donating a Shelter Box to go to a disaster area each year, a incoming and outgoing exchange student, international projects, high school interact, work on local parks, and other things. It does give me joy to balance out the worry about US medicine.

 

End Polio: you can help. https://my.rotary.org/en/take-action/end-polio

Shelterbox: https://www.shelterbox.org/shelter/aid

Elevated Ice Cream: https://www.elevatedicecream.com/

Mount Townsend Creamery: https://mttownsendcreamery.com

Rotary is all over the world. My group: http://www.ptsunriserotary.org/

Unarmored

I have been working with orthopedic massage for three years. My sister died in 2012 and my father 14 months later, in 2013. My father’s will was from 1979. My maternal family grieved via five years of lawsuits. I lost my sister, my father, and my maternal family. For good, as the song says.

I showed up for a massage in 2014. The ortho massage person said, “You are locked in an armor suit. Toes holding on to the floor, knees locked, head and shoulders forward, a fight or flight defensive posture.” I lift my toes up and say, “My toes aren’t clenched.” But they were.

For the next week I was to walk around, or attempt to walk around, with my toes off the floor. I practice: toes up, knees bent, lift foot, gently touch heel ahead, then shift weight forward, weight even on great and little metatarsal, toes are not to grab the floor, lift the trailing foot and repeat. I am furious that I have to relearn how to walk. HOW TO LET GO OF THE ARMOR SUIT?

I go once a month, now. I went weekly for a long time, then biweekly. Pieces of armor would drop off in the massage, but I would armor back up at work. Posture, posture, posture, breathe, don’t tighten those muscles up, check in with toes and with abdominal muscles…

Yesterday I go. We talk. It’s been a really weird month and I don’t know why. Letting go of all sorts of things and people and stuff. My pile of stuff to get rid of, clothes, books, mugs, art, is getting larger. And I was very grumpy the day before the massage. I thought, well, it’s been a dark February, I hate taking pills, maybe I need some sun, I mean, vitamin D.

But at the massage: a huge piece of armor, locked muscles in my lower back and hips, is gone. It feels weird. I didn’t know it was gone. Certain movements feel entirely unfamiliar, because I am used to moving the muscles as a locked group. My brain attempts to tell individual muscles to move and then there is a pause… as the brain and muscle negotiate unfamiliar territory. Medial gluteus medius… moving that feels so odd and unfamiliar.

Ortho massage says, “Usually when I ask you to move muscles, you are ON or OFF. FULL STRENGTH or no response. This is all new: modulation. Gentle.”

It feels so strange..

He knows how I feel. He says, “I felt so unbalanced as my armor dropped off. As if it dropped off bits at a time, a piece on the right side and suddenly I don’t know how to move because it’s all different. ”

Yes, that is what I am feeling. Unmoored. Light. There is less gravity. Gentle. Surprised. Less grumpy afterwards: I am so surprised, I had rather given up that I would EVER drop ANY of the armor suit. Pleased and a bit shyly proud. And deeply deeply grateful…. to my ortho massage person and to many others: friends, books, kind strangers, my patients, my colleagues (that is, the ones who have been kind. There are quite a few who were not. Let them go.) and the parts of my family that I keep… the ones whose actions DO mean they love me.

And my significant other says that I’ve seemed more peaceful this month. I check. I do feel more peaceful, which is so odd when I started the week feeling peculiar and unmoored and as if something was wrong. Something wasn’t wrong, I just had not even realized that I dropped a huge piece of invisible armor. The night before the massage I went to a dinner. Because of the deaths and lawsuits, I had very little social life for many years. A decade, really. After the dinner I thought, that was odd. I am not who I was ten years ago. I am not sure who I am in a social setting. I am surprised to be invited to a dinner. And I let the old me go: it’s ok. I will find out who I am after a decade as a hermit, a hermit due to circumstances, not by choice nor under my control. I let it all go: and I think that is the moment that piece of armor finally let go.

For Good: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQJaZO2nfGg

Butterfly Girl Comes to Visit

For the Daily Prompt: carve. I think of skiing, bicycling. And I think of a piece of my heart. I wrote this in the early 2000s.

Butterfly Girl Comes to Visit

She is so beautiful with her wings
multicolored many splendored lights caught and multiplied
as she flutters

I freeze
I am an ogre
Huge and clumsy
I know from past past many times
Not to touch you
My rough fingers have brushed the tiny feathers from your wings
You cry in pain and your flight becomes erratic
My kiss is just as bad
Rough lips
If I move the wind of my passing blows you against a window
You fall stunned

I hold and crush
the box of feelings that can hurt you
Sorrow, anger, fear, dismay
Even fatigue turns my aura red
And scorches your wings

I hate to cause you pain

Fly butterfly girl
My baby needs me, my pager rings
My ogre husband stirs
The effort of holding still plain on his face
I can’t hold still much longer

Butterfly girl
Fly on home