Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Savoring moments

Last night Grace Notes sang to a woman who glowed in the presence of her visiting husband and daughter.  She didn't speak but her eyes and face spoke volumes of the innocent joy of basking in the attention of family.  Words of encouragement and comfort tumbled out of our mouths to them, for them.  Her guests were so appreciative saying that music helps move through the clouds, reaches deeper to connect with the person they love and remember.  After savoring deep hugs of gratitude and strength we parted. 

Tonight I am savoring the generosity of 18 friends and family who made my first fundraising attempt a success. You went beyond the bounds of my imagination and I am so grateful.  With your support I can dream bigger dreams for bringing music for healing to those in need. 

The impact this can make is awesome.  Join us on this journey of savoring moments.  It's just beginning.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

threshold of generosity and gratitude

24 hours ago I was sweaty with dread and doubt.  Okay, the sweaty was more a circumstance of weather and my insistence in not turning on the A/C.  The dread and doubt were real though.  What if no one supports this work?  What if my threshold for doing this work has been maxed?  How foolish will I look?  Will I ever be able to lift my head high again?
Four hours later, back from the evening's activities I check email and am overwhelmed.  A few friends decided to be contributors.  Generous contributors.  More generous than I would ask.  And I am grateful.  So very grateful.  We passed the halfway mark easily and reached the three-quarters mark.  How would we reach the threshold of my goal? 

In less than 24 hours, you, my beloved supporters of Grace Notes, have demonstrated true generosity.  And even went a little beyond the threshold I set.  And a different little voice inside me says, Why did you doubt? 

Perhaps you were following this little Zen heart sutra:  Gate Gate, Para Gate, Para Sam Gate, Bohdi Svaha.  (Translation:  Go beyond, Go beyond beyond, Go beyond beyond towards enlightenment) 

Why is it I (or do you hear a little of yourself in this too) lower the expectations of myself, friends, family, co-workers, everyone, etc. to stave off disappointment?  Shouldn't we be holding each other up, reminding each other of our best selves? 

So to that end of reminding you and me of our best selves, I am extending the Razoo goal back out to the original budget amount of $6,360 (yep, I lowered it to my bare, bare minimum to ease the disappointment -- the difference seems so insignificant now!) and invite you to be generous with the gifts you have to offer, beit writing prayers of support, in-kind offerings or financial gifts.  The threshold is less than $75 away...

What will my gratitude feel like when your generosity have matched that threshold and gone beyond?  Stay tuned. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Woyaya, part 1

For the folks from St. Mary's --

Someone suggested we sing this song to our High School graduates on their Send Off Day.  The words fit the occasion filling them with confidence without the sugarcoating.

We are going,
heaven knows where we are going,
but we know within.

And we will get there,
heaven knows how we will get there,
But we know we will.

It will be hard, we know
and the road will be muddy and rough,
but we'll get there,
heaven knows how we will get there,
but we know we will.

Woyaya (translation of African:  So be it!  Amen!)

Many of you may know the Art Garfunkel version, http://youtu.be/viwERI295zU.  Did you know there's a wide variety of versions on YouTube?  Check out these... 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Longing

Last week Grace Notes sang for a gentleman who captured our attention even though he wasn't on the AseraCare roster.  Perched on his wheelchair in the middle of the hallway he was getting our attention saying "Help Me!  Help me get out of here!"  If you're familiar with dementia units in skilled nursing facilities you might recognize this scene. 

We decided to stop and sing to him between our planned visits.  Someone suggested "Breathing In, Breathing Out" (see words below) and we started to surround him with sound.  A few of us moved to stand in front of him and do simple choreography to the song from Kairos Dance Theater's Dancing Heart program.  I noticed a change in his breathing - it seemed clearer.  His eyes grew wide as he watched and listened without speaking.  We wrapped up the song and were quiet for that moment afterwards where everyone is still present to the moment, listening for the last vibrations, unsure we would get another chorus of suffering and sadness or a sign of appreciation.