She spoke about her thriving life as she once knew it. It was complete with a new successful business and loving fiance. After the tragedies of 9/11, she lost everything in the death of her husband. It triggered a need to live without regret.
If I wait any longer to complete the career transition that I have wanted for so long, I run the risk of living of life filled with regret. It has been too long of a situation for me because of security. While I was groomed and put in a position of job safety, my health and happiness have both been sacrificed in the process. Another year has gone by and taken my age with it. If a move is not made now, the fear of retirement looms on the horizon without ever quenching the thirst for something more.
This is the moment when I have finally decided to take the plunge and try. Will the freelance life be for me?
There are people that eat cake when they are hungry and drink wine when they are thirsty. Is this abundance or a poor diet?
In 2010, The Beginning was released as my first cd. It had occurred to me that I had fallen into simply doing performances that enabled me to be in the background; this is something that I needed to change. Music has been a passion of mine since childhood, and there was more that I could do with it besides my normal endeavors. Compositions began to appear and the impromptu songs that I created suddenly surfaced as a new skill for me: improvisation.
Since releasing that cd, interesting collaborations have occurred. Poets have poured their hearts out on stage as I plucked tunes behind them. Some of the songs on the cd were written for: Flamenco, Ballet, and Middle Eastern Dance. I even used my music while teaching at a local womens’ shelter. There was once a beautiful pole dancer that freestyled for ten glorious minutes while I created her soundtrack.
When I think about why I live this musical life, I think about how the music makes me feel. It gives me the opportunity to be creative and step into an extraordinary life. My mind can go somewhere and take the audience with it. Words do not have to be said; the music does the talking for me. It can convey the deepest of emotions and the heights of joy.
Harp was not available to me when I had a fleeting thought about it in middle school. As my senior year of high school came to a close, my father suggested that I try it. It was not long before I was performing at local events and with various ensembles. Life serves as the inspiration for me to continue this journey with my harp. There is so much to share and explore with this rare instrument. It brings me a great deal of satisfaction when people are able to get in touch with their feelings because they were able to listen to me perform.
Along the journey of life, I discovered meditation. It soon dawned on me that the harp would be beneficial to such a practice. It was then that I created Harpitations; meditation to my improvisations on the harp. This was something that I pursued at a local spiritual center for a year along with womens’ circles. People would share their visions and feelings of being balanced after the sessions. It was always an interesting exchange of energy. I would offer the music and the people would return their words of elevation. In the near future, I see myself developing this into something that can benefit more people.
As the year progresses, new projects shall appear on my plate. Celtic Harp is something that shall be a pursuit of mine in addition to a possible Soprano & Harp recital. Composing is always around the corner, and there has been more than one request for another cd. Narrowing down the theme shall be difficult as there is so much that I can do: angels, lullabies, popular music; it is so hard to choose. The one thing that is certain is that the life of a musician is always full of wonderful things that entertain not only the audience but the musician as well.
My bed was consuming me for a while as the time crept closer towards my performing in West Palm Beach. When the phone rang, I saw that it was my brother. He informed me that our mother had been rushed to Baptist Hospital. I knew that I was going to have to go there whether or not I could still make the wedding. In a complete teary flurry, I dressed and loaded for the performance. As I breathed, I took control of the task at hand. Baptist was at least 30 minutes south of me and it was now my job to get there in one piece. As my Element took the 826, my friends began to pray.
My brother was there in her room. He stood so very tall in his six feet with his large gray shirt. He was in Weston on his way to work when he had to turn around for Kendall. Our father was asleep with sciatic pain. As the doctor spoke to my mother, I took the opportunity to paint my face. I greeted my concerned father. When my mother saw me, she voiced her happiness over my appearance. She felt very lucky to have her entire family around her. The little room was cramped with love. Friends and live prayer soon streamed in to round us out.
The traffic from Baptist Hospital to West Palm Beach was fair. I arrived in no time and was able to complete the entire performance with little distraction. My mind was more at ease after seeing my mother. Apparently, she passed out in front of her home and her friend dialed 911. Because the attending doctor does not know the cause of the problem, he has asked her to stay in observation over night as a precaution.
After the wedding, I went home to refresh myself and have a meal. I figured that there was no sense in me spreading myself thin with worry. It would only upset my mother and possibly compromise my already troubled system. As I greeted my mother for the second time today, she was overcome with surprise. She did not expect to see me after my performance. I stayed with her as long as I could before escaping the hospital grounds in search of slumber.
Somehow I managed to end up in the prayer garden. There was a fountain in front of lovely benches. The chapel windows had stain glass windows that shined in the light. The hour was late and yet I still found myself stealing some moments on the benches in front of the fountain. I imagined angels surrounding me there with encouragement and light.
My Sunday was scheduled to be a busy one. It has been cleared of all responsibilities. It is important for me to take some time to understand this moment for everything that is has brought to me. People of various faiths prayed for me and my mother today. My family came together to uplift our mother. Friends from near and far came to stand beside their beloved sister. There is power in love and unity. I want to take the time to understand all of these things.
I do not listen to harp music. This probably surprises many people but it isn’t something that I gravitate towards. I would much rather listen to cello or R&B music. However, the timbre of the Celtic harp is one that has always entranced me. Its history within Ireland runs deep. Listening to it is so very soothing. I have often wondered if I would purchase one. After I met a Celtic harpist today at the local Renaissance Faire, I know that I will.
Her small stage was set against the lake at sunset. She was dressed in attire of yesteryear and the sounds of her instrument were absolutely beautiful. It was a subtle statement of healing. It was a joy to watch and listen at the same time. I introduced myself and was given the opportunity to play the magical instrument. It was not long before I purchased a cd and left my business card.
As my soy candles burn, the cd is playing in the background. Its a nice quiet Saturday evening. Perhaps this music captures the joy of my day and heals the trials of the week. It will no doubt serve me well in the near future as my weary body drags me back to work.
As my search for a comfortable physical fitness regime continued, it occurred to me that a dear friend was a tennis professional. It made sense for me to ask her for a lesson even it I only played one time. As a child, I spent a few summers playing tennis and even won a tournament. The tennis trophy is still on display in my home.
While another friend picked up the pole that was no longer in use, I shared my plans to have a tennis lesson. Her visible excitement burst into a self invite to tag along. She brought her significant other along as well which made for a wonderful morning.
We ran up and down the court. Pink and yellow balls were employed as well as colorful racquets. There were warm up exercises and tennis stance reviews. As the noon sun shone brightly in the sky, we played doubles matches. Good and bad shots were made on all sides. The best part was that all of us were smiling. We felt as if this was something that we wanted to share on a regular basis. We sweated and felt good about it. Our picture was taken at our request so that the happy time could be remembered by all.
I may have found a new hobby that also makes me social at the same time. No one knows for certain. All I do know is that there was something special about my time on the court today that made me feel good.
It was a bright and sunny Christmas morning. My performance was inside of a country club in West Palm Beach. Since it was for five hours, there were many breaks to take. Upon returning from my second break, a mother brought her young daughter to meet me. She informed me that when I left for my break, problems began at her table. Apparently, the little girl was enjoying the sounds of the harp and wanted to know when I was returning. She was so insistent that the mother thought it would be best both of them came by the stage to say hello. I greeted my new friend and thanked her for her support. When her mother asked her if she was ready to leave, she shook her head no.
During another occurrence at that very same country club, I was dressed in a purplish dress with flowers. As I performed on stage, a little girl in the same color walked up to the stage and parked herself. She remained in front of me for a very long time. She simply listened to the music. She seemed entranced in the middle of the hustle and bustle of all of the waiters and people swarming around the gigantic food displays. The chefs noticed the interaction and mentioned that a photographer should have been present.
I used to feel terribly lonely during the holidays because I would be away from family and friends performing in far away places. It came with the territory of being a musician, and I dealt with it the best that I could. During one of those holidays, a little girl brought me a picture that she had drawn of me during brunch with her family. There I was sitting at the harp with the words, you play like an angel. Since she bestowed such an honor on me, I have not felt lonely during holiday performances.
Change is a personal choice because it involves effort. Effort is something that not every individual on the planet has the desire or integrity to execute. It is easier to speak about an issue without the person’s knowledge instead of confronting the person. Instead of dieting an exercising, many opt to spend tons of money on plastic surgery only to be disappointed when the weight returns. A band aid is too small to cover a wound; it requires a team of surgeons.
Change is not something that you can hope for or expect. You must take part in it. How? It begins with something small. Perhaps you are unhappy with the way that you carry yourself. You lack confidence or that extra spring in your walk. You know about these things but have yet to do anything about them. What is stopping you? Perhaps it is fear.
Fear is a crippling disease that begins in our own minds and can rob us of our hopes and dreams. Obstacles may appear larger than what they truly are when in truth, help could be just around the corner. I have found that I am surrounded by people that know a lot about other avenues that can often assist me. It only takes asking the right person the right question. It takes starting a conversation with that nice gentleman inside the botanica. When you want to help yourself, people want to help you.
For the last few weeks, my life has lacked any purpose whatsoever. I have felt completely useless and withdrawn from the passion of living. My existence has been unimportant. These feelings lingered long enough for me to check the info regarding my personal life cycles. There it was in black and white. During cycle 7, feelings of aimlessness and pessimism frolic. Mind and spirit are low. Reading that made me feel so much better. A girl likes to think that she is associated with some sort of positive meaning in life and to be without one was a bad feeling.
Since reading that, not much has changed. The routine of life bores me. There are ways that I engage myself with fun. My nails are a screaming bold blue. My new handbag is a bright orange which has company with a matching water bottle. It is the little things in life that get me. After finally beginning the background work for some upcoming projects, my feelings are slowly coming together about myself.
Trying to find the hospital in the city is like running through a maze in the dark. The directions were wrong. The traffic was moderate and there were lots of people that looked important running around in suits. When I finally arrived, valet parking was delayed so I hightailed it for the garage. The second floor was kind enough to provide my large vehicle with a space.
After I cleared security and adjusted to being in a place where people die, the elevators took me to the fifth floor where the gyn’s office was. An 11:00am appointment had been scheduled for me. After a weekend of violent mood swings and cramps before dawn, it was time for me to seek medical intervention. My abnormal behavior disturbed me.
There was an interview in a separate room prior to being seen for the main event. Am I sexually active. Why am I here. What was the date of my last period; I have an app for that. As my body settled into the second room, pictures of birth control suddenly popped before my eyes on the walls. There was a T looking contraption in a uterus. The sight of that drove me to tears. It looked simply awful. As the stinging tore at my skin, I wondered why there was such a heavy emphasis being placed on women to pop children out as their sole function in life. Before the door opened, the tears were washed from my face.
There is not a woman on earth that enjoys a vaginal exam, myself included. Between the insertion and the pressure, there is simply no relief until you are away from the office. The polite conversation fell on my sexual practices. One is supposed to feel free discussing this with a complete stranger but then you remember that it is a medical individual; you carry on. The results of my last pap were requested and there I was on my way. It took me over thirty minutes to locate my car but after crying in the office, I figured that it was right in line.
As the hospital faded into the distance, a Jamaican beef patty crossed my mind. So did my 3:30pm appointment.