Second Stab

Oh, the pressure!  The first post is easy because you don’t think anyone is actually going to read it.  Now, I know at least three people did — admittedly, one was my husband…

Good morning, world!  I’m not facing my day strong or healthy today, but at least I’m awake.  Sometimes waking up is the best we can do for the day, and I’ve learned to thank God for that!  I have no idea how much longer I’ll be allowed to be around.  I hope to live to a ripe (overly ripe!) old age and to see my kids have grandchildren of their own.  Even though I am a devout Christian (more on that later, I think…), I am afraid to die.  I’ve learned to thank God for that too, since that fear has kept me from taking my own life in my periods of darkest depression.  I’m not sure what scares me, but I know that I’d like to put off that trip as long as I can.

Whoa, that was deep for this early in the day!  Let’s take it back to happy, shall we?

One of the comments I got on my first entry (thanks, Susanna!) is that I should put my entries into catagories.  I will certainly look to do that in the future, but that will require me to actually focus my entries on one topic rather than allow myself to go off on the stream of consciousness rants I’m prone to.  I don’t doubt that I can do it, though.  I have found over the years that I really can do anything I put my mind to, and that I really am my own worst enemy.  If I could just get Lisa out of Lisa’s way, life would be far easier.

One of the things that I know will eventually appear on this blog is a series of entries about my grandmother.  I lost Grandma on July 25, 2010.  I was alone with her when she passed peacefully away, and I am so deeply honored that she chose me for that last moment on earth.  Our relationship was the most important of my life, so chances are really good that I’ll have some stuff to say about it here over time.  For now, I’ll say this: it was a privilege for me to have my grandmother for 42 years.  No matter how much her loss may hurt me, those 42 years with her have given me far more than I’ve lost.  Gladys Louise Christine Berkley, may your memory be eternal!

Hmm… how to follow that…

Ooh, I need to figure out how to post pics on this thing!  The one that’s here is nice and all, but it ain’t me.  I need to personalize this blog since it was/is intended to be sort of a public diary situation.  When I chose the name “violamom2tellsall”, it wasn’t meant to imply that I’m going to give advice like Oprah or Dear Abby — far from it!  This is my means of being accountable, of telling on myself.  These are the writings of a regular person trying to figure out an extraordinary life.  I need to let it all out for myself.  If I entertain or help anyone in the process, that’s gravy!  My mental health is the goal here.  This is to keep me moving forward and doing the next right thing.

My life requires no research and no doctorate.  I am the sole expert on it.  It is, at times, alternately fascinating and boring, exciting and mundane, holy and profane.  It is extraordinary in that it is a constantly unfolding story of secrets, lies, and stuff that you don’t see or hear everyday; but, I’ve come to find out that my life, while extraordinary, is not unique.  I hope that some of those who read my stories will tell their own too.  We all need a witness, someone to stand and testify that we lived and that our life was not in vain.  I have witnessed the tiny, beautiful moments of several lives over the years: my husband’s, my siblings’, my kids’, my students’…  I’m blessed to have had many lives to touch and many lives touch mine.

Thank you for being my witnesses, and hopefully not my judges.  Part of this journey is also to help me move away from my judgemental natural toward one of forgiveness and compassion.  Tenth step work.

I need coffee and some music.  I’ll let you all know what I hear today.

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Virgin Voyage!

Good evening!  This is my first attempt at blogging.  I’m not sure anyone will actually want to read what I write, but I wanted a place to put the detritus in my head — somewhere other than my trusty Facebook page.

I have been an Ohioan for 3 1/2 years now.  I’m slowly getting used to it, though I doubt that I will ever get over leaving the east coast.  I miss NYC terribly, but I know that coming to Ohio was the best move for my family.  My career is slowly making its way off the ground.  I’m teaching a lot and playing more and more the longer I’m here and the more folks I get to meet.  I will say this: folks in the music business here are really friendly and welcoming, which is not the experience I always had in New York.  The business in NYC is so tight and competitive.  Here, there is less to do and fewer opportunities for work, but folks are still always happy to see a new face.

Last night, I got to play a concert with Akron Symphony.  I had a lovely stand partner and the conductor was pretty good too.  It was a lovely experience (except for the late night drives back home to Oberlin from Akron!).  I hope that things will continue to pick up and that I can make more of a career/life for myself here.

At the beginning of our concert, we played Barber’s Adagio (commonly known as Adagio for Strings).  That piece never fails to move me.  There is a tremendous sense of longing, loneliness, pain, tenderness…  I understand it far better at (nearly) 44 than I did when I first heard it as a teenager.  Several of the pieces I’ve loved all my life hold an even more special meaning for me now that I’m older — and hopefully wiser!  Music has always been my outlet, my other language.  Music expressed for me the things I could not say and the pain I couldn’t share.  Music was my refuge and my strength.  It is still, but the stakes are somewhat higher now.

Today, in the car, I heard the last movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.  The words moved me to tears right then and there, even though I’ve played the piece hundreds of times!  My German is non-existent, but I know that Schiller wrote some of the most wonderful imagery of brotherhood and divine love — “this kiss is for all the world”.  Maybe it’s hormones, or lack of sleep this week (“it must be the heat, or some rare disease — la la la — or too much to eat, or maybe it’s fleas!”), but I find that I am susceptible to crying at the beauty of everything around me, from birds in flight overhead, to the sight of my children’s beautiful faces.  I’m learning to be thankful for everything around me and to enjoy each moment.  I thank God that I learned to do that now, rather than at the end of my life when it is nearly too late.

There’s hope for this sentimental old cynic yet, I think.  I hope so anyway…

That’s enough for a first entry, I think.  I hope to write more every day, but I make no promises.  There’s so much to write about: food, music, marriage, motherhood, running, aging, friendship, addiction, fear, loss…  The list is so long!  With all that to choose from, I hope I can write things that are interesting, entertaining, funny, tragic, and generally good to read.  I hope I can make someone smile, or help someone in need.  I just want to write.  I’ve always just wanted to write.

Let the games begin!