I know that I’m not alone when I say that I am emotionally exhausted- who isn’t right now? Life is so different; everything has been tinged with madness, everything seems foreign, somehow indelibly altered from all we’ve been through. It is in chaos that I look for time pieces; moments of time filled with memory and emotion that anchor me to my reality, to a life filled with love and laughter- a life that has had many more ups than it’s had downs.
I think of Dan and the life we’ve built together, our love and the beauty that has come from our devotion and our dreams. We carved a life out of broken pieces, facing every joy and challenge hand in hand. We have traveled far and wide, always finding that we are happiest together in the quiet and peace of home. Through it all, love has always been the constant, the glue that binds us together. When I am filled with anxiety about what is happening all around us, his love and support are anchors in turbulent seas.
A visit to our soul place, the Nantahala Gorge in western North Carolina.
I think of moments with family and friends that are etched into my heart. My mother and her unwavering love and belief in me from my earliest memories. I feel her embrace and hear her laughter, remember her consoling me and wiping away my tears when my heart was broken. I try my best to be a woman she would be proud of, feeling her love wrapped around me like a warm cloak even years after she has passed. I think of Christmas in my childhood, bedtime stories, and laughter.
I think of my students and my own teachers, past and present, who inspire me and give me purpose each and every day. During this stressful week as we count the days until the much-needed holiday break, I’ve had several students in tears as they struggle with the challenges of university study and music making during a pandemic. They remind me to be strong for them, but also to show them that I am struggling, too, so that they know that what they are feeling is normal and that they aren’t alone.
I think of making music with friends and colleagues and all of the joy it has brought me over the years. Music has shaped every aspect of my life and I can’t imagine my world without it. Even with all of the limitations caused by Covid, music still has the power to bring joy and meaning to this chaotic world. I hope that someday soon I will be able to perform and tour again. There is nothing like playing for an enthusiastic audience.
I continue to remind myself that I am not alone in feeling a deep sorrow for what we have lost during the pandemic. However, I also have to remember the gifts of time and new ways of connecting with people that we have been given. It’s difficult to stay positive after all these months of fear and sadness, but I will look to my time pieces to light the way. There is always, always something to be grateful for in life, even when it is found in memories.