Kind of feels like we’re in a slip of mass hysteria. We’ll remember it by the Toilet Paper Commemorative 2020. But did you know that over 40,000 people die from car accidents per year in the United States, more than 95 people per day? It might behoove us to practice safer, kinder, focused, and more patient driving practices as opposed to mindlessly ripping the road up as if we’re in a video game and can’t get hurt or hurt others. Yet, today, panic over a certain illness has taken precedence as fear spreads fear among humans. Maybe we’ve watched one too many viral-zombie apocalypse movies—I don’t know, but there can be moments where the observational reaction is suffocating.
So as I was experiencing one of those high-anxiety moments the other day, I stepped outside on my back porch, looked to the skies and earth, and was struck at the normalcy of nature. It breathes, “All’s well here; life goes on greatly and without concern.” Birds frolic in the sky dotted with clouds moved by a breeze, as cheerful songs trill and chirp from those happy little beaks; dogs trot along, their tongues hanging in joyful slobber; rabbits are getting frisky; and the deer still tiptoe to the silver stream lapping refreshing water to quench a moment of thirst. Then they all move on their way to wherever they go and do what they do. These things of nature, they don’t worry about tomorrow. As the Word says—and the Word is life—tomorrow will take care of itself.
So, sure, maybe we humans take reasonable precautions, just as we should when getting behind the steering wheel with our incredibly well-washed hands. But maybe at this time we should strive more to do as the following scripture tells us. We go about our business taking one day at a time, our souls seeking after the Father, the only true balm, the only real soother, our only pure provider when the world has gone mad.
Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV)"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Lately, I’ve been feeling as if moving underwater through life and had to take a break from routine. So, I’ve been absent from here for a bit. In the interim, a friend shared with me the following film of an underwater artist. Took my breath away. One of the most beautiful presentations I’ve seen, it's proven hard not to replay it constantly. I’ve had dreams of dancing underwater, but I think my day will be in Heaven when I know I won’t drown. Interestingly, this video has helped me as a writer. More on that development will be revealed at a later time. For now, please enjoy this all-encompassing masterpiece.
Although I’m a huge aficionada of music, all styles (okay, maybe a little less of country—don’t shoot me!), it is a rare occasion when I actually anticipate the official day of release for a particular album. This is one of those junctures where I have been counting down the calendar (three more days from this point) to claim my own copy of the looming album, of Beauty and Rage, by one of my favorite bands, RED. Sometimes I just don’t care to contain my enthusiasm, so here goes a sharesy of what to look forward to on the 24th.*
*They outdid themselves. What an epic album!
Maybe it should be entitled, True Love Never Dies. In the sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, Christine Daaé has been married to Raoul ten years. At first considered safe and secure, Raoul has proven otherwise, as he drowns in his self-inflicted indomitable issues. Moreover, tenderness towards his wife has withered to nil. She dutifully has stayed beside him, accepting her lot with grace, yet she is hollow where happiness should reside, disappointed where love should flourish. And all this time, she has suppressed the secret that her true soul mate is not the one she had married. Erik, the phantom lover, suddenly reenters the picture after a decade.
Wonderfully cast in this Australian production with Anna O’Byrne as Christine and Ben Lewis as Erik, the following is my favorite scene, a recollection of their night together, the two who were meant to be one. It’s beautifully tragic, horribly exquisite, pleading, what is love without anguish, heartbreak, regret, and longing.
An arctic blast swept over the region. Many places are closed, schools, businesses, as folks hunker in their homes, warding the chill.
I sat, staring out the window this morning. My restless spirit stirred with the sense of captivity. So I did what I often like to do, selected music and watched nature, allowing appreciation to swell. A warm house, a cup of coffee, my favorite chair in a quiet corner, the first glint of sun reflecting off iced trees at dawn, music to warm and settle the soul.
My kind of tango these days. Maybe I need to write a breakup, or another dance of decision anyway.
There was a time when I couldn’t listen to anything while writing fiction because, distracted, I’d focus on the progression of the music instead of the story. Things changed over time, and now I find music enhances productivity. I often rely on it.
My tastes are eclectic, and what I choose depends on the type of manuscript or mood. During the writing of Wind’s Aria I almost exclusively listened to Barber’s Adagio for Strings. Considered “The saddest music ever written,” and “full of pathos and cathartic passion,” I discovered, long ago, that sadness evokes greater creativity in me.
Today I’m lingering in the realm of fantasy and I find Globus a great go-to while in my current work-in-progress. Particularly fond of genre-blended pieces, here’s a sample of one I especially like: Sarabande Suite (Aeternae)
Experiencing a midweek slump?
This might enliven things a bit.
I stayed up much too late watching The Met’s presentation of Donizetti’s “Anna Bolena” on PBS. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Soprano Anna
Netrebko in the title role is mesmerizing! Besides her fiery, captivating performance, she caused me to suffer her injustice. The story is based on Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn, who is falsely condemned by the king of the very thing in which he, her husband, engages. The final scene was especially stirring, where Netrebko as Bolena sways between delirium, righteous indignation, and willpower. It haunts me still, as I ponder the philosophical elements that extend from the depths of a dynamic performance…
How could this happen?
Love never ends happily.
When a performer can make others feel all that, then she is all that and more. Bravissima!