Sing, Sing a Song…

“On the good days, my mother would haul out the ukulele and we’d sit around the kitchen table-it was a cardboard table with a linoleum top-and sing.”  Carol Burnett

Carol Burnett is an actress who has brought me many rounds of riotous laughter. However, her life was not easy. She inspires me.

I understand, and generally accept, that the way I feel about my day, is fueled by the way I see my day-my perspective. Some days perspective can be a little on the pessimistic side. I have discovered a pretty sure-fire way to turn that around—MUSIC.

The power of music never ceases to surround me in a symphony of awe. It soothes the soul, sounds the march, releases my tears, and clears my focus.

Listen for your music. It is always available. Sometimes we just need to shut out the noise to hear the song.

“Music is the strongest form of magic.”  Marilyn Manson



16 Tons

“You load 16 tons and whaddaya get?? another day older and deeper in dept.” Tennessee Ernie Ford sings it well, and it’s a story that is eternal.

We are restoring a home that was believed to have been built by one of the founders of our city. That would make it about 200 years old. We discovered clues that this house might have been a station for the Underground Railroad. We have pushed up the floors, pulled in the walls and given her a new hat. So far, we are into the 10th year of our project.

We restored the attic first, and have worked down the 3 floors. Tons of plaster moved, tons of foundation rock restored, and we ‘owe my soul to the company store’!

Dancing Shoes

Odd that such a forbidden object would now be connected to me. When I call my friend, she hears, “Dancing Queen” swaying from her cell phone. How was I kept from dancing for so long?

My church forbid it. If you danced, you were sinful. You had to make a choice of dancing at your daughter’s wedding, or continuing to serve as a deacon in your church.

I was a dancing closet queen. I felt an inner thrill as I watched the dancers in old musicals. Their dresses swirling and their partners leading them across the floor. Alone in my room I would move to the music. In fact, I found it impossible to hold still. One day, I woke up, and I realized that I had been told a lie. Dancing was not sinful. Dancing was a part of life.

Children seem to have natural rhythm. Who takes that away?  What a terrible shame. I found dancing to be meditative. When I hear music and start to move in harmony with it’s melody, I forget my troubles. I forget the frustrations of the day. Hours can go by and I am still on the dance floor.

My regret is that I learned to dance so late. My body can only dance so long. Fortunately, my soul does not tire. Dancing is how I get through life.

Barbera de Angeles said, “The moment in between what you once were, and who you are now becoming, is where the dance of life really takes place.”


Song in the Storm

John Lennon said “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” My mother said it so often that I grew to believe she was the author of that pearl of wisdom. Now I repeat it as though it were my own. On any given day, I have plans in place for that day. Then, an unexpected storm blows through and my plans tumble away.

A day at the beach results in a broken arm and ends in the emergency room. A morning at a favorite bistro results in receiving the news of the death of a loved one. A plan for a vacation gives way to emergency surgery. The storm enters and blows away the peace and enjoyment of my day and sends me into a turbulent whirlwind.

The storm blows in. My dreams are shattered. My heart is broken. My plans are shot to hell. Sometimes the storm in a mere inconvenience. Sometimes the storm changes my life.

Storms swirl like tornadoes. Your hair flies at your face. You squint to keep the fine hair from scratching your eyes. Your clothes hug you and your scarf blows away. You’re hit by the flying debris. You search for cover, but there isn’t any. There is only wide open terror.

A person can try and fight the wind. A person can let themselves be blown by the wind. A person can complain about the wind. Fighting, and complaining does not stop the storm. The storm will do as it will. Look for the eye-the central place of peace-in the center of the swirl.

When the storm enters my life, I search for the eye-the centered place of peace. I remind myself that storms can cleanse. They can remove debris that I am unable to move-in some cases to even recognize. We hate the devastation, to our life and to our environment. We would not choose  the storm.

I have lived in cities where tornadoes have gone through the town and brought it completely down. The people had to rebuild, not once, but twice. The lives were safe. Their belongings were gone. The re-start brought blessings they did not anticipate.

Storms do that. They also make me appreciate every beautiful day that does not contain a storm.

I like John Lennon’s song, “Imagine”, and the line: “Imagine all the people living for today”. Enjoy this moment. Each moment is all we have; for the next a storm may blow in.

The Dance

“The moment in between what you once were, and who you are now becoming, is where the dance of life really takes place” Barbara de Angelis

I have two regrets in my life.

1. If I ever made anyone feel bad for how they believed (there is a risk that could have occurred having come from such a conservative fundamental religious background)

2. that I didn’t dance sooner. (that same religious group believed it was wrong to dance–unfortunately I followed their teaching for many years)

When I let myself dance, I found that it was almost like meditation for me. I have three sisters who were very supportive to me while I was going through the separation and divorce from my husband of 31 years. They had always danced and encouraged me to go with them. I had no idea how much fun it was to dance!

When I moved with the music, all I had in  my mind was the flow of the music and the response of my body. All other stressors went away. Dance was exercise, de-stressing and fun! why or why did I wait so long to experience that?

There are many quotes about dance. Here is another,

“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.” Wayne Dyer

And that is my philosophy. Life is the dance, it moves with rhythm, changes in timing, crescendos and refrains, occasionally it is cacophonic…. but it is always moving. I am trying to learn to listen to the music around me and in me. I love what Barbara says, “and who you are now becoming”. Everyday we are becoming someone. We change. We grow. We react and we proceed. We move, we might as well dance!