May 1, 2009

Day 9 Open Heart Letter- Sweet Music

Ok I admit it. I fudged the date on this entry, I am actually writing it on day 10 of this commitment. Yesterday was crazy, every minute filled with preparation for my trip and hanging with my family who I won’t see for 7 days. And then at 11:00pm I went out with a gaggle of friends to funk it up with Brian Rosen and the What Now? They were so very on, the music was fantastic and tight. Wonderfully textured which made it a joy to dance to, so many different lines of melody and rhythm to choose from. I danced all night, with friends on the dance floor and friends on the stage. Felt like a family celebration. When the show was over we went back to their studio and jammed some more. I got home in the wee hours, exhausted and inspired. I have a deep deep love for music. More specifically I love how my body can take music in through my ears, through vibration, and translate it into endless possibilities of connected movement of celebration, giving back to the musicians. Dancing to live music always feels like a spiritual communion. At one point I had really dropped in, felt my body moving in a way it never had before, my eyes were closed and there was no where else in the world I wanted to be. I softly opened my gaze to see my friend Ty West, making magic with his guitar, we looked into each others eyes, huge smiles spreading cross our faces and shared an experience that required nothing but this music and this singular moment in time. I have wonderfully talented friends.

12 days journal #18 will be mailed to a man who inspired me with his music and his words at a time when I felt life crumbling away. My father in law was dying. My 3 children were very very close to him. My husband is an only child, his mom and I were the only family to hold him through the passing of his dad. My mother in law was losing her life partner of over 35 years. I remember having the moment where I realized that navigating the death of this man we loved, a man who had been like a father to me for 14 years, was up to me. That I had become the matriarch. I was the one who had to call the funeral home, organize the logistical matters, make the decisions. I remember feeling like a little girl,as though there was no way I could handle this awesome and sacred responsibility, and not being able to tell this to anyone. They were dealing with their own grief, they had no room for my fear. I walked into a rock and gem shop to buy some ceremonial sage for the inevitable funeral and heard the voice of an angel. At first singing, then speaking an invocation. His words were exactly the reminder of strength that I needed. I have since sung with he and his family a number of times. He spurred my deep love of Kirtan, and an even deeper love for finding the sacred in the every day. The question in this journal reads, “How has music changed your life?”


  1. When wounded and in pain, music is the one medium that most heals me. I will never forget the best example of this. Shortly after my baby son died, the latest Sting CD came out (Brand New Day). I bought it and listened to it over and over and over again...the music, the lyrics, it all washed over me. Then a close friend and I went to his concert where he played the songs on that CD and more.

    As I sat in the audience listening, absorbing the experience, feeling the peace and contentment and happiness of enjoying music that moves me with the one friend who had been blessed with the opportunity to meet Ian before he passed, well, it was just a much-needed reminder about how much love makes a difference, and how life can continue to be good and beautiful even with the grief and pain, and that both can coexist.

    Loss can help one appreciate what one has all the more.

    I could go on and on with other examples of how music has changed and informed my life, but this is your blog, not mine. :-)

    Thanks, Bernice.

  2. NO!! Go on! Go on and on and on...this is everyone's blog!! I love reading it, all of it!