Saturday, April 26, 2008

Music In My Soul

click here for Full Size image of Kevin playing his pan fluteThis year my sweetie told me about my Fathers' Day present early, so that I could get psyched about it — to anticipate it for long enough that I'll be ready when it happens — a musical retreat led by Paul Winter at the Rowe Camp and Conference Center in the middle of nowhere (OK, it's in Rowe) in Western Mass.  Yeah !!  I'm already psyched !!
click here for Full Size image of Kevin's managerie of musical instruments In anticipation of that, today I gathered up all my musical instruments and brought them out into the natural glory of our Groton backyard in Spring — right beside our weeping cherry tree at the peak of its glory, and I communed with my instruments telling them of my plans to escape with them for a weekend in early June… listening for them to tell me which ones I should take along with me on my pilgrimage.

This June 13-15 workshop called "Sound-Play: Music as Life" really has me psyched. The brochure says "The experience of making music and of communing with others, and with the Earth, can be one of the most deeply satisfying rewards of human life". It invites each participant to bring their voice and any other musical instruments "whether you can play them or not". So I am potentially bringing all of the instruments you see me with on the right — my pan flute and midi keyboard, the fabulous djembe (drum) recently gifted to me by my dear friend Austin, Jillian's flute and the guitar she got from Teddy, and eJP's clarinet and recorder.

click here for Kevin's YouTube show-and-tell of his instruments for the workshipClick on the image to the left for my YouTube show-and-tell about the instruments I'm taking to the workshop. Time will tell which of them I'll actually use in "the process of discovering the wisdoms we already have, deep in our being, that are awakened by the resonances of vibrations from our sound-making and deep listening". Yes !! More of what grabbed me from the brochure: "We rediscover what we loved as children: being spontaneous together". Being someone who is well known to carry a song in my head pretty much all the time, I totally identify with: "Sound-making is as natural as breathing — it's our birthright". And the ultimate promise: "It's about weaving whole the puzzle of your life, hopefully catching glimpses of the 'song' of your unique life journey."

Saturday, April 12, 2008

JOHN — Undeniably Written in Stone

click here to see the Full Size of this image of Kevin + his dogs around the fire circle where we had Johnny's memorial service in Feb 2008Today Lucky and I drove over to the cemetery monuments place in Hudson, NH, to pick up Johnny's "flat marker" that I had ordered a month ago. And when I picked it up, cold and heavy, it hit me like a ton of bricks — "JOHN", now it really is written in stone. Johnny's flat marker is not the grave stone or head stone that most people associate with what's in a cemetery, but rather the carved granite — typically visible only at ground level — that marks the actual spot of the burial. We chose "JOHN", even though most of his birth family members always called him "Johnny", as a compromise — his full name is on the head stone and because Johnny's lifelong partner, Lorraine, always called him by his birth name, just "John" alone is what we put on his flat marker.
click here to see the Full Size of this image of Johnny's flat markerToday as Lucky and I drove home with Johnny's stone I realized that we will have it with us in Groton for several weeks before we have to take it to Canada — and leave it there — for his funeral in May. It's nice that "JOHN" will have a further time of resting with us before we have to take that next step.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

More New Beginnings — Roger Williams University

click here to see the Full Size image of our entrance to the flag-draped RWU campusIt was with great pride and joy that my wife and I accompanied our younger daughter to Bristol, RI, for what was termed "Accepted Students Day at Roger Williams University" this past weekend. Our youngest daughter — who prefers to remain nameless in cyberspace — had already made a few trips to the campus, but it was my first time to see it plus the first time the family had gone there since she received her acceptance letter along with a huge 4-year scholarship (for academic merit) from the University. Wow !!!

No… that doesn't necessarily mean that eJP has made the final decision to go to Roger Williams University. But I suspect that RWU is going to be the one she choses once all is said and done. She has received acceptance letters from at least four colleges and universities this year — not to mention her 4-year full tuition scholarship that she got last Fall for the John and Abigail Adams (MCAS) Scholarship. We'll see…

click here to see the Full Size image of eJP's huge smile, on the Roger Williams University campus, with the Mt. Hope bridge in the backgroundIn the picture on the left you see the signature Mt. Hope bridge — visible from just about everywhere on the Roger Williams University campus (map) — it takes you from
Fall River on the Mass mainland over to Bristol, RI, which is on the Southern tip of the penninsula near the captial of RI, Providence. All a 90-minute drive from our place.

I'm tempted to change the date on this posting because, no, this is not an April Fool's Day spoof… It's just that I've been very busy getting into my new job + posting more pictures of recent trips to Roger Williams University that's been keeping me busy.