« Countdown to 100,000 | It will be OK, even if it's not OK »

In the sunbeams, with the violins

March 08, 2006 | Category: In My Life

It was years ago that my Aunt Martha and Uncle Mike bought the red Victorian house on the hill. From the balcony, you could see the Boston skyline. Still can, when I visit each summer.

There is an old intercom system, and my Aunt would set it so that a classical radio station would broadcast through the rooms. On visits, I would listen as I would wander the hardwood floors and stare out the tall windows at the trees.

Because of her, I was exposed to the baroque music I love so much.

The romantic notes of violin, piano, and guitar like breezes.

My parents both love music. Our home was filled with folk and Broadway. With rock and jazz. They always had the stereo on. By junior high I had formed favorites of Buddy Rich, Simon and Garfunkel, Carly Simon, Elton John. I could sing along with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin through the entire score of Evita .

But at the red house on the hill, the voices faded away. Curled up in a sunbeam I would drift along with the harmony and counterpoint of Bach, Handel, and Vivaldi.

Over the past three weeks, I have been stalled. Emotionally, physically. I thought that once I didn't have the 50-hour-a-week distraction of my job that all the things I'd been delaying - like exercise, writing, cleaning, grieving - would slip into the vacuum.

As usual? Me. Wrong.

Well, I have been crying a lot, but otherwise - yeah, still wrong.

I have spent unknown hours watching Charmed reruns, calling people, and an amazing amount of energy avoiding things.

And feeling guilty about that. Don't underestimate the amount of time a person can spend feeling guilty about avoiding things. Boy, howdy. I tell you what.

Yesterday morning, as I was driving Bear to school, we got held up in traffic. While we were waiting, I turned on the radio to our local classical station and they were playing a piece that was so pretty that it made me pause.

Dust played in the morning sunbeams as Bear and I sat listening.

"This is nice," he said.

"Yeah," I agreed.

And I remembered how it used to be at my Aunt's and Uncle's. How they would leave me to my thoughts, and my daydreams. How they understood the importance of staring off into space, with music drifting in gently.

There was something in that memory that I still haven't figured out.

But the baroque piece tugged at it, yesterday morning. Suddenly here was this reminder of... something. I pulled over, and turned around to face my son. He smiled at me. I smiled back. We each rested our heads and listened to the song.

There was something begun in that music, that goes back to the time before. Something in the music. But I haven't figured out yet what it is or was.

Bear and I paused, and then went back on our way. I think like everything else that is going on inside me right now, I will have to be patient with myself.

Or at least try.

Share: Delicious Delicious! | Stumble It! | Slashdot  Slashdot It!
Tagged: Corporate, Mommy, Life


Ok so the house is Cream now, the intercom system died and was removed with the kitchen renovation, the view of Boston is still there and I did play a lot of classical music as I worked in the studio making art. Uncle Mike taught me the power of being quiet and listening. And I'm still the tart tongued Aunt you've always known.

You've had three weeks of sitting around, some of the time feeling quite sorry for yourself. You quit that job because it was draining all the energy out of you. Now you're feeding that energy loss and feeling bad. The road to change starts with the first step. Put your shoes on and get off your butt and step outside the door and walk up to the park and back, without Bear - while he's at school. If it's raining put on a raincoat. Do it again tomorrow and the day after and the day after. It's not a long walk. You will have started your exercise program. Takes a half an hour a day and you will have accomplished something. NOW - get moving and quit whining, it's unbecoming.

love - Auntie Marfa

Posted by: Auntie Marfa on March 9, 2006 09:21 AM

This is lovely, Elizabeth. Reading it brought up waves of memories for me: the pleasures of long Boston summer afternoons; the joy of hearing baroque string ensembles, and then playing the same pieces on my violin; my puzzlement at still feeling stalled when major stressors were gone.

You're embarking on a big project: remaking your life. Three weeks seems to me not enough time to determine the scope of that project, much less to begin implementing it. Might you consider giving yourself, say, three months? You may not need that long before you no longer feel stalled, or you may need longer, but it will happen.

Posted by: Kimberly on March 8, 2006 09:24 PM

It takes awhle to decompress. You can't beat yourself up for that time. And what a wonderful moment with your son. Good taste in music.

Posted by: Melissa on March 8, 2006 08:27 PM

What a lovely entry.

I think that you are not avoiding things. I think that you are healing.

Give yourself permission to treat yourself with the kindness and compassion that you would give to a friend or a loved one in your position. You have made a brave and very big transition. It's ok to drift a little and rest. As you heal and adjust, things will fill that vacuum. You'll notice that gradually you don't have time for tv reruns because other things have slipped into that space.

Relax just a little and float with the music. It will be ok.

Posted by: paige on March 8, 2006 06:36 PM

That memory sounds wonderful, I can feel the sunbeam warming my face.

Posted by: cursingmama on March 8, 2006 03:19 PM

This was so touching! Thank You for sharing. You'll get there, You're moving in the right direction... be patient, take moments like these as often as you can.

I wish I could take my time and not be in a rush to go everywhere and get everything done. It seems no matter what I try I can't achieve this simple thing of slowing down and being patient. I admire you for pulling over and absorbing the waves of sound... I would have rushed to school and missed a special momment with my son.

Posted by: Amanda on March 8, 2006 12:07 PM