Monday, December 31, 2012

more gratitude

1. People. I know there are some evil people in the world but if you look around and add up the truly wonderful ones, they far outnumber the mean bastards. This has really come to the front of my brain since my cancer diagnosis. I have a basket full of cards and letters. I have gift certificates for massage. I have had phone calls of support and emails and Facebook messages from people I know only though social media. Friends have brought chicken soup with Amish noodles. Caramel apple pie. Beautiful sparkly caps and a huge multi-colored afghan. It's like a rainbow on my lap. I am very, very grateful for the people in my life who surround me with this cloud of light and love.

2. Retirement. I don't know how I would have gotten through this business had I still been working. Of course, if I had been working, I could have taken a lot of sick time and that would have helped right the inequity of getting screwed out of the retirement incentive I didn't get because I was off a teacher's contract for one bloody year...but that's another evil story I don't let dwell in my head. Retirement is grand. We sit and watch the day start. The opal colored sky, the birds coming to feed right at dawn, we don't have to hurry anywhere, and life has taken on a lovely pace. More like a waltz than a tarantella.

3. Stuff. I know I have been trying to get rid of stuff (clutter) around my house and I've been sort of successful at it. There are still things for which I have a special fondness and they will never see the darkness of the inside of the little white van that picks things up for the epileptics. I have a Kermit the Frog I bought in a thrift store twenty years ago. He still sits on the book shelf. I have small plates and tiny cups...way more than a person would ever really need...but I love them. I have a very old quilt hanging on the wall in my bedroom. It's been in my family for many years and I'm not even sure anymore who made it but I like to think of the hands that sewed it and the bodies that were warmed by it. A nice connection to the past.

4. Music. On May 19th at six in the evening, what appeared to be a single, tuxedoed street performer playing a bass for people strolling around Plaça de Sant Roc in Sabadell, Spain (just north of Barcelona) turned into a mass ensemble performing a movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony — including more than 100 musicians and singers from the Orchestra Simfònica del Vallès, Amics de l’Òpera de Sabadell, Coral Belles Arts, and Cor Lieder Camera.

The production is lovely and highly produced, but it's the fascination and pure joy of the passersby that makes the moment quite magical.



And this one: 



And one more:

Go to the woods of Kyushu, Japan. Engineer a massive xylophone (or is it a marimba?) to run down the slope of a forested hill. Take a wooden ball, place it at the top of said instrument, and push it. What do you get? Bach’s treatment of a traditional church hymn! Namely, “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.”



I just had to get that one snarky dig in there, didn't I? And I can't make myself delete it. Ah, well. I can be grateful and I can still hold a grudge about that. Hahahaha! A bunch of gratitude and one shark bite.

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