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Monday, September 30, 2013

'I am filled with music...'

I think I should have no other mortal wants, if I could always have plenty of music. It seems to infuse strength into my
limbs and ideas into my brain. Life seems to go on without effort, when I am filled with music.

George Eliot

Last week we bought a piano. It is new, cost a pretty penny and demands a room of its own but I'm already convinced that it will be one of the best investments we'll ever make.

For the past couple of years the kids have been learning piano on a digital keyboard with weighted keys and although the grand piano samples on it were very good (and the kids loved all the effects and pre-recorded songs) I've been yearning for something a little more solid. I did consider upgrading to a digital piano, after all, they are cheaper and more compact with the added bonus that they never need tuning but the romantic in me just couldn't wrap her head around the fact that 'there's nothing inside'. I mean, really. Just take a look at the inside of a piano...

Extraordinary, yes?

To have music in your life is such a gift. Between the four of us we play a very eclectic repertoire, everything from 'London Bridge Is Falling Down' to Chopin's 'Nocturne in E flat' by way of Disney's 'A Whole New World' and the odd Tom Lehrer tune. It's been so long since I've learnt anything new so it was reassuring to know that my fingers still knew their way to Middle C and my brain still knew how to sight-read music so I've downloaded the sheet-music for The Violet Hours by The Civil Wars. Who knows I might even be able to casually sit down and play it here in January.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Desire paths...


Walking the kids into school this week in this glorious Spring weather I was reminded of this lovely piece on 'desire paths' by the gentle author over at Spitalfields Life. I'm sure you have a favourite desire path yourself where you walk off the beaten track even when a perfectly good footpath has been provided for you by your local council? For me there is something so very human about the way we choose to navigate around rules and regulations following our nose, always on the look for something unexpected (like that amazing tree in full bloom right in the middle of the small clearing above).  

Our school is not in the middle of the woods. It sits on a fairly busy highway and has a regular car-park and drop-off point out the front with two lolly-pop ladies to help you cross the road but we prefer to park down the side of the school and wend our way along this desire path (there is actually more than one). The light is different every day, we sometimes get wet feet from dew on the grass and at this time of year the smell from the pine needles and the nearby wattle is heady. If you're lucky you might catch a pair of Rainbow Lorikeets circling but most days it's more likely to be a family of magpies caroling in the trees. Why would you go any other way?

Perhaps you have a favourite 'desire path'?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The things we do for love...


So, I made it! For the first time in many years I felt the fear and did it anyway. And we're talking feel like you're going to die fear. Walking across the tarmac every single fibre of my being was shouting, 'run, run and don't look back'. As I walked up the stairs and into the plane I was shaking uncontrollably all over and my heart was beating so loudly that I literally could not hear myself think. Once on board I turned to the flight attendant and said, 'I don't think I can do this'. It was getting hard to breathe. I stood there for a little longer knowing that the rest of my family was already on board willing me to tough it out but respecting my need to do it on my own terms. Suddenly I had one of those 'life flashing before your eyes' moments where I realised that if I didn't take this flight it would be the beginning of a long string of other things I would never do in my life. Before I knew it my legs were moving independently of my body and was walking towards my seat. Other passengers were, of course, amazingly understanding, one older lady even offering to hold my hand across the aisle.

As the plane taxied out I shut my eyes and started to meditate something I was sure I wouldn't be able to do in such a heightened state of anxiety but I could and I did for most of the 2 hour trip. Coming back was better (the lure of home perhaps?) and I was only what I call 'normal person' nervous. I took my Rescue Remedy, listened to Respighi's The Pines Of Rome over and over again, the only classical music I had on my iPhone, and after some turbulence and circling (of course!) we finally touched down.

And look what I would have missed out on if I hadn't gone...

Sunset at Kurrawa Beach 

Meeting this little fella on our balcony...

Seeing my family having the time of their lives...

...and of course cheering Bella on as she competed in her first School Aerobics National Championships. That's what got me there and that's what made it all worthwhile. The things we do for love.