Music Never Dies

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

fog

Credit: Favim

~*~

Abandoned in the woods of my mind

The music I used to make.

The songs I used to sing.

The choral symphonies and

A cappella wonders that resonated

So deeply at the time I could never

Imagine my life without them.

Then life happened.

A new chapter unfolded.

A change of direction.

The company of composers

Receded to the heart chamber ~

Gone, but not forgotten

So that when the music played again

Every note; ever nuance

Every syllabic turn

Emerged from the foggy forest of my mind

To live and lighten again.

The pleasure of musical moments

Shared and memories of

Glorious music made live as though

Created yesterday.

But then, I realize, the music we inhabit

Never dies ~ it simply dwells

And resonates in every

Cell of our being to live another

Day, to uplift or

Devour the spirit according to

Our desire. Of course, only the

Heart knows the

Difference.

~*~

Music has always been an important part of my life.

I’m a singer. A soprano. Not of the operatic variety ~ that’s been done in my family. No, I’m a soprano hybrid, I guess I’d say. A little bit of everything.

For 12 years I sang second soprano in the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir ~ Toronto’s esteemed symphonic chorus ~ and loved every minute of it. The rehearsals, the performances, the way 180 people from different walks of life could all come together and create music magic together. Swept away by Brahms, Mozart, Beethoven, Faure, Vaughan Williams, Gabrieli and so many more of the classical and modern repertoire ~ for those moments our troubles disappeared as we focused our minds and hearts on giving voice to music that never dies.

I sang Handel’s Messiah 60-plus times. I know the soprano line (solo and choral) in my sleep. Every Christmas we go to hear the Choir and symphony perform this incredible oratorio and the part of my heart where this slice of heaven dwells opens up and I feel the joy of its presence in my life once more.

And this is so for many, many more wonders of the choral repertoire I had the privilege to perform.

But it doesn’t stop there.

All the music I’ve ever experienced in my life ~ opera, jazz, country, rock, blues, bluegrass, folk, R&B ~ resonates within and reflects who I am.

To me, the type of music we invite in to inhabit our world is every bit as important as the books we read and the people we choose to associate with. It colours who we are and our life experience.

I have heard of people who choose to live their lives without music and I am, frankly, floored by this notion. Still, each of us must walk their own path and live according to the dictates of our own hearts.

Among the music I miss singing the most is a cappella. To me, little can match the purest form of the human voice. “Hear My Prayer, O Lord” by English Baroque composer, Henry Purcell (1659-1695) has long been one of my favourite a cappella pieces, and the first time I sang it with the Mendelssohn Choir it moved me to tears. If you would like to experience this short piece, click here. It’s lovely and meditative for a Sunday morning.

I realize it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I love it. It’s part of who I am and one of those things that reminds me how good it is to be alive.

And as long as I am alive this music will live in me.

Thanks for stopping by …

Dorothy

~*~

1477384_696513200380722_443439577_nPrompted by Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday.

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

Cypress Sunset

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

Cypress

There, upon a Tuscan Hill,

Survey the cypress, tall and still

Saluting to the burning sky

As setting sun to all says “Arrivederci!”

~*~

Something a little quirky courtesy of my recent trip to Italia.

Thanks for stopping by …

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

 

 

Night Terror(ist)

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

Night Light

~*~

Lights out …

Lurking,

Shadow dweller.

Haunting and predatory.

In the night

You cross the boundary.

Advance.

Faceless, but not

Formless.

Familiar.

Menacing.

Paralysis overwhelms.

Screams,

But no sound.

Terror’s creep keeps creeping.

Shallow, my breath.

*

{Breathe.}

*

Thoughts form.

{Be different.}

Words speak.

Low. Monotone.

Controlled, somehow.

“What do you want?”

I ask.

Silence.

Again.

“What do you want?”

Hovering o’er me,

Your whispered, jumbled words

Confuse; are

Meaningless.

Not even you are sure

Why it is you haunt

Me.

Silence.

“No …”

I say, calm.

Silence, then

A shift.

“I’m sorry,”

You say, contrite.

Your words surprise.

My breath then caught

By your tender,

Unexpected kiss

Upon my cheek

As you retreat.

Gone ~

Forever into the shadows.

Silence.

Lights on …

{Breathe}

~*~

This seems rather dark following my last post.

However without this, I hope, final dream-state encounter with the Night Terror(ist) who has haunted me at various times of my life and driven me to waking up in a full blown panic, my previous post What Changed? would not exist.

Thanks for stopping by …

Dorothy

~*~

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

 

 

What Changed?

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

 

Balloon

~*~

My world ~

Breath by breath

An ever-expanding,

Colour-full balloon of

Possibility.

Easing toward divine potential.

What changed?

Me.

~*~

Took me a long time and a lot of personal work to begin to feel this way.

It hasn’t been easy, but it has been worth it.

And, the journey continues …

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

 

After The Thrill Is Gone … Maybe

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

fireworks

“These people, who launch fireworks like every weekend is the fourth of July, just don’t get it, do they?” Sarah leapt from her chair, a look of worry planted in her eyes.

“What’s that?” Michael asked in all innocence. “I don’t hear anything.”

Sarah eyeballed him. “Of course you don’t. It hasn’t started yet. Just wait.”

Michael focused his attention back on the TV and the ninth inning of a cliffhanger Sarah didn’t get.

“Michael!”

The room fell silent as Michael, aware there was no way to side step his young wife’s anxiety, finally hit “mute” and turned to listen. The winning run had been scored. He could relax.

He sighed. “I wish I understood. Tell me.”

Sarah sat beside him on the two-seater burgundy leather sofa. She checked the time on the clock above the mantle and reached for her husband’s hand. Any minute now, the not-so-magic hour of 10 p.m. would be marked.

“Listen.”

More silence. Then …

Boom! Bang! Whistle! Boom! Boom! Boom!

… for ten solid minutes the still magic of a summer’s evening was a bombast of cannon and shot from some neighbour’s yard somewhere down the street.

After a final flourish it was all over, the night its peaceful self once more.

Sarah spoke.

“Do you realize that every Saturday night since Memorial Day someone, somewhere in our small town has bombarded the air with this stuff. In the process, something designed to be magical has become annoying instead. The thrill is gone.” She stood and walked over to the window. “Never mind the fact we can’t even see the damn sparks fly, but we must listen to it, every weekend because apparently a summer Saturday night is incomplete without noise.” Sarah closed the window and continued staring into the darkness. “I dread Saturday nights now. Instead of being happy for other people’s festive happiness, my teeth grate and blood boils because yet again the silence has been needlessly disturbed. I don’t know how Maggie and Steve next door manage their tiny triplets with all this noise going on. They must have to shut every window in the house which, frankly, isn’t fair.”

Michael watched Sarah closely. The sparkle of her heightened awareness not lost on him. He slowly flipped the TV remote in his hand, over and over. He knew his young, sensitive wife was not yet finished talking.

“And does anyone even consider the trauma inflicted on the tiny animals who must endure this unnatural disruption?  Poor babies. The birds; squirrels; chipmunks; cats; dogs must all tuck themselves away from the horror of it.” Sarah took a breath. “Mrs. McGregor across the street says her cocker spaniel, Rupert, hides under the bed every time a thunderstorm rolls through, never mind the worried look he gets in his eye and the chair he hinds behind when the fireworks start cracking. It’s traumatizing for the little ones, really it is … ” she paused, “and downright bloody annoying for the rest of us who prefer a quiet evening in on the weekend.”

“Isn’t that what Sundays are for?” Michael responded, not meaning to sound flippant.

Sarah turned and sent him a withered look of warning.

Michael smiled. He knew she was simply letting off steam.

“Come on,” he coaxed, “I know how we can have our own display of fireworks … and not disturb the neighbours … maybe.” He winked.

Sarah felt a thrill and smiled back.

“Of course you do …”

~*~

1477384_696513200380722_443439577_nMy response to Kellie Elmore’s image prompt for this week Free Write Friday.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

 

 

 

 

After It Rains

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

 

Piazza San Marco, Venizia

~*~

“Mummy … what’s that smell, you know, after it rains?”

Cindy looks at me with her big, brown eyes full of wonder, just a hint of a pucker on her lips to show me she’s not really sure what she’s smelling.

“Feet, darling.”

“Feet!”

Now her look is one of abject horror. I’ve thrown her for a loop.

“Not literally, sweetie.”

She cocks her head in confusion.

“I don’t know, Cindy. They call it petrichor, that smell, and I suppose it smells of whatever you want it to smell and changes depending on where you are. For instance,” I point to the vast expanse of a wet Piazza San Marco where we’re standing, the illumination of which puts a sparkle in my daughter’s eyes, “can you imagine how many millions of feet have walked here?” She shakes her head. “Exactly! Neither can I, but that after-rain odour puts my imagination to work. Wondering. Creating pictures in my mind of how things might have been in days gone by. The dust of the ages so ingrained into these ancient stone slabs it comes to life in my mind, somehow, after it rains.”

I can see I’ve lost her. I redirect.

“What do you think of when you smell petrichor?”

My eight-year old thinks for a moment.

“Are you saying that petrichor can smell of whatever you want it to smell?”

“I suppose so. Of course, how it smells will depend entirely on where you are.” I don’t go into detail. She doesn’t need to know about sewers and such, yet. So I ask her a question, “When we’re at the barn what do you smell after it rains?”

The wheels turn in that pretty little head and her eyes brighten even more. I think she’s got it.

“Hay and wet dog and damp dirt and fresh mown grass and oh! … Charlie’s wet mane!!!” Cindy’s smile is as wide as this wet, ancient piazza. A recent memory of that old codger of a pony coming in soaking wet from the paddock has taught her about petrichor.

“So, when you stand here and see the beautiful lights and colours of this square and inhale Venice’s post-rain fragrance, what does it bring to mind?”

Without missing a beat she pipes, “Charlie!”

I give her a hug.

Time for gelato.

~*~

Written in response to Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday challenge:

screenshot_2014-06-11-12-25-232

 

 

 

 

Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti, All Rights Reserved 2014

 

Summer’s First Kiss

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

SpentSummer’s first kiss

A fantasy

A fumble

A moment made humble.

Not stolen;

Theft.

~*~

“Do you remember your first kiss?” Summer asked of her mother.

“Oh, darling, that was such a long time ago.” She thought for a moment. “It certainly wasn’t with your dad.”

“That would be a no, then?” Summer was despondent.

“Yes, that would be a no. … What about you?” Her mother asked, mildly curious. “Do you remember yours?’

Summer thought for a moment. Dare she tell her mother the truth of that first moment her lips touched those of another? She’d never mentioned it before. Too much shame attached to it. Not a kiss by choice; a kiss by chance. Someone else’s chance. No romance. A moment of groping in a dark theatre by a boy who’d asked her out under false pretences; her boundaries crossed when she had no border guard. All she’d wanted to do was watch The Pink Panther. 

“No, mother, I don’t remember my first kiss.”

~*~

1477384_696513200380722_443439577_n

Sadly, not all first kisses are what we might wish.

Written in response to Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday challenge.

Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

Catastrophe

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Catastrophe.

This is the first word I hear as I slowly awaken from my long, deep sleep.

What catastrophe?

Then …

“She’s awake!”

… and suddenly my quiet drifting world descends into a delirium of the fussing, fretting and fearful.

“Oh my god! She’s awake … look!”

The room floods with hysteria.

“Please stop!” I scream, but no words come out. My consciousness cloaked in a thick delirium. “Please stop!!!!! My head hurts …”

This is no happy reunion. I don’t want to see any of them. I want my life back, but not like this. Not with these mindless fools who put me here in the first place.

I’m awake now, but not just in the way they see.

Breathe, Amy, breathe away this claustrophobic panic and descent into hell.

“She’s not looking very good, is she?” Mother whines with the lilt of chronic disappointment I can recall all too well. “When can she come home then? I need her for …”

A kindly voice of authority intervenes.

“She’s not going anywhere for quite a while yet, Mrs. Boxwood. Why don’t you go get yourself a cup of coffee?”

Yes, mother, go! Go far away! Leave me alone!

I close my eyes. Perhaps if I can’t see her, and the swarm of bottom feeders hovering about her, they won’t be there.

“What’s happening? Why has she closed her eyes?” Every word out of my mother’s mouth a cloaked reprimand.

Go away already!

The kind voice, once again.

“Perhaps it’s best if you go home. Amy is still tired and needs her rest.”

“But she’s been sleeping for three months! Someone needs to tell her about Boo,” says my moronic best friend, Miranda. Somehow what I did not see before is so clear to me now. She’s a gossiping, energy-sucking vampire disguised as a goody two-shoes. And what of Boo, my beautiful horse who, I realize now, I so horribly abused? All I want to do is put my arms around his graceful neck and tell him how sorry I am for everything.

Is something wrong with my horse?

I’m feeling suffocated now. Panic setting in. I’d rather die than deal with these people now.

The voice of reason to my rescue as the oblivious still don’t get it.

“Look, everyone, I think it’s best if you all leave. Amy is still very weak and too much excitement will drain her of whatever precious energy she has. Now, go home, get some rest and come back tomorrow when you’re more relaxed. Amy needs quiet.”

“But it’s a miracle she’s alive. I want to be with her! I need her!”

My needy, idiot boyfriend, Danny. It’s an act, of course. I’ve known he’s been having an affair for a long time, even before this happened. I hung in because I thought I could change him, but it was killing me inside. Thankfully, I’m not dead. But I wish he was.

Go away!

I’m rescued once again.

“No, everyone must leave now. I insist. Any news must wait. Please … you can see her again tomorrow. But call first.”

The gentle voice trails off as the small gaggle of misfits finally makes its noisy exit. No one even whispers goodbye to me. Just … oh god … the needy needing the needy arguing where they’ll go for supper.

The kind voice speaks from above.

“You can open your eyes, love, they’re gone now.”

She’s an angel in uniform. Her aura radiates a softness with which I am so unfamiliar tears spring into my eyes.

“There, there, dear. We’ll sort it out. You’ll see.” With a soft cloth the angel dabs away the salty streams running into my ears.

“Why did I have to wake up?” Words thought, but unspoken. Still, the angelic one reads my mind.

“Because it’s time you woke up, dear.” She smiles reassurance. “Time to face your truth.”

I sigh a deep, quivering sigh.

My truth.

Talk about a catastrophe.

~*~

My response to this weeks free writing challenge from Kellie Elmore.

You have a story in you. Everyone does. And I challenge you to take the first step toward telling it. The prompt this week can only come from you. That idea you once had. Or maybe it’s that idea you just had. That story that hasn’t been told that you want to hear, it needs you to bring it to life. And it all begins with one step. That first opening line on that first page of that first chapter. What does it say? That is your prompt.

1477384_696513200380722_443439577_nI actually started writing this story some years ago. This is a fresh start based on themes already imagined. I see it as a kind of prologue before the telling of the story that got Amy into the hospital in the first place. Perhaps this will launch me into a re-write of the 40,000 or so words already penned? Who knows.

Still, I have a murder mystery to finish first. ;-)

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

~*~

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

 

A Simple Message

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This post is written in response to a challenge offered by Lana of Living with Post Concussion Syndrome. Please take a moment to visit her inspiring blog.

The challenge: What Dreams Are Made Of … For this writing event, share a dream or two that’s had a great effect ~ even after waking.

~*~

Full moon

I always pay attention to my night time dreams. I write them down. Review the more dynamic ones with my therapist to find the meaning and application to my life. The subconscious has a lot to say and I want to know what it is.

There have been a few times in my life ~ when I was at my most distressed, as it happens ~ when my dreams have actually proven to be of some comfort.

The first one I recall occurred when I was 12 years old.

I was staying at my grandmother’s at the time and one night had gone to bed quite distressed. A much anticipated trip to a farm to see horses and make a new friend had been cancelled at the last minute by my second cousin who had arranged the excursion. Her husband wasn’t able to go so they’d decided to postpone and arrange to go another time.

I was grief-stricken, sobbing myself to sleep on the couch that served as my bed for the two months of that summer at granny’s trailer home. Inconsolable, actually. Burdened heavily by my life in survival mode (though I didn’t know it at the time) I looked at the chance to be with horses, and maybe even ride, as an escape from the unhappy circumstances in which I found myself.

During the night, a dream. Nothing elaborate. A simple message. An angel, it seems to me, appeared as an ethereal, comforting presence and a gentle voice spoke the words “everything will be alright.”

The next morning I awoke feeling much better; my heart lighter. I recall getting off the couch and going over to my grandmother, who was making breakfast in the galley kitchen, and telling her about my dream and how I felt that everything would, indeed, be okay.

Within moments the telephone rang. Granny answered. It was for me.

It was my cousin. She had changed her mind. We were going to the farm after all. Her husband could go another time.

To this young distraught girl it was a total miracle. Just as the voice in my dream had spoken, everything was going to be alright.

We did go to the farm. I did spend time with, and ride, the horses. And I met a girl the same age whose friendship I would enjoy until several years later when life got in the way.

It has occurred to me since that my grandmother, realizing how distraught I was by the change of plans, may have called my cousin after I went to bed and asked her to reconsider. And that it might have been her standing over me in the night, the angel that she was, with a reassuring voice telling me everything was going to be okay.

It doesn’t matter how it transpired. I have never forgotten those gentle and oh, so important words ~ words that have comforted, guided and consoled ever since, during times of sorrow, grief, uncertainty and pain. At times that simple message was the only thing I had to hold on to, giving me the strength and the understanding to know that whatever happened I would be fine.

In recent years I have come to admire the supremely talented Canadian singer/songwriter Jacob Moon who, a few years ago, penned a song called, believe it or not, “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright.” When I first heard it I was reduced to tears by its simple melody and moving words. Jacob had put to music the song in my heart. Now whenever I hear it I am moved to remember that moment, long ago, when a simple message comforted the heart of a distraught young girl. Words I continue to lean on as my life unfolds and realize that in my trials I am not alone.

Here’s a link to Jacob Moon performing “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” via YouTube. Please take a moment to listen and hear the beautiful words.

Thanks for visiting. And thank you, Lana, for the opportunity to share this special moment from my life …

Dorothy

~*~

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2014

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 525 other followers