All That Jazz!

Words spill out.  I use the word beautiful a lot!  I mention, too often, how grateful I am or how blessed I feel.  Writing helps me to take pause, to slow down and to take real measure of how truly fortunate I am. I seem to be a more positive person when I write. However, in that part of life away from the keyboard, I can become anxious, worrying and temperamental. I thought about this last evening, after an experience of improvisational jazz music that was both rich and compelling.  I’ll make a connection between words and jazz in a moment.  Readers, bear with me.

I always think of Wendy as a connector, but more than that, a dear friend.  Out of the blue, she invited me to join her for an early evening of improvised jazz.  The musicians, percussionist Robin Tufts and trumpet player, Andre Wickenheiser, created such magic in musical dialogue, that tonight, even as I write, I get chills.

We entered through the front doorway of the ‘yellow house’ and stepped into the warm light of new friendship.  Everywhere, interesting objects told stories of inspiration and the arts. Wonderful aromas wafted from the kitchen.  Introductions were made and Pat steered us toward the two pots of stock heating on the stove top.  Hanna turned meatballs in the fry pan.  I began chopping up beets on a wooden cutting board and the conversations seamlessly wove over and under and through the lovely gathering.  The only time the words stopped, was at the invitation to gather for the music.

Words stopped.

Taken from page 107

The Power of Silence: Silent Communication in Daily Life By Colum Kenny

What was about to take place was the ‘touching of a mystery’…a silencing of words.

Andre and Robin took their seats before us and Robin invoked a minute of silence.  It was heart breaking, the silence was so beautiful.  And…out of that silence was born the most remarkable improvised jazz sound.  I was transported or emptied or released…I haven’t decided which.  I relaxed.  Words left me.  I didn’t ‘think’.  It was a wonderful experience to focus on a weeping trumpet, a laughing trumpet…a percussive response; a light bell, wood, metal, skin….a cry, a gasp, a retort.  So complex, and yet so immediate and natural.

I was a little disappointed when the music came to a peaceful close.  Words, again, flowed throughout the room.  Conversations. Reactions. Circular sifting through spaces, hot bowls of soup…bread…desserts.  A glass of wine.  It was a genuinely ‘magical’ experience.

Thank you to Pat,  Robin and Andre.  It was good to meet you; Hanna and Roberta, Jaqueline, Rayne, Claudia…

Wendy, as always, thank you.

 

 

New Year Resolve by Mary Sarton

May Sarton (1912-1995)
At her death, May Sarton had written 53 books: 19 novels, 17 books of poetry, 15 nonfiction works including her acclaimed journals, 2 children’s books, a play, and some screenplays. I’ve tried to list first editions here, whenever possible, or at least to give the copyright date if I couldn’t find a complete reference to the first edition. Many newer editions of her works are also in print. I have sometimes listed multiple editions if the illustrations or supporting materials are different. For a comprehensive bibliography describing works by and about Sarton, see May Sarton: A Bibliography. (Annotated) by Lenora P. Blouin. Metuchen, New Jersey: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1978.

May Sarton wished that upon her death a fund would be established from the residue of her estate to provide scholarships for poets and historians of science. (Her father was a historian of science at Harvard.) The Sarton Fund has been established and is held under the auspices of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, of which May Sarton was a member. The Sarton Estate recorded May Sarton’s memorial service, which may be ordered for a small sum that includes a donation to the fund.

To contact the Sarton Fund, write to:
Sarton Fund, c/o The American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Norton’s Woods, 136 Irving St., Cambridge, MA 02138.

Source

May-Sarton-Quotes-1

New Year Resolve by May Saron

The time has come
To stop allowing the clutter
To clutter my mind
Like dirty snow,
Shove it off and find
Clear time, clear water.
Time for a change,
Let silence in like a cat
Who has sat at my door
Neither wild nor strange
Hoping for food from my store
And shivering on the mat.
Let silence in.
She will rarely mew,
She will sleep on my bed
And all I have ever been
Either false or true
Will live again in my head.
For it is now or not
As old age silts the stream,
To shove away the clutter,
To untie every knot,
To take the time to dream,
To come back to still water.

from The Silence Now – New and Uncollected Earlier Poems

Listen Here

A New Earth: Book Talk

I have read most of Eckhart Tolle’s book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. Reading the book came out of a need through the Springtime.  Prior to that time, I thought that the life that I was creating was so satisfactory and that everything was ‘comfortable’ and relationships were ‘steadfast’.  Shortly thereafter, things came crashing down around me.  Out of that huge shift, I meditated/prayed/felt deeply and I decided that in order to move forward in a healthy way, I would need to have a huge commitment to awakening to a new way of BEING.  While I had already had a whole number of ‘stories’ of struggle and heartache in my life, I finally became CONNECTED in a negative way to this new story and felt a sense of hopelessness and could not see myself ever feeling whole again.

This book does not provide ‘the answer’, but it does provide a vehicle for my experience of personal growth.  I have decided, (since training a puppy interspersed with studio painting seems to be my summer-story), that intellectually/spiritually, I would explore my inner landscape and open to myself and whatever that landscape had to offer me.

My blog will be a place where I can explore the concepts that have been key along the way.  I will explore them in a general way here in this public forum, and will keep a personal journal of the specifics of how these concepts relate to my personal experience.  As I write, my puppy sleeps at my feet.  It is a wonderful respite!

This morning’s blog will hold just a couple of insights that I can apply from the reading of Chapter One. My individual fears, anger and doubts contribute to an overall collective in the world.  When I put out my fears, hurt and doubt into the world; my family, my circle of friends or even in a grocery line-up, I am contributing to a greater universal experience.  It is essential that I observe, that I DO have old stories in my head, but that I needn’t connect with those stories…but to observe them and accept them, without connection.  I will give these stories less energy if I consciously observe them…and what my mind is saying…but without identification.  Acceptance to the feelings is key, without thinking, analyzing and judging.