Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thank You for the Music

     I’ve been listening to a lot of music these days.  It’s like taking the magical mystery tour through my childhood.  Curled up on the sofa sized overstuffed futon in my office with a pumpkin spice candle flickering away in the darkness, listening with my most exploratory ear, to the sounds of my childhood, delivered via iHeart Radio’s “Central Park Leaves Falling”  and my latest obsession, the “sentimental songwriters” station.  
Every time a Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song is on a vivid image pops into my brain and I "feel" a memory....sitting up, all wobbly at the core, on a blue blanket with white daisies, unable to crawl very far or walk, less than a year old.  Feeling the music.

As a child I was immersed, fully submerged in an incredible, rich musical culture with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Loggins and Messina, James Taylor, The Beatles, Carole King, Joan Armatrating, Blue Oyster Cult, Michael Jackson, Joni Mitchell, Prince, The Eagles, Van Morrison, Judy Collins, Jefferson Airplane, Crazy Horse, Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, The Allman Brothers Band, The Who, Led Zeppelin, LIttle Feat, Neil Young, Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, Grateful Dead, John Denver, Santana, Electric Light Orchestra, Elton John, Diana Ross and The Supremes, Derek and The Dominos, The Rolling Stones, Huey Lewis and The News, The Beatles (and their later solo careers), and many other incredible artists being played with great frequency. My parents didn’t just play a song or two, my parents played entire albums, back to back, one after the next.  It was like having my own personal DJs on hand.  
Somewhere in my deep subconcious I have entire albums memorized.  A secret archive that lies within my brain of all the great albums of the 1970s and 1980s, with some older classics mixed in for comparing and contrasting.  Through listening to these online radio stations, I get tiny gifts delivered any time I listen to the “radio”.  At The Moose Lodge we only get public radio reception on a blue bird day, so any music or public radio has to come from the internet. 
I am so damn thankful for the internet.  If it were not for the internet, I couldn’t be here, doing this.  The connection to the “outside world” that online connectivity provides us is priceless.  The friendship, support, and encouragement we’ve been blessed with has helped us transition here, to this wild place.  Our friends and family sending us messages of encouragement and support, bolstering our faith when it’s -30 with wind, doing outside chores for an hour and feeling thankful for every damn minute of it.  Thankful for every gust of wind, thankful for the cold, because we are living a wild life and sharing it with you.  Just over three months in and this has already been the most incredible experience I could possibly imagine.  I still find it hard to articulate what this experience is about, to answer the “why’s”.  


Prior to moving here I tuned into the traditional radio, which I suspect in the next few years will become a dinosaur in the hall of archived electronics. Now I listen to the radio online, streaming music at random, sampling the buffet.  The online format has delivered “new” (to me) songs by some of my favorite artists.  Somehow even the newly uncovered artists songs sound deeply famaliar, which leads me to believe that early musical exposure had a lasting, life changing impact.  An imprint on my mind and on my musical soul.  Rediscovering these songs is like finding another missing piece to the  musical puzzle that was my childhood.  

This musical appreciation in early childhood helped me to develop an ecclectic musical palate.  If it’s music, I will give it a go with my heart and mind wide open, with my ears tuned in, eagerly awaiting musical harmony and deceptive delight.  I can drink in music all day long and still never tire of the sounds, the words, the stories - the lives of the musicians who devote themselves to their talent, often at a high cost.  
I read an article a while back in The Week news magazine about George Harrison.  I actually saved it and gave it to my mom, as a token of thanks and reminder of the music we’ve shared. A thank you for introducing me to George at such a young age.  

The article describes Harrison’s only child, Dhani’s interpretations of his father, when he was a child:  Harrison was ecstatic when the couple had their only child, Dhani, in 1978. His advice to his son was to "be happy and meditate," says Dhani, who grew up in Friar Park, the 120-room mansion in the English countryside that Harrison purchased in 1970. The property was beautiful and mysterious, with caves, gargoyles, waterfalls, and stained glass installed by Sir Frank Crisp, an eccentric millionaire who'd owned it until his death, in 1919. Harrison turned his energies to restoring the 35-acre property's gardens, which had fallen into disrepair.
AS A SMALL boy, Dhani says, "I was pretty sure he was just a gardener," a reasonable conclusion since Harrison would work 12-hour days planting trees and flowers. "Being a gardener and not hanging out with anyone and just being home, that was pretty rock 'n' roll, you know?" says Dhani.
George Harrison lived life, as best he could on his own terms without accept being pinned down as any one thing, or person.  He shrugged of the mainstream, he went his own way and did the best he could to be a good person, despite the crazy things that fame can bring.  
Different layers of personality, stacked upon one another - people records.  Each record creates a unique experience that has a certain flair, a specific a musical harmony that compliments your life and allows for the creation of rich, rewarding experiences.  The different qualities that make up people, the uniqueness that lies in every living person, that “something special” we all bring to the world.  We’re going around and around like stacked records of eclectic genres, cultures and respective tastes.  Spinning.  
Harrison was fond of repeating a phrase he attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, "Create and preserve the image of your choice," which is odd, because his choice seemed to be no image at all. He was an escape artist, forever evading labels and expectations.
"He didn't really have a manager or an agent. He was doing what he wanted.” - The Week
While I’ve developed an interest in every kind of music there is, I have never learned to play an instrument.  I’ve hit a few keys on a piano and rocked out with a recorder, with all my might, the occasional harmonica solo, and of course, the slide whistle quartet (my husband’s employer had slide whistles at one of their Christmas parties, and the months that followed left us all a bit hard of hearing).  This week I bought my first guitar, verbally at least, until the next time I come in “To Town” and meet her, my first guitar.  
Another Dream, Realized.
I had reached out to a friend for help in selecting my first guitar.  A few days later he found one and has been kind enough to claim her and hold onto her until I can bring her home.  The simple act of reaching out and asking for help from a friend.  More wild dreams coming true, each and every day.  
Chicken Soup for the Soul 
Simple things really are what matters most.  The little moments in our day that we fill with things we love and enjoy doing.  Those are the things in life that matter.  Music matters.  Hugging your kids good night and really squeezing them -- extra hard, wrapping them with all the love you have in your heart.  
There is nothing in life that could be more important than that.  
Golden Girl
The love of a parent, the unique, special love you have for each of their personality records.  The loud and noisy, the soothing and calm, the imperfect and unusualLoving them up and being thankful for the incredible gifts you have been given in life is about the best thing you can spend doing with your time.  
As I’ve immersed myself in this experience that is The Moose Lodge, I am starting to realize a metamorphisis is underway.  A series of new records is waiting to be released.  New Things. Big Dreams.  Each of us is experiencing a deep personal transformation, by simply being present, in there here and now - together as a family.  
George reading one of my childhood books "Tales of Peter Rabbit and
 His Friends" by Beatrix Potter
There is nothing in life that could be more important than that.  
I was rocking out before I could roll over!
Thanks Mom and Dad for teaching me the important things in life, for making music part of my soul and for giving me heart and faith that even the wildest dreams can come true.  I love you guys more than you will ever know.  
Right before my first heart surgery.
Thanks to my family for giving me my roots and teaching me to use my wings, so that I can fly.  



If not for you
Babe, I couldnt even find the door
I couldnt even see the floor
Id be sad and blue, if not for you

If not for you
Babe, the night would see me wide awake
The day would surely have to break
It would not be new, if not for you

If not for you, my sky would fall
Rain would gather, too
Without your love Id be nowhere at all
Id be lost, if not for you

If not for you
The winter would hold no spring
Couldnt hear a robin sing
I just wouldnt have a clue, if not for you

If not for you, my sky would fall
Rain would gather, too
Without your love Id be nowhere at all
Id be lost, if not for you

If not for you
The winter would hold no spring
Couldnt hear a robin sing
I just wouldnt have a clue, if not for you

If not for you