Wednesday, April 11, 2012


The update this week is that I'm up 3.2 pounds today.  I know.  It's bizarre.  I had a rough few days, but not 3.2 pounds worth.  This is my body's pattern.  Some of it's water from salty food last night, some of it's bloat from adding bread back into my daily food, and some is too much food and not enough exercise.  Live and learn  :-)

What I really want to talk to you about today is joy.

Tonight I have my first lesson with my new piping teacher.  Tonight!!!  Good thing, too - my outside tenor drone is stuck in the stock and I can't get it loose . . . the reed still plays (amazingly enough). I play cane reeds.  There are plenty of new, synthetic reeds, but I don't like them as well.  This is because of my teacher in SoCal, Ian Whitelaw, who is a purist when it comes to bagpipes.  Cane reeds and sheepskin bags.  He let me get away with a Canmore bag, but since I've had these pipes, I've only ever played cane reeds.

It's funny how our spirits work, isn't it?  I was compelled to write morning pages this morning (a creativity technique espoused by Julia Cameron - they are an awesome tool), something I haven't done for quite some time.  They are a great tool for many reasons, and I have been very fragmented lately, so it makes sense that I would turn to this tried and true method of grounding myself.

I had to write them on the train because I didn't get them done first thing (which is preferred), but I was compelled to write today, so grabbed my journal and stuffed it in my already heavy bag as I was running out the door to the train.  I'm glad I did.  Morning pages often release amazing stuff - stuff that bubbles to the surface and can't get out any other way.  This morning, as my pen moved across the page I saw that I was writing about why I needed to start piping again. 

You know how you have those flashes of insight?  I had one this morning.  I realized that piping had held a lot of sad memories for me pertaining to my ex-husband. When I was playing the most (and the best) was when I was married to him.  That was actually a bit shocking for me.  I never connected piping to him consciously before, but obviously a huge piece of my subconscious did.

I think that's why I never really got into a rhythm here with a teacher when I returned from Southern California. I had a teacher for awhile, but we never really clicked into a good teacher/student pattern, and he moved even farther away than he was already, which made it difficult to figure out a lesson time - and he just wasn't that interested in teaching me.  I'm not surprised and I don't blame him - as I look back, I was not a great student at the time. 

To have this moment of clarity this morning was like a lightning bolt - clearly I needed more time and space for healing than I had realized.  That I would put down something for so long that I love so much is very telling in this regard.  I mean, I love piping.  I love the look on peoples' faces when I say that yes, I'm a bagpiper.  There was so much upheaval in my life at the time I stopped playing, that just moving through the day each day was often a supreme test of will. 

I did play last fall at church - they begged me for Amazing Grace on Reformation Sunday - it was a brutal struggle to get my pipes in any sort of shape to play in a 2-week period of time, but I did it, and I made it through one verse - when you don't play for five years, you don't have very much stamina, and the pipes are not an easy instrument to play under the best of circumstances.  Piping continued nudging back into my consciousness - numerous times in the past six months - but I wasn't open enough or able to respond consistently until earlier this week.  These decisions were made quickly - on instinct and intuition.  Sometimes you just have to trust that you know what you're doing, even if you really don't.

I read the runes for myself yesterday and it was so clear when I looked within (that's what the runes help you do, they are an oracle of the self  :-) ) that I am on the right path in terms of music in all its forms in my life.

And then this morning, another layer peeled away.  A bubble filled with joy made its way up through my consciousness and burst onto my morning pages, releasing deeply embedded pain and opening a new place in my heart ready to be filled with music.  My spirit is already dancing like no one is watching. 

Tonight I have my first lesson with my new piping teacher.  I can't even tell you how amazing that feels.

Pretty awesome stuff :-)


Amy said...

So glad to hear you are doing something you love again.

A :-) said...

Thank Amy :-) It's really good to be piping again, even if these first couple of weeks are filled with prep.