Dear String Bass

The bass, no matter what kind of music you are playing, it just enhances the sound and makes everything sound more beautiful and full. When the bass stops, the bottom kind of drops out of everything.

Charlie Haden

Dear String Bass,

You weren’t my first love;
that was the piano,
but you quickly became
my forever love.

I met you in the 9th grade
as a blind date because I was expecting the cello –
the instrument I had requested.
I was destined for another;
I was destined for you.

As a shy teenager, you made me stand out.
It was scary at first, but as I supported you on my leg,
you supported me In ways beyond my imagination.

You helped me grow as a musician,
as a person, as myself.

We spent so many hours together
practicing in the basement of the music wing.
I would play my scales and pieces
over and over until there were calluses on my fingers,
and my arm tired of pulling the bow across the strings.

I wanted to be good, but you called me to be better.
I became section leader, and
you gave me the courage to audtion for All-City Orchestra,
You came with me to The Academy of Music, and
as the curtain went up and
I played those first notes with the string ensemble
you calmed my nerves with the familiar feel
of your strong strings and your melodious deep voice.
I can remember it like it was yesterday.

You came with me to college as I started my studies
to become a music teacher.
Then we ventured into the world of parish music ministry.
We played for Sunday Mass, wedding, funerals,
and other special occasions.

We had a good run.

You gave me over 30 years
of your steadfast presence and so many musical memories.
Then it became harder for me to make you sing.
Arthritis and other ailments made it difficult –
difficult to stand and support you –
difficult to hold down your thick strings –
difficult to carry you from place to place.

But that’s OK.
I’m ready to let you go.
I want you to know that I will always be grateful
for the world you opened up to me –
for teaching me to love Bach, & Hayden
Handel & Mozart.

Maybe it’s time for me to really let you go –
to free you from your place next to the piano –
to pass you to the next musician
who can give life to your voice once more.

Love you always,
Rita

This poem was inspired by “Dear Basketball” by Kobe Bryant. I was reminded of his poem while participating in the 5-Day Poetry Challenge on ethicalela.com

Lost & Found

Mostly it is loss which teaches us about the worth of things.

HPLYRIKZ.com
#SOL20

What I Have Lost
I have lost that “normal” feeling.
The feeling of having just a few
aches and pains.

I have lost my ability
to walk long distances,
to stand in one place,
energy, and
a clear thinking brain.

I have lost the ability
to plan trips that require
walking….because
my legs and hips
may not hold up.

I have lost these
to fibromyalgia
and spinal stenosis –
ailments no one can see.

Yet,
I am hopeful
that I will find them
again one day.

That,
little by little,
baby steps,
exercising my body & mind
selfcare & prayer
will bring me back
my joy.

This post was inspired by of the 5-Day Poetry Challenge on ethicalela.com

Tooth Troubles

#SOL20

For about a month my lower right back tooth was starting to be sensitive to cold. I couldn’t tell if it was the last of my wisdom teeth or the crown next to it that was actually giving me trouble. I made an appointment with the dentist and low and behold, the wisdom tooth had a rather large cavity and need to be pulled.

The first of my wisdom teeth were pulled in my dentist’s office when I was in my 20’s – easy peasy. The third one was about five years ago in my current dentist’s office. It was not pleasant, and I swore I would never get another tooth pulled unless I went to an oral surgeon and was knocked out cold!

Well, I guess time has a way of making you forget about things. How bad could it be? AWFUL!!! I took the dentist at least 45 minutes to get the tooth out of my mouth. He drilled; he yanked; he had to get another instrument. I could hear the breaking of the tooth, the whirring of the drill, and the instruments scraping along the tooth without getting a good grip. Needless to say, I felt quite beaten up.

I managed some scrambled eggs for dinner and a call to get a sub for Tuesday, and then I settled into the recliner for the night. That’s where I stayed all day Tuesday. Returning to school on Wednesday, I thought everything would gradually begin to feel better. Not the case.

Each day things got worse. By the weekend I was cancelling plans and counting the hours until I could call the dentist on Monday morning. Long story shortish- I have dry socket. It is very painful. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. I have to see the dentist every day until it heals. I will spare you the gory details.

I researched and less than 1-5% of people who get teeth extracted end up with dry socket. Lucky me! Maybe I should head to Vegas!

Moral of the story: Get your wisdom teeth taken out when you are young!

A Conversation

Be Somebody who makes everybody feel like somebody.

HPLYRIKZ.com

I will never forget you
Sister Roseathea.
You opened my ears
to the world of music.
Those lunch time
glee club rehearsals
prevented me from
feeling alone in
the schoolyard.

I watched you
as you created a
school show
in our little auditorium
with cut-out decorations
and cute little props.
You allowed us to
wear pantsuits in 8th grade
a BIG deal in 1972.

You taught us to sing
“Joy to the World”
and not the Christmas carol version either.
I couldn’t believe
a nun could be so cool.
You knew how how to
draw us in
to honor our young
teenage selves.

You gave us an
opportunity to shine.
You inspired me
to become a music teacher.
I felt like you were
passing the torch,
and in turn
I created shows for my students
giving them a chance to shine.

New Year Reflection

“Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.
He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
who allows it to be invaded with fret and
anxiety.

Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

This new day is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on the yesterdays.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

On New Year’s Day I joined a group #100daysofnotebooking. It is a group of writers who have agreed to take on the challenge set forth by Middle School teacher, Michelle Haseltine (@Mhaseltine – michellehaseltine.com) – to write in our notebooks for 100 days straight. It is a daunting task, but I am giving it a try. The poem below grew out of my first day of “notebooking.” Then today the quote by Emerson appeared in my Facebook feed, so I decided it was a sign I need to share my poem in progress.

New Year’s Day

Today, I make no resolution,
No intention, no pledge no plan.
When looking back what I have learned is
I can only do the best I can.

No “one little word” will define me;
Petty games I choose not to play.
Can’t promise that I will eat better,
or vow to exercise every day.

When I need to rest I will do so.
I won’t be afraid to say, “No.”
People who know me will understand.
People who don’t – well they can go.

I will listen to my body more –
from head to heart down to my soul.
No expectations will shackle me
Being my best self my only goal.

I have found that I cannot be resolute for an entire year. In the past, making resolutions has only served to set me up for failure. I would choose my “one little word” and realize that I needed to change it periodically through the year. I may not be able to be resolute for an entire year, but I can be resolute for a day. Hopefully, one day will become two, then three, then a week, then a month. I can only do the best I can, and that is enough!

Changing Expectations

Whatever should have been or could have been, doesn’t matter. This moment is here and now for you to live.

Ralph Marston

The Christmas decorations should have come down from the attic on Thanksgiving or at least that weekend, but they came down two weeks later.

The house should have been decorated that weekend, but some boxes sit unopened.

The tree went up a week ago and should be decorated, but it remains with just colored lights.

The stockings should be hung on the railing with care, but they are still piled neatly on the table.

The shopping should have been completed earlier, but the 24th will have to do.

I should have been as busy as one of Santa’s elves baking chocolate chip cookies, but I am down for the count with a nasty cold – hacking cough and missing voice.

WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN IS NOT WHAT IS!

What is is this…

  • Although it took us a little longer than before, my husband and I were able to get the outside lights and nativity scene up.
  • We were able to go to our granddaughters’ Christmas show.
  • We proudly watched our son conduct his high school instrumental students at their Holiday Concert.
  • I was the beneficiary of generous gifts from siblings, principal, colleagues, and students.
  • We attended our grandson’s Christmas Pageant
  • My “mostly new member” chime choir successfully debuted at the school tableau.
  • I began a 16 day Christmas break.
  • I made a chocolate “gingerbread” house with my granddaughters.
  • My husband made me delicious vegetable soup.
  • The Eagles beat the Cowboys!
  • I spent a day with my grandson and experienced his never ending imagination.
  • My daughter surprised me with homemade chocolate chip cookies.

It is true; the pile of gifts to be given are smaller because money has been tight, but they are wrapped and ready to go. Christmas may not be happening the way I envisioned it a month ago. It certainly isn’t going to look like one of my beloved Hallmark Movies, but the sentiment will be the same.

Tonight and tomorrow we will travel to different homes, sit around tables, share meals, and eat too much. We will see family that we have seen recently, and those we haven’t seen for a while. We will laugh and tell stories that have probably been told time and time again.

When we finally put our heads to our pillows on Christmas night, it won’t matter what should have been – only what was.

Whatever holiday you are celebrating, I hope you enjoy what is and not worry about what should have been. Enjoy the small moments with the ones you love, let them gift you with their love, and be in the here and now.

Kindness

I am participating in the November: 5/5-Day Monthly Writing Challenge. The challenge is to write a poem every day for five days. This is my first poem on the what is the last day, but never too late to write! The poem below is a Nonet. It has nine lines. The first line has nine syllables with each subsequent line decreasing by one syllable. How will were you kind today? What about tomorrow?

World Kindness Day should be ev’ryday,

not something we have to be told.

We are made of the same flesh

whether we’re young or old.

A small gesture can

go a long way.

Costs nothing

to be

kind.