Musical Milliner

September 22, 2014

Vivace!

Musical Milliner offers her kind regards to all of you who have hung in there with her the past five years as she has been circling the Inferno that was her life. She’s/I’m (changing tenses here) glad to be alive, and pleased to tell you that despite dedicated and focused attempts to dismantle my psyche and resources, I am well.

On this lovely atumnal equinox, I feel…balanced. I swear, I didn’t  plan that last sentence. Exploited the opportunity, certainly.images

My sons are thriving. I am rebuilding my business, and I am experiencing one of the most productive phases of my life in music.

Socializing is still a bit of a challenge. Ever the introvert when not performing, but I am taking steps to improve.

Here’s the thing: I recently heard a song which reminds us that after so many years on this journey we all share, comes a time to lose some of the load. Keep what you need or want, and continue in a leisurely stroll toward the sign marked “exit.” It takes so much effort to keep track of all the emotional hording, and is so unnecessary.

Who knows, I may even write an upbeat lyric or two. God bless the lot of you.

January 13, 2013

Our Lost Home

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Guest blogger August Stadtfeld is a junior at The Marin School in Sausalito.

I settled on a large boulder, having finished my days work. As I relax, I remove my protective helmet, and I can breath. The heavy equipment is dropped, making an audible thud.

The recycled air fills my lungs, both calming my nerves,and stinging my sinuses. I’ve worked in the red mines for several years, collecting precious minerals for our small community. It is a difficult task, but I carry it out dutifully and without regret, for the colony is in dire straits.

We have been stranded on this cruel orb for generations, and I know not how long we can last on its brittle, lifeless, uncaring soil.

Unlike most here, I can remember what life was like. Before our communities’ cruel twist of fate. Back then,we were a content group. Our society was optimistic for our future, with hopes and dreams of what we could accomplish on this new home of ours.

Back then, I’d explore the world’s surface, as many have before. Occasionally I came across a small rover, its structure long broken, sent to examine our future home many years ago. These remains were my only company as I looked up at the stars.

On this airless world, the stars shine so brightly. But not as brightly as the planets. They glow like beacons, calling others to their surfaces. Jupiter shines almost a dull copper, Saturn is a subtle gold. Our species home was a glorious blue.

Our home was a sign of hope. Our home, once so bright and full of potential, which once shined a bright, clear red, is now only a dark, scorched brown.

After our colony was built, a disaster occurred, unlike any other seen by human eyes.

Our sun, with its warm and calming influence, that had helped us grow for countless millenia, betrayed us. Some say what happened was our fault, that we had tampered with forces far beyond humanities comprehension, and other said it was an act of God, that we were being punished.

The sun lashed out, its eternally raging inferno destroying everything in its path.

Mercury and Venus are gone, reduced to dust. Our colony was spared, but the planet was burned. It’s a wasteland now. But the blue planet, that which began our journey to the stars, that is the one that suffered the most.

As the heat struck it, its surface cracked. The seas dried up, the continents fragmented. From our colony we saw the cities glow white hot, and melt into nothing.

 As it cracked, the planet grew hotter, and when the final blow struck,when that last wave of wrathful heat came, the blue planet shattered.

Its remains flew across the stars to parts unknown.

We are the last of our species. We exist in this vast, uncaring universe alone,with no sign that anyone else has survived.

Many of us have given up,waiting for the inevitable time that the sun burns even hotter, and removes us from existence. We stand here, at hell’s gates, with no hope for salvation, as we weep for our lost home

(c)GoshGusPublishing(ascap)2013

February 24, 2012

A Lenten Reflection~ guest blogger Kaze Gadway plants some seeds

Kaze Gadway is a lay youth minister to an outreach project for Native American youth and young adults in Arizona.  Episcopal Diocese of Arizona

Julian of Norwich “Pray inwardly, even though you find no joy in it. For it does good, though you feel nothing, see nothing, yes, even though you think you cannot pray.”
Lent is not like Advent. Advent is a preparation of the celebration of God with us, God walking among us. Although Lent comes before Easter it is a season not like any other. It is forty days of intensifying holy practices.
All religions have holy practices. They are ways in which we discipline ourselves to be immersed in activities that expose us to the sacred. It may be putting money in a jar to give to the poor. Or depriving ourselves of food or pleasure to remind ourselves of what is really fundamental. Or writing down our faith responses in a journal. Or meditating on Holy Scriptures in a different way. Or spending time in contemplative silence. Maybe it is a walk in which you observe such awesome particulars such as a leaf. Or it could be intentional prayer.
I pray all the time. Usually it is in response to something. I am concerned for someone or someone asks me to pray. During Lent, I pray in a cycle to include all those who usually get left out of my conscious prayer life. I pray for those in danger, for those nations who are in social upheaval, for those crushed by the economy, for those disenfranchised in decision making, for those paralyzed by grief or loss, for those bruised in spirit in shame and guilt, and for those who have lost their way. How I feel doesn’t come into it. I go inward to hold up those that are disconnected and fragmented in their daily joy. I don’t usually have an outcome, like I hope everyone gets a job. I hold them up as significant to the God who dwells within us.
“What are you giving up for Lent?” asks a child who has heard this on TV. “Nothing,” I reply. “I don’t believe in giving up something like candy that I shouldn’t be doing for my health anyway. I do add things.” And I give her an abbreviated context of holy practices.
“I’m going to give up fighting with my mother,” says one youth proud of himself.
“That’s great,” I reply. “What are you going to do instead?”
There is a thoughtful silence in the small group. He says, “Maybe I should help around the house more. That’s what we fight about.”
Another youth who has been with us for a long time says, “Maybe you should clean a different part of the house every day. That would make it a spiritual practice, wouldn’t it?” He looks at me and I tell the story of Brother Lawrence again of finding the sacred in even the smallest of kitchen chores by doing it intentionally with reverence and dedicating it to God.
“We do that in Native ceremonies,” an older youth comments. “Every implement we use, everything we undertake is lifted up and prayed over.”
We talk about that in general terms in order not to reveal the particulars of confidential sacred ceremonies. They have all participated in some kind of intentional sacred practice, including helping at the altar in Church.
One of the youth confesses, “Sometimes I am only praying by rote. I don’t really feel anything.”
I assure him, “Feeling is not necessary but intentionally holding up some person or issue to God is. Like when we pray for Haiti. We’ve not been there but we can take the time to hold up that country to God. That puts it into our minds and it also declares that we believe that God holds this as important and worthy to be cherished.”
So we each make a list of things that we normally do not pray for and each holds up one thing. The responses are amazing—being bullied, car crashes on our interstate that goes through our town, stores that depend on the tourist trade, people dying without family present, forgotten birthdays, violence in homes, and neglected animals. Our prayer life is enriched just by listing these things. We decide to check in and see what happens when we do something every day that exposes us to the Holy.
It is an exciting season.
Blessed Lent everyone.
In faith,
Kaze

May 2, 2010

Fermata: Sonnets and Apathy

Nobody understands apathy better than a fourteen year old eighth grade boy, especially such a boy who is an inmate in a boys school in the shadow of one of the most beautiful Anglican cathedrals in America.  Ironic apathy. With some instruction from pages 291-292 of Stephen Fry’s The Ode Less Travelled on the very topic of preparing a Shakespearean sonnet, and some assist from the Oxford Rhyming Dictionary, our gentleman scholar rocked the flighty picky English teacher. Said teacher of the low-cut tops and too short skirts whose charges spend more time in desk chairs tucked under their tables than they would in one of the Master’s classrooms.

My Sonnet

Sometimes, here at school, I feel apathy.
It is a feeling I try to disregard.
But teachers, they want a polymathy.
Sometimes, it feels as bleak as a graveyard.
To be all-knowing would be a blessing.
For a long time I have felt distress.
T’would be nice to see my problems passing.
Or have a life of fear much less.
For others who have a life uncommon,
and find themselves in disrepair,
To them I say, “Go see a Shaman”
If you find your life unfair.
Ya know, I really wish I had a getaway.
Oh, what the hell. Does it matter anyway?

(c) GoshGusMusic(ascap) 2010

April 2, 2010

Pace e tenebrae

Filed under: Faith,Kids and Family,meditation,Triduum,Uncategorized — by Musical Milliner @ 1:59 am
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The meal and the Meal was consumed, the feet lovingly washed, the altar stripped, the dishes and wine glasses cleaned and put away as we began a journey thru the Paschal Triduum. It is dark and quiet now, and we rest.
We rest and wait and search deeper into our consciousness, seeking the stillness we often misplace.

A kind and loving man sat on his knees & washed my feet, dried them gently, and looked up at me and said, “Thank you.”

(c)GoshGusMusic (ascap) 2010

March 1, 2010

Canto a Dispetto

He is a caged animal.  Acting from instinct which overshadows a profound intellect,  he holds hostage the very ones he claims to love.  He lashes out without weighing his words because he has never learned to temper his verbal impulses. It has been so all his life.

So he bullies and threatens. He stomps his feet and uses his fists because he confuses contrary opinion as rejection.

There is no comprehension, no acceptance that one can agree to disagree yet breathe the same air.

Because of these things, his wife has left him, and his children avoid him.

He pays the family bills. In the past ten months, he has provided no grocery money for his family. His water-tight plan is to starve them because if they suffer enough, the employment he demands of his estranged wife will manifest out of the ether.  Then he will be free.  He does not imagine his captivity is self-imposed and is his commitment.

The use of force, bullying, degradation and threats repeats in an endless rhythm in the wild animal mind. There is no escape from this way of being. The cage remains. A cage of his making.

(c) GoshGusMusic (ascap) 2010

January 4, 2010

Alla Fine: Dormire tranquillamente il mio caro amico

A dear friend has died. Unexpectedly. Inexplicably.  At an age at which one anticipates many more years yet to live.  It came as a message on my cell phone with three words:

Mark is dead.

I feel that I have lost a loved one who was in many ways my moral compass.  As the news rippled out from phones and the internet, the sadness in the air was palpable. It was numbing.  As it fell to me to bear the news to some others, the whole experience grew surreal.

This is a photograph my son took of one of Mark’s many guitars.

So many adjectives and verbs, yet I am completely at a loss to describe this man, and what he meant to me and the others whose lives he touched. Mark was my first love and became one of my most dependable and generous friends.

Many people are hurting tonight. We can’t make sense of this. I turn my face upward towards the light, and offer a prayer of  thanksgiving  for the gift of sharing part of the journey with such a kind and gentle man.

Go forth into the world in peace;  be of good courage; hold fast that which is good; render to no one evil for evil; strengthen the fainthearted; support the weak; help the afflicted; honor all people; love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

(c)GoshGusMusic/ascap

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