Hello my merry wee band of followers. I thought I would give you an update on the progress I have made on my list. I have been practicing piano very, very hard! Unfortunately, I have had a few set backs. Firstly, one of the songs I have chosen to perform at this much anticipated cultural event won the best song of the year at The Oscars! This presents a problem because now people will know what this song is supposed to sound like! Second problem, it turns out I have absolutely no musical talent no matter how much I practice. It’s very strange I am so talented in my head but it just won’t come out! So, why is this task even on my list you ask? Well in the pursuit of self-improvement and personal growth, a musical challenge targets one of my biggest flaws. An MRI of my brain beautifully demonstrates the problem….
Left Brain Function
Reason, organization, math/science logic (so overrated), boooorrrrriiinnnnggg
Right Brain Function
Creativity, Empathy, Imagination, Super fun (ok I added that)
As you can see the left side of my brain looks like an old and dusty walnut you found on your pantry floor. Music, however, is the great equalizer. Creating music requires both sides of the brain through the corpus callosum to communicate. According to science, the brain develops according to what we feed it intellectually. Actual physical nerve tissue forms as we study a new skill! At fifty, when everything else is headed south for the winter, how exciting to actually physically grow!
Another bonus to this task is my teacher, Amy Witten. The Witten’s are the all-American family. Amy is lovely and gracious. Her handsome husband Doug is a DEA agent who risks his life for the greater good (feel free to thank her family for their service if you are unfortunate enough to be coerced into attending this event). After attempting to teach me piano off and on for approximately 6 years, I am still about a third grade level (this is not her fault!). I have, however, made a friend for life and learned several cosmic truths.
Probably the biggest lesson I have learned, other than how to butcher Amazing Grace, is the concept of dissonant notes. A dissonant sound is an unpleasant sound in music that is unstable and has an oral need to resolve. Only once the next notes are played, the resolution, does the entire piece of music make sense and create beauty. I cannot tell you how many times in the hospital, when I’m worried, or when life isn’t making sense do I remind myself this is just a dissonant note in my life. While the event may be uncomfortable the resolution is coming! It may be beyond the veil of this world, but it’s coming.
To paraphrase Florence Foster Jenkins, “They can say I can’t play, but they can’t say I didn’t.” I have set the date of the recital for May 11th. As you guys know, I am not shy, but the mere thought of this event makes my stomach feel like its full of squishy lime-Jello. Hopefully, I won’t embarrass myself to badly.
As far as my other tasks, I have purchased the crème brulee torch and am perfecting getting my brulee to “tremble”. My double first and second cousin/niece (it’s a Mennonite thing), Robyn Barchen, is going to school me via Skype on this. I have leads on people for tasks four and five, although, I had a tough setback when my first choice older person decided it would be better to go on and head to his reward instead of being the subject of my dumb blog. Thus I have narrowed my age parameters to an 80 year old friend and a 20 year old friend. I have completed mine and Dennis’ love story and will publish soon!
The dancing with Dennis idea has elicited the same reaction from Phil Holdbrooks, Jimmy Ellison, Doug Stapleton, Jake Walsh and other guys, “I’ve got this!” Hmmmm…. what does that mean exactly? Are we going to suspend Dennis from a crane and a hunting harness? Will we staple him to a board on wheels, or are we all going to stand in a circle and pray that angels are going to come down and lift him up for us? While I certainly appreciate the enthusiasm, I think Dennis is going to want a few more details before we wrestle him into a party suit and dancing shoes. Below is NOT what we are looking to do to him!
I have been completely blown away of the support I am receiving for this project! Thank you, especially for the beautiful replies to the “love letters”! It is definitely true that “In the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” So, let’s all go out there and make some love! Wait…I’m not sure my mum, Oma Irene, is going to like that slogan, but you get the spirit of the thing. Make your own list and spread some love!