Saturday, November 11, 2017

An interruption or an invitation to dance?


Yesterday I was singing at a nursing home with a group with Alzheimer's. At one point, a woman got up and wandered into the administrator's office. Instead of this being treated like an interruption, the staff member got up and began to dance with her. They held hands and laughed and danced to my songs while the rest cheered for the dancing woman. She was so delighted with herself. I was really impressed with how this "interruption" turned into a joyful moment for all of us.

So the next time you get "interrupted" - might you dance? As I type my cat is staring for her snack. Yes, a dance with my cat is in store :)

The photo here was taken at the Paris Apothecary in a class I took today on starting a nature journal. It was a beautiful place! The class was held in the church next door to the apothecary. 





It was a brisk day outside sketching and painting with watercolors. Here are our sketches:



Thursday, November 2, 2017

A Pocket of Peace


Once a month I play my guitar in the lobby at the gym where I go.  The idea is that going to the gym is "me" time. A place to decompress and unwind. I play in a seated area where members sit and read or wait for an appointment.  I am in the background but I also get to meet many people who come and talk to me and tell me how much they appreciate the music.

The other night, during my usual playing time I was suddenly surprised by very loud, rowdy music blasting from the other room. At first I could not figure out where the sound was coming from and I asked the woman on the couch, "Do you hear that music??" She smiled and said, "Yes it is from a beautiful woman playing the guitar." Then as the loud music continued, she realized what I was talking about.  It was from a new cycling class going on and I had another 45 minutes left to play in the lobby. What to do?!!

As someone with a severe hearing loss, loud music can be very debilitating to me. I wear a cochlear implant (bionic ear) and I am not someone who can just "tune out" or ignore any noise. All sounds in a room appear of equal importance to my brain.  Unlike many who can walk right by a leaf blower or floor buffer or vacuum cleaner and not flinch. Recently, someone said to me, "A noisy environment to you is a threatening environment. " Wow- did that hit home!  I was so glad for this insight because it made me see how much I become tense and even give myself a bad headache.

So here I was in what the old me would have considered a "threatening environment" -- the loud bass booming from the next room, the electric guitars blaring, the fast beating drums threatening to speed up my heart rate.  I stopped playing and went into the women's locker room to think of what to do. Should I tell them I can't continue? Then it came to me. No. I will not let the outside world dictate how I feel. I will remain calm and offer a pocket of peace amidst the loud noise of the world. We are living in harsh, frazzled times. I don't want to be a part of that rat race.

I went back to the lobby and took up my guitar and focused on the peace that the music I play makes me feel.  While I was distracted at times by the noise, I remained determined not to let it throw me off.

It was a good lesson for me and speaking of peace- the above photo I took is from the view at a nursing home where I play twice a month.  This view I love and it is views like these I keep amidst the ugliness we sometimes have around me.

Wishing you a peaceful and quiet day!