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Year Three, Day 181: Struggle

I woke up this morning with a start. It was 7:43 a.m. Not 2:00 a.m. like usual. I had slept all the way through the night. I don't even remember any coughing!

Oh it feels good to be back in the land of the living! I still have a bit of a dry cough, but the wheeze seems to be gone!

I think my home remedy is working!

I did a little hooping this morning. And a bit of piano practicing. Then I got on the bus heading to the library. I've been getting nervous about my upcoming concert. I worked on my script list night. I researched the composers whose music I am performing and I am talking a bit about each of them. Well, mostly about Clara Schumann!

I find I really resonate with her. 

Let me tell you, that woman had a rough life! Mine is a walk in the park compared to hers!

Listen to this piece I wrote about her from my concert notes:

"Clara Schumann had a rough life!
She did not speak a single word until she was 5 years old. Her dad had an explosive temper, and fought loudly with her mother. Her parents divorced when she was 5.  She met her future husband through her father, who was his piano teacher. But her father was against the marriage. She married him anyway. They had 8 children. One baby died. Then her husband became mentally ill, attempted suicide and had himself committed to an insane assylum where he died shortly afterwards. She then raised 7 children on her own by giving concerts all over Europe.

But despite the struggle, Clara loved music. Her father looked at his beautiful, blue eyed baby when she was born and said, “You will be a great concert pianist!”

And she was. She was the most gifted, popular virtuoso pianist of her day.  Second only to Franz Liszt!

I resonate with people who struggle and rise above.  Like Beethoven. Who wrote his 9th Symphony when he was completely deaf. I tell my students that it is because of his pain and suffering that we have such beautiful music. His music elevated him above his suffering!

This is how I am going to end my talk at my concert:

"In closing, I think the reason I spent so much time talking about Clara Schumann is that I really resonate with her.  (And there is a lot of material written about her).
I am no stranger to struggle. I raised two children alone. I sometimes worked 4 or 5 jobs just to make ends meet. But I never gave up and aside from raising my children, I put music very high on my list of priorities. Eventually I let go of all the other jobs and am now fully devoting my life to teaching and performing.  One of the jobs I had was that of a church musician.  So the following hymn is very familiar.  Amazing Grace.

When my granddaughter first came home from the hospital and was fussy and her mom was sleep deprived, I put on a CD by Walela, a Cherokee female singing group. They sang Amazing Grace in Cherokee with Native American drumming in the background. Grace instantly stopped screaming and became very calm. So this is her theme song. Grace is Amazing and  and I dedicate this to her!"

So, there I was, on the bus, heading to the library, to put the finishing touches on my script for my concert. I sat down and noticed two older women talking. We struck up a conversation. They made my day!  J is 80 years old. F is 92! We all were heading to the library. None of us drive. We walk several miles a day and ride the bus.  They were so vibrant and fun to talk to!  J told me she always wears a hat on her head when I mentioned my cough. She showed me her lovely green hat. She was given it by the cancer ward she volunteers at.

I shook hands with my new friends as I debussed. At Fred Meyer's. Where I went in for some miso soup, ginger, tea, a new hat and gloves! 

It feels good to finally make wise choices.

Never too old right?

Happy Thursday!

Talk to you tomorrow.




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