Fiestaware Graveyard

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When you go to Door County, you must visit the Summer Kitchen and go to the back room. You will have a wonderful view out the back window. You will see all the old fiestaware mugs and plates, that are broken. But they’re still useful. They are placed all  around bird fountains. And they make everything more colorful and sweet and old and poignant. Just like our memories.

Fiestaware was created in 1936. It had a resurgence in the 70’s. And everything you’re served at Summer Kitchen is on it. It’s very quaint. There are other antiques all throughout the restaurant, like an old stove and an old water pump. It all lends a sweet charm to the place, and I have so many good memories there.

As I watched this little robin take a bath, and took this picture through the sliding glass window, I am reminded of the old and the new sitting side by side. There is so much change taking place in the world right now, I feel comforted by small things that are still the same. Like this restaurant. There are new birds out the back window, and new customers that come to this restaurant, as old regulars return. To survive in this economy, you still need a loyal customerbase, good workers, and/or the ability to attract new people all the time.

It’s nice to see places like this still around. Recycling as decoration, is a wonderful way to keep old things alive and make your decorating costs less. I wish that we could all find a use for something old, keep people employed, and still bring happiness, a sense of wonder, and meaning to people.

It’s funny the things that you treasure as you get older. An old water pump, some broken coffee mugs, and birds taking a bath! I swear, it’s the best place to just stare out the window, relax, and bring new thoughts into your old world.

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Little Angel

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In this space of anything is possible
Help my heart to just love
Without conditions
Or paybacks in mind
Just kindly give when I’m moved
Just be a blessing in a moment.

An angel that swoops in
And brushes your cheek with her kiss
And strokes your hair with her light.

A smile and change
To the homeless person
No judgments or worries
Where the money’s being spent

Help changing a flat tire
In the middle of the expressway,

Giving that new person
A ride to work.

Whatever the moment brings
Help me to be up for it.
Filled with love
Gratititude
And infinite blessings
From on high.

In between scat and Mary Poppins

As I first started being interested in jazz, I have to say it intimidated me. All those chords, those fake sheets, just knowing what to play without sightreading? I wasn’t used to it. As I teach my piano students, I see how the theory books emphasize chords from day 1.  The I chord, the IV, the V7. I wasn’t taught any of this when I was first learning. We didn’t have theory books back then. I’m sure people were learning this if they were playing jazz. But where I was being taught, it was only classical. So, when I had my first jazz lesson, many years later, my teacher said “not so much mary poppins. I’m looking for scat!” I had to look that word up, I didn’t know what it meant. I would learn it soon enough though, in my music theory and lit classes. And I would start singing like that to my classical pieces. Because, it’s an expression of your heart. And whatever music is playing, you’re going along with it, with nonsensical words, that embody the spirit of how the music makes you feel.  I started singing more. My voice had been lost many years ago, my vocal chords got strained. And I couldn’t sing in the choir anymore. But here I was singing anyway.  There is such joy in expressing yourself this way. Declaring to the world and to yourself, “I don’t know how to love him…” or “Trouble in mind, I’m blue…”  Or just

“Oooooooo, aaaaaaaaah,   ooooo ooooo, aaaaaaaaaah.”

Whatever comes out, whatever you feel.

As I began to play the classics again, something clicked this time. Inside of me. And I felt the beauty of the music. I know it’s not usually the favorite of the kids nowadays. Although some of them still really enjoy it, much to my surprise. But my journey took me away from it, and then back to it, when it really started to mean something for the first time. And I can feel the story being told in Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. Where the first movement seems to be so subdued, there’s all kinds of emotion, that seems like it’s under the surface waiting to be brought out. Then there’s the 1 page 2nd movement that sounds like a job interview, where you say all the right things. And then the comes the 3rd movement, with a rage, and a gusto that can only mean an honest utterance of a strong, unedited human emotion. And isn’t that what music is? An expression, an utterance, a beautiful long vowel, a scream, or a whisper. Whatever you feel. And afterwards, no talking is needed. Just some silence to let it all soak in. And feel how it changed you.

Shining

I see you, really see you.                                 As they stream over and through you
All the love you wear on your sleeve               Rebuilding your childlike wonder
Shines like a precious jewel                                              Your faith that never wavers
A beacon in a tarnished world                                   In the goodness of people around you
Where people protect themselves                             May you feel that goodness in yourself
From harm, opinions, and thoughts.                          As strong as a bold coffee
And shutter down their hearts                                    Flavoring your senses
With no chance of opening up.                                  And lifting you up
But you shine like a golden lamp                              To the highest sunbeam.
With sun rays blessing you

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The View

 

The view outside a window
Is not always clear
Even if it’s totally clean
The window can distort
Like the window our soul looks out of
And yet the light shines through
Warming every darkened crevice
Every stale thought
Every dim view
That we might have
Covering us and filling us
With Warmth and Love
May we always feel
Light’s Promise and Hope
And never lose our way.

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Breathing

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Some days we all feel so disconnected
to ourselves and with each other.
Barely holding on to life with a thread.
Nothing feels good or right,
Just work, commitments and drudgery.

And yet that thread we’re holding onto,
even if just barely,
Floats across the universe.
And it’s as strong as it is invisible
It’s the glue that holds us all together
That sticky cobweb that we brush away
fuels us, connects us and gives us purpose.

May we keep holding on,
Even when we can’t see the source.
The Heavenly Filament
divinely floats us
Holds us
and Breathes us anew
Everyday.

 

Hold on To Your Goodness

swallow lower leftDSC_0124 pmLord, bless my gentleness
My kindness and empathy
My naivete.
Keep it all safe as I go out into the world.
Help me to use it to heal
To uplift
To encourage
To dry tears, hold hands.

Help me to act on my impulses to aid people.
To just love them unconditionally.
Give me the wisdom to know what’s mine to do,
and what is not.
Show me all the times I’ve made a difference
So I can hold on to my goodness.
And show me when I could have held back,
so I could let others do what is theirs to do.

And for any mistakes I might have made
Help me to forgive myself.
And forgive others unkindness towards me.

In the end it all doesn’t matter really, does it?
What lives on is my heart and soul
the sweetness of my smile,
the tender curve of my arm around another.

May I be all I can be. Always. And forever.

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