Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Do You Have a Passion?

What is your passion? Reading, writing, painting, drawing? Maybe it is singing, dancing, playing an instrument.

Ever since I can remember my life has been enriched by music and books. My father was a music teacher, church choir conductor and clarinetist. My mother played the violin. In fact, it was music that brought them together--when she was 15 and he was 20. They made sure all six of their children learned to play some instrument and some of us became proficient on more than one.

Living on a teacher's salary meant there was not a lot of extra cash, but they always found ways to make sure our lives were enriched by season lawn passes at a summer concert/ballet venue. We attended concerts, operas and ballets from a young age on through high school. What we did with this was up to us. Most of the six of us have continued to use our musical education in some way long into our adulthood.

I still enjoy classical music. I adore the cello (my primary instrument), I can play the guitar and bowed psaltry. I have also picked up some fiddle tunes. However when my youngest daughter started outplaying me on the fiddle by the time she was 12 years old I have pretty much set the fiddle aside.

This weekend we attended the 31st annual Old Songs Festival in Altamont, NY. It is a gathering of like-minded artists and patrons who spend a three day weekend together, attending workshops, informal and formal jam sessions, dances and concerts. My girls have attended all of there lives. Watching each one of them express their individual interests and make the experience "theirs" has been a delight.

Music has certainly been a constant love in my life, but so has reading and writing. Sometimes trying to find time for all of them has been a challenge. So, what is your passion? Tell me a little something about it, please.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Another month has flown past

Obviously I have not gotten into the routine of blogging. Major fail, or minor quirk?
I'm hoping it is a minor quirk.
How was the merry month of May for you? How did it come and go so fast? Our May started off unusually cold and rainy. Some nearby areas have seen major flooding and one area a few miles east had a tornado. Since there have been numerous devastating tornadoes it hardly seems right mentioning the nearby storm.
The thing is, we don't usually see tornadoes in the great northeast. Once and a long while the right weather phenomena occurs to create the right conditions, but it isn't usual.
Another unusual thing that occurred in May was the death of a co-workers child. Horrible, devastating. I am thrilled to report, we have an enlightened boss who closed our site for a bereavement day. Or maybe it was because she knew we would all want to be there for our co-worker when she had to bury her child. In any case, we had the day off.
What do you say to someone who is facing the worst thing possible? Parents are not supposed to bury a child--it is just wrong. What is there to say? I heard phrases like: "He is at peace now."
Really? How does that provide comfort?
Another phrase overheard was: "He has shed his broken body. Now that he is in heaven he can walk and run and play like any normal child."
Really? I wanted to smack the person.
I walked up to my co-worker wondering what do I say? I pulled her into my arms still wondering and hear her say, "You are the one person, I believe, that may have an inkling of the pain I am in."
She has often alluded to the fact that we are/were raising children with disabilities and we belonged to this special, different sisterhood.
When my daughter was so very ill at the end of March, I had a few hours of severe worry that she would not survive. It was nightmare-frightening. Maybe I do have an inkling of the pain she is in, but it is not the same. I sure have been hugging my girls a lot more in the past week.
I ache for my friend's pain and her loss.