Wow! I am typing December's blog before Thanksgiving! I'm anticipating getting busy with rehearsals, performances, job-hunting, etc. and I have so much on my mind.
I am happy to say that my latest song "Like the Snow" is finished, and tomorrow morning I am meeting with Oscar Quiroga to upload to YouTube. My goal is 1,000,000 views. I think you will agree, when you see it, that Oscar interpreted the lyrics beautifully. Please share the link with your family, friends, co-workers and even a stranger or two! Thank you!
While I was in the process of selecting images to accompany the music, 224 passengers were killed when a bomb exploded on a Russian Metrojet airliner as it flew over Egypt. As I made my final photo selections, France was attacked by terrorists and 129 people died, 352 injured (99 critically). Not long after that terrorists stormed a luxury hotel in Mali and killed 20 people. I'm not even going to mention other headlines that made the news that week-the mass migrations of people fleeing their countries with no place to go, shootings and hate crimes at colleges and high schools, babies and animals being tortured and killed…and the US troops and civilians, who are dying and wounded, and have been for years, since the wars in the Middle East heated up. Glossing over this horror were glitzy online pop-up ads for the upcoming holidays and more stupid sh!#$ about nothing.
By November 21, I couldn't take it anymore. I didn't leave my house. I just cried. I managed to get it together to go to church on Sunday and run a choir rehearsal, then I went home and cried some more. My brain could not even form a coherent thought. I felt guilty about every harsh word or action I have ever committed. I trapped a huge palmetto bug that scared me when it ran by my foot, and I freed it outdoors. I honestly didn't know what it was going to take to lift me out of this. I hadn't felt this heavy since 2001, when the world lost my sister Cathy and the 2,977 victims of the September 11th terrorist attack. I wasn't scared. I was devastated.
It was on Monday, 11/23, while sitting against a huge tree in a Hollywood park, that I found strength. It didn't come from within. I was sitting against the tree for almost 2 hours, listening to the wind in the branches, watching early morning joggers and dog walkers enjoying their routines. I closed my eyes. I wanted to empty my head. I wanted the sun to penetrate every pore in my body and disintegrate any dark, negative images or emotions it held. Earlier that morning, I had seen on the news that a 33 year old Martial Arts instructor was walking his dog in Miami, and got killed in a brutal hit-and-run accident. He lived with his mom, and was her only child. His shaken and scared dog ran home by himself. More and more pain. A mother grieving and inconsolable. I couldn't shut it out. The tears spilled down my face.
Unexpectedly a very soft Jamaican voice asked me, "Honey, what happened? What happened to you?" I opened my eyes, self conscious to see a uniformed park maintenance man standing over me. He was carrying a leaf blower, and was perhaps about 65 years old. I replied gruffly, "Nothing! I'm okay!" He wasn't convinced and hovered, studying me.
"He probably thinks I'm a junkie or something" I thought. I was wearing jeans that were too baggy on me, and an old T-shirt. My hair was hanging over my face. I smiled at him-and sincerely felt my heart lift. He truly cared. I felt it. "No, really, I'm okay, just relaxing." He nodded, smiled back, "Well, okay then." He returned to his work, blowing autumn leaves off the playground area, leaving it bare. "What a useless task it is, to blow debris away when the wind is only going to blow it back again." But that is life. We help to clear away the pain, the negativity, the doubts, for ourselves and others, even though we know that the unpredictable winds of change will come again and disturb our order. We do it because we have to. We do it because we want to change the world. And we are: "in every act of kindness, big or small; in every work of art; in every word of truth we speak or write- we score one more for the light'" (my lyrics for my next song! Stay tuned).
I wish for all of you beautiful holiday moments, safe travels, peace, good health and time to clear your space and reflect.