Wednesday, December 31, 2014


      Today was a glorious sunny day. Day two of writing a long overdue piece of music commenced. Four years ago I received a beautiful poem by a colleague and friend. She wanted music to turn the poem into a song. I let the words rumble around in my head. While playing music one day at church I heard a lovely melody in my head. Grabbing my phone I recorded the music. I sent that recording to my friend and she validated the music as just what she hoped for. I knew she would want me to notate the song. But, I was busy. I stayed busy for four years.

I went back to the music occasionally and just could not connect. The work of notating takes a kind of concentration that leaves me very vulnerable. I have to be "all in" the process. It seems I get inspiration in tiny nuggets. All the nuggets together still do not complete the music. The rest comes from just plain hard work, real hard work. The kind that makes time slow down. I forget that I'm stiff, tired, and needing to do other things. It often feels dis-orienting.

    But still, creating is remarkable. When the piece is finished it is amazing. And it will be finished by this weekend. I promised. I needed to come back to composing after all the painting. When I painted my mailbox I remembered my first love.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas 2014

    I wonder where we would celebrate if all my children came together with us at Christmas. Two kids were out of state this year and deeply missed. Three joined us on the island. My wonderful friend let us use her house to accommodate the eight who came from off-island. The views above the marina were breathtaking.

    Having the twins with us this year was truly sweet. They gave enough smiles and cuddles to push any Christmas blues away. 

      Two grandmothers and two grandfathers wass certainly a nice way toy celebrate. A Lap was always available.

    My grandchildren took a walk through my art show currently still available at the Arts Center. Oma making art is something they except now as commonplace.

     Everyone received one gift. That left the anticipation to a minimum. Less makes the giving more precious.

     I wanted singing to be part of the festivities. We had our own little Christmas Kirtan with the Harmonium accompanying us.

    My trusty Apple laptop has each grandchild's pictures in a separate album. At Christmas I love to show each child their slideshow with music. We get a thrill seeing our lives go by in pictures.


    There were moments so precious and sweet. I hope to hold them dear for a long time.

        Christmas Day was dry and the boys went outside to throw the pigskin. What a view! People I love and nature in it's glory.

    Inside the sun played on the walls lighting up every corner. I was satisfied with our efforts to bring the spirit of Christ to our home, well, not exactly our home, but a beloved home which was certainly welcoming and bright.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Longest Night

   It is four pm and already the light is waning. I switch on the porch light for my 4:30 student. Dusk is painfully early. I resist closing the drapes because I am saving the little light there is in the sky. Once the  living room is closed off from the night,  it will be cozy but I put off committing to the inevitable longest night.

      Winter is a time of waiting for me. I do more reading, jigsaw puzzling, art making, and baking, all wonderful pastimes but I know down deep that I am waiting. I would like to wait with mindfulness. I bought tickets today to a children's theater show. The date of the event is April 25. I remember how much I love April. The world will be alive with regrowth and it will be light as I come home from the gym.

     This season the insides are aglow. I can be more mindful about my insides, cast light on the shadowy halls of my fears and anxieties. There are many ways I must simply employ my gift of waiting. I can learn to like waiting because there is anticipation in waiting. There will be new growth, new adventures, and the best of all, more day.
    Three years ago I took the longest walk on the shortest day.

Friday, December 19, 2014


   Can I tell you in five minutes if I have any experience with the word adore?  "Oh come let us adore HIm…" I hear that that in my head and on Pandora and in church. Do I adore Him?  If I go back to my relationships with earthly beings I see adore on the faces of my babies. They have it. They know how to do it. Adoration is in their DNA.

     Notice how my granddaughter looks at her grandfather. She studies him. She looks for cues to how she should respond. If he smiles she returns the smile willingly, without reservation.
   Can I learn how to adore my Savior from the example of a child?

I write on Fridays with a large group who inspire me. Only five minutes and without much thought to perfection. I write, prompted by one word that sends my thoughts to the keyboard and hopefully make sense.
   The five minute Friday folks are on vacation for the next two weeks. But I will do my own prompt word and be back to muse and try my hand at five minutes of writing every Friday.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Giving Tree

   It happens every year. While I am sitting next to a student at the piano they will say, "When will you get your Christmas tree?"
  "I have a tree."
  "Right in front of you."
    The fact that my two foot tree has been twinkling at them throughout the lesson has escaped them. In 1998 when my grand piano was delivered into my living room it became apparent that there would never be room again for a live tree.
   "But, where do you put your presents?"
   "Under the piano."

       My beloved piano takes up half of a small room. The rest is sitting area. What is lost at Christmas is gained every other day when the sound of melody is wafting through the house.

    I never regret buying my instrument. It blesses the lives of my students as well as my own. There was a year when we had an upright in the living room as well. I did not know how to part with the piano I had since I was eight years old. I found a home and it actually resides across the street with my student.

      Life seems to be a struggle of choosing better over best. Best is often the choice that gives the most to the people we love. If the piano is a tree stand then truly this is a giving tree year round.

Friday, December 12, 2014


    Should we emotionally prepare for loss? That is a question my daughter asked of me one week ago when she felt great anxiety over a relationship which she felt was going to be lost. A foreboding enveloped her conscious mind. I had no answers. Then yesterday the break-up happened. I watched the tears course down her face. This loss was real now. He was choosing to walk away from a tenuous connection.

    Preparing for the "other shoe to drop" sounds practical and safe. But, I know there is a devastating consequence to practicing tragedy. When the joy in today is dampened by a potential loss tomorrow suffering is magnified. Think about how Jesus stayed connected to each moment with the full knowledge and acceptance of his coming sacrifice. How could he have opened his heart to his disciples  if he projected his energy on his impending death. Loss is part of the package in this mortal life. We come already fresh from losing our physical proximity to our Heavenly Family. The one hope we fuel diligently is the hope of being reunited to Him again. I have so few answers for my lovely daughter who deserves a husband and children. I can't show her tomorrow. I can hold her today.

     I write on Fridays with a large group who inspire me. Only five minutes and without much thought to perfection. I write, prompted by one word that sends my thoughts to the keyboard and hopefully make sense.

Friday, December 5, 2014


    This Friday morning I wake to remember that I will be sharing what is dear to me this evening with friends and interested strangers. Showing my paintings to others in a more formal setting is quite daunting and awesome at the same time. As my friend, Garna, and I placed each painting on the wall yesterday I looked at the array of colors and images and wondered which I could sell and which were too dear to part with.

    I pondered the path I followed to come to the completion of each piece. Some paintings just finished themselves and some required stepping away and coming back over and over again. Painting has showed me some lessons of life.

    1- Step away when you feel uninspired.
    2- Come back everyday.
    3- Look for the layers underneath to reveal themselves.
    4-You are done when you love what you see.
    5- Loving what you see doesn't mean perfection.

I write on Fridays with a large group who inspire me. Only five minutes and without much thought to perfection. I write, prompted by one word that sends my thoughts to the keyboard and hopefully make sense.