Saturday, November 27, 2010

B Minor Mass

Why waste money on psychotherapy when you can listen to the B Minor Mass?  ~Michael Torke
I've never listened to the B Minor Mass but I'm pretty sure it would make me cry.  Music strikes the chords of grief it seems.

I can understand why Celtic music breaks my heart and church hymns too for that matter, but Christmas music?
Oscar Wilde said, " Music is the art which is most nigh to tears and memory." 
It's like hearing our soul.
Music says things we have only felt but could not express. 
"Its language is a language which the soul alone understands, but which the soul can never translate."  ~Arnold Bennett
I have found myself weeping as I drive, overtaken by grief, crying silent tears as I work, eyes burning in a crowded store. The malls are full of people, and full of music this time of year and the tune in my heart is definitely a B Minor Mass.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

sir galahad

As I sat limply at the table this evening, breaking several rules of etiquette at once, I had a deja vu moment.
Long, long ago, I had drooped just as limply in my school desk, my head propped up, with my elbow resting tiredly on my desk. A clock was wearily ticking. Someone was shuffling their feet.
My grade three teacher was no longer making eye contact and I was entertaining myself by sliding my elbow across the cool, smooth surface of the desk.
When my elbow reached the edge, it should have paused.
Instead, it dropped like a rock over a cliff.
I followed.
There was a flash of skirt, and two little legs shot out of the desk as I tumbled to the floor. I saw London, I saw France..........
The class was delighted.
This was clearly the most entertainment they had enjoyed all afternoon.
Everybody laughed. Well, except for me of course, and one other very sober individual. A little white haired boy rose gravely from his desk and assisted me back into mine without a word. Sir Galahad.
Out of that large classroom of children, his is the only name I still remember. Blessings on you wherever you are.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

half a mind

Some years ago, before water became a beverage, I had headed for the fridge to slake my thirst. Juice would be just the thing. So refreshing, I thought absentmindedly.
"No juice! You don't drink enough milk," I primly and rather bossily reminded myself.
Retrieving a glass and tugging open the fridge door, I poured a drink and headed down the hallway. When my glass was raised for a sip, my eyes flew open in surprise. I had poured myself juice anyway.
My subconscious mind had won!
I have referred to this phenomenon as being on automatic pilot, but it is really just a case of not paying attention. Not being in the moment.
This failing to pay attention may be why, upon crawling in to bed at night, and putting my mind on scan and seek, I sometimes remember surprising things. Usually things I have forgotten to do.
If you are my husband, I beg you, for the sake of your mental health, read no further. If you are someone elses husband, read on, but be wary.
Late one evening last spring, I slid sleepily into my soft, warm bed. My mind did an abbreviated version of scan and seek. "All the windows in the car aren't closed," my subconscious mind warned.
"They must be," my conscious mind protested. "It's been cool out, of course they're closed, don't give it a thought, la la la la la, I can't hear you."
Torrential rain awakened me in the wee hours.
In the morning, my subconscious mind was proven right, as always. The window had been open just an inch or so. My commute was moist although not as bad as it could have been. The heater set on high didn't cause the windows to fog up, although it did feel like a hot day in July.........
I've heard people say that they have half a mind to do something. My conscious mind doesn't recommend that.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

yo ho ho

Boys love pirates.
Last night I sat in a darkened theatre watching a live performance of Peter Pan.
The story had picked up steam, and pirates wielding swords were leaping about the stage. The clacking of wooden blades was accompanied by guttural grunts and muttered oaths. A little boy in the row behind us, suddenly enthused, "This just keeps on getting better!"
There's nothing like a good sword fight to separate the men from the boys. Well, except in Peter Pan. Separateness is pondered alright, but boyhood and manhood are shown for what they are. Two sides of the same coin and not worth much unless you experience them both.
Yo ho high five.

Friday, November 19, 2010

decorating for winter

Winter seems to be arriving in gusts. As I drove to work in the cool, grey morning light, a huge branch high in a tree broke away in the wind. I could almost hear the shout. Timberrrrrrrrrr! Down it dropped, like a large, dark javelin.
It's amazing what can be seen now that the leaves lie thick and sodden upon the ground. The branches fill the sky like intricate black lace.
A tiny squirrel, gripping a branch with hind feet, and hanging like a hammock between two branches, nibbles on alder cones.
Abandoned bird nests sway and bob on branches, riding the wind.
A few hearty leaves cling here and there, decorations casually hung.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

be bo banana fanna

"I don't know if I should give you something to eat right before dinner," I cautioned my little grandson as he gazed with longing at the bananas on the counter. "It's called an appetizer, Gramma," he assured me.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


"The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you," I leaned closer to my father's face. He smiled his warm smile through the oxygen mask, "...and give you peace." I whispered. He seemed so small and frail. My mother and I stroked his hands, his cheek. He was surrounded by our love....... and we, by his.