My Week in Music

Daily Prompt: Playlist of the Week

~ Five songs that represent this past week for me ~

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Oh, a music prompt! I love these …

Having given a few moments thought to my week, these are the musical selections that come immediately to mind:

Selection #1 ~ Right here, right now (Jesus Jones) ~ this could easily be changed to Write here, write now as I have felt quite motivated to follow the daily prompt and write every day to get the ol’ creative juices flowing. Having said that, it’s a song that also reminds me to take each moment as it comes, non-judging and totally open to the road that lies ahead, wherever that may lead. Be here, now. Feel and process feelings as they happen and respond mindfully and accordingly. I’m reading a fascinating book ~ Mindsight by Dr. Dan Siegel ~ which is helping me to be even more cognizant of my life in the moment. I’ve made remapping my mind and breaking old patterns of negative behaviour one of my goals for this year, replacing these old ways of being with more positive and holistic ways that allow me to live my life more fully and completely. It’s all good.

Selection #2 ~ Boogie Nights (Heatwave) ~ part of managing adrenal fatigue for the past few years included drastically reducing the amount of exercise I was doing. Over-taxing the nervous system was a bad idea, so karate had to go and my focus had to become gentle (yin) exercises like dog walking, quiet rides on my horse and Pilates. Now that my nervous system appears to be on sounder footing I want to expand my exercise regimen, still, I need to be mindful about it. Since his retirement my husband has taken over dog walking, so what am I left with? I can dance! Boogie Nights, a great disco song from the 70s, starts my Fun mash-up (of more 70s disco and some rock) and I just move to the music. About 20 minutes stretches muscles and gets the heart rate pumping in a way I can manage. I try to do this two to three times per week. So far I’ve gone all disco once this week, but I think today will be a good day to add to that.

Selection #3 ~ Baby, It’s Cold Outside (pick an artist) ~ selected because it’s been &^#% cold outside this week (-16C yesterday with windchill). My horse has an injured suspensory ligament so I go every day to nurse his wound and keep him company, but the barn and arena are not heated so I am, essentially, in a frigid outdoor environment for two-three hours at a time. The art of dressing warm without overheating is lost on me, so I usually end up in a sweater with a down vest over it and my winter breeches, which is not really warm enough. My feet are always cold, no matter what boots I wear or how many layers of socks I don. So, by the time I get home I’m ready for a nice hot bath. I just don’t get warm until I’ve immersed the damp out of my bones.

Selection #4 ~ Ein Deutches Requiem (Brahms) ~ This is what I’m listening to right now, as a matter of fact. As well as being a writer, artist and equestrian I am a singer. Singing was another one of those things I had to let fall by the wayside because of adrenal fatigue. It’s an activity that requires an extraordinary amount of energy to do well and because of the adrenalin involved can tax a compromised nervous system to the point of extreme debilitation. (Just before I quit singing I was working with a coach and attending workshops but had to stop because doing so literally made me sick for days after.) Now that I’m feeling stronger I’d like to (try to) incorporate a structured singing program into my life again. I’ve been spoiled though. I sang in one of the world’s premier large choral ensembles, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir (TMC), for 12 seasons, and having been raised by an opera singer I’m picky about the quality of singing I lend my voice to. Does that sound awful? Shouldn’t it just be enough to sing? Perhaps, but if I’m going to expend my now precious energy doing something I love than I have to love it. So, in my internet search for a local choral society at 7 a.m. yesterday, I found a local chamber choir that sounds about right. I sent an inquiry expressing my interest and giving some of my background, and received a response telling me I was welcome to try out in March when they would start rehearsing Ein Deutches Requiem. This just happens to be one of my favourite choral works and one I’ve performed many times with the TMC. Is this a sign? I will make my final decision about trying out for the chamber choir once I’ve heard them perform at their next concert on March 1. I’m hopeful. Of course, if I try out they may suppose I’m not right for them. It’s always a risk, but I won’t know until I try.

Bear SmiingSelection 5# ~ Jump (Pointer Sisters) ~ Yes, from the sublime to the totally ridiculous. Yesterday the vibe at the barn was a bit unsettled and Bear, my injured horse who’s on 120-day stall rest (we’re at day 25) and daily rounds of hand walking in the arena, and who’s been quite sensible about it, had a jelly bean moment. That is, after a roll in the arena footing to get the kinks out (which I didn’t mind because I knew he hadn’t had a chance to roll in a while) he launched to his feet and leapt/jumped/bucked in the air like a Lippizaner stallion. I thought I was going to have heart failure. “You’re not allowed to do that!” I yelled at him from across the arena. “You’re injured, remember?” He just looked at me with an element of surprise and stood there noncommittal. Within moments I finally regained my composure and he walked over to me looking sheepish. He knew he’d abused my trust. We had a good talk during the ensuing walkabout, during which I reiterated how inappropriate it was for him to jump about at this time. If he was allowed to do that I would be allowed to ride him, and I’m not, so he needs to stick with the recovery program and stop acting like a four-year-old. He smiled … he really did … and I couldn’t stay mad at him anymore. Look at that face (yes, a nice summer image). Could you?

So, there you have it. My week in music …

Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy

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©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2015

Why even go there?

Daily Prompt: Burnt

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Gone, but not forgotten

Ashes of another time,

Things missed but not

Lamented.

For, should I die tomorrow

I would leave you all

Anyway to your fate,

Whatever that might be.

I’m sorry I could not

Save you, but in my

Heart you will ever live

As a glowing memory.

No regrets. I loved you

As I could and now

We must part.

Be well.

~*~

Too much of my life has been lived in regret and second guessing. Saying goodbye to what was and moving forward is an important life lesson, so to dwell on things that I cannot, or could not, control, is something I prefer not to do. Why even go there?

Books and music are the only things I might be sad about leaving behind, but even these are replaceable.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

~*~

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2015

The Burning Question

Daily Prompt: Burning Down the House

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Todays’ prompt asks what five things we would save if our house was burning down, assuming that people and animals are safe.

So, what five things would I save if my house was burning down?

I pray this is something I never experience.  Still, for the purposes of this exercise I’ve prepared the following list of irreplaceable (or hard to replace) items I would likely reach for first in the event of a house fire.

1. Personal documents … ie. passport, birth certificate, etc. … they’re an important part of my identity and, frankly, I wouldn’t want to deal with government bureaucracy to replace all of this after experiencing such a trauma. Fortunately I know where I store these items so they’re easy to retrieve.

2. My computer hard drive … I don’t trust “cloud” technology so I don’t save anything to it. All my writing and photography is saved in my computer. Oh … we do back it all up on the Apple Time Machine. Do I just save that instead? Hmmm … I don’t know. Maybe I need to give this some further thought.

3. Genealogical records/family photos … all safely stored in two boxes. Why I would want to save them particularly I’m not sure. I have no children to pass them along to when I leave this mortal coil. Still, I do have extended family out west and since I’ve traced parts of the family tree back to 15th century Europe I believe it’s worth hanging on to for handing over at a future time. The old photos are a fascinating record of my predecessors and the times they lived in, as well.

The Arab Tent by Edwin Landseer

4. All original artwork … and, the print of “The Arab Tent” by Edwin Landseer that my mother gave me when I was a little girl. This beautiful print in its gold-painted antique frame has had a place on a wall somewhere in my house ever since (even after several moves!), and means the world to me. (See my blog post A Childhood Gift)

5.  My hardcover collection of Taylor Caldwell books … though a controversial figure in her time she was a prolific and accomplished writer and supreme storyteller. (Captain and the Kings among her most famous works.) Her evocative books captured my imagination and helped to formulate my own writing style. Since Ms. Caldwell’s books are no longer in print and I have a fairly comprehensive collection of her works, I would be most upset to lose them.

So, there you have it. For the purposes of today’s prompt this is what I think I would save if my house was on fire. Still, I hope I am never in the terrible position of having to answer this burning question for real.

Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2015

The Writer’s Danger Zone

Daily Prompt: Play Lexicographer

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My dream come true.

A word to call my own.

Playing with the alphabet.

I’m in the danger zone.

A brainstorm of confusion

Puzzling my thought.

A word game I alone can play

Culled from all that I’ve been taught.

Got it!

Lexinaffle: ~ verb ~ the inability to dream up a new word for a daily prompt. Useage: I’ve been trying really hard to think of a new word for this frustrating exercise and find myself completely lexinaffled.

~*~

So silly …

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy 🙂

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2015

The Much Maligned Vegetable

Daily Prompt: Embrace the Ick

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Interviewer: “Tell me, Ms. Doright, when do you first recall embracing the much maligned vegetable many of our readers would agree is icky? My notes don’t actually tell me what the vegetable is, perhaps you could elaborate?”

Ms. Doright: “All in good time … Honestly, I just made up my mind it was time to change my mind. Icky is as icky does. I am in no position to make such judgements. I imagine it all depends on one’s definition of ick. Mine was more about the texture, smell and taste of the thing, but I am beginning to see things differently.”

Interiewer: “Indeed, how have you learned to see it differently?”

Ms. Doright: “Oh, I went for food sensitivity testing and the nutritionist said that my body simply cries out for … it, so … you know … one must respect all aspects of the body’s needs, not just what one thinks it needs, which is often at odds with the truth. As well, this delightfully positive woman provided some scrumptious ideas for preparation. I found her enthusiasm for said icky veggie almost infectious.”

Interviewer: “Still, forgive me, after a life-time of loathing one simple declaration has the power to change your mind? I find this hard to understand.”

Ms. Doright: “Well, believe me, learning that I should make this particularly offensive cruciferous vegetable a staple in my culinary calendar came as quite a shock. I’d only ever experienced it as over-cooked, mushy and nauseatingly repugnant. The smell would be enough to push me over the edge. But then I recalled a visit to a Portuguese restaurant last summer where this icky veggie demonstrated surprising possibilities. Baked, or maybe it was stir-fried, with a delightful combination of other ingredients including, if I’m not mistaken, ginger and garlic and other things I love, it’s crispy texture and tangy taste tickled my taste buds in ways I’d never imagined possible … with this vegetable, you understand. But then, I forgot about it until this meeting with the nutritionist. And whereas my initial response to the knowledge that my body adored this veggie (full of vitamins C and K and B6 and dietary fibre and essential minerals) was to screw up my face and declare ‘You’ve got to be kidding me!’, I’ve come to realize it may not be so bad after all. I simply need to learn new ways of preparing it. … Do you understand now?”

Interviewer: “Indeed, which brings me to my final question … what the hell are we talking about?”

Ms. Doright: “Why, Brussels sprouts, of course.”

~*~

A few weeks ago I went for food sensitivity testing and found out that the vegetable I loathed more than any other (found the most icky) was in fact one my body finds particularly beneficial ~ though how it would know this when I never eat it is beyond me.

Still, to honour my body’s apparent need for the icky Brussels sprout I’m looking for a few good recipes. Any ideas? (Nothing boiled, please … )

Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2015 

Harm Not My Sanctuary, Lest I Weep

Daily Prompt: Free Association

Home ~ Sanctuary
Soil ~ Harm
Rain ~ Weep

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Harm not my sanctuary, lest I weep,

For here is where my heart doth rest,

My weary body sleep.

Tis here I close my tired eyes,

Replenish here my soul

And find within my stirring depths

The truth that makes me whole.

Tis here my joy abides each day

That girds me forth in life,

Where love and safety keep me warm

Protecting me from strife.

Harm not my sanctuary, lest I weep.

~*~

My home is my sanctuary.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2015

Insatiable

Daily Prompt: Enough is Enough

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Wise Old Equus
Wise Old Equus … A veil painting by Dorothy Chiotti

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Insatiable.

You are.

Not to be satisfied

at any time,

by any means,

because the soul lost

knows not

when enough is enough.

Searching for what

never can be

for you know not

that for which you seek.

And I,

your convenient and

invisible slave,

drown in your endless

need at any expense,

at my expense.

And wonder when,

perchance,

I might surface

once more

to catch my breath,

and recover

at all cost,

 my own soul lost

to the

insatiable.

~*~

An old personal battle that very occasionally pops up for a skirmish.

Still, enough is enough …

Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … All Rights Reserved 2015