Grief Transformation With Music
People were praying for me.
In the past ten days, I have driven over 3300 miles in 55+ hrs. I had heat exhaustion in Ft. Lauderdale and decided to skip the Charlotte concert to get a few things done. I have so many things to share with you and they will be coming in Sept and Oct.
For today, I will share some of the music from my first year of college in 1975. My roommate Mary Beth Iezzoni had the most varied taste in music. Living with her was like a music course in itself. I had a turntable/stereo and she had the records.
We walked to classes, studied, played Frisbee on the quad and listened to music…and listened to music and listened to music. I loved it. My world was opening up in so many ways.
I didn’t go to many concerts during that time. No money or transportation. But, I was so in love with the band Renaissance and Annie Haslam, the lead singer that somehow we managed to get to a local college that we hosting the band. And somehow we managed to pay for tickets.
Annie Haslam’s voice was so beautiful. I was in awe of her talent and loved the whole band. Our seats were so far away, but it didn’t matter. It was a live concert. The music vibrated the building and our souls. Thinking back to that concert, I am transported back to 1975. It makes me so happy I could cry with joy.
So, here are a few links to music I played over and over during that first year of college.
The first song is by Renaissance. It is a 10 minute song and the first 3 1/2 minutes are instrumental. Then, Annie Haslam begins to sing.
Emerson, Lake and Palmer
Concert 24-Kansas City, Missouri
July 29, 2009
Another anniversary: Two years ago today Hannah and I went to our first Jonas Brothers concert. We stayed at a hotel outside of Philadelphia the night before. It was only two hours from our home but I needed sleep. The idea of getting up at 4 am to drive 2 hours, to sit in line in the sun, waiting to go to a concert was not my idea of fun. I wanted a good night’s sleep.
I have to laugh now when I think about how many times I have driven through the night or slept for 4 hours or less before driving 22 hours to the next town for a concert. It is amazing how your perspective can change about something.
We were up at 6am, sat in line, saw the concert and started an adventure I could never have imagined. But, that is how life is, isn’t it? When we open to inspiration and allow the unfolding of events, it is always greater, more powerful and brilliant and amazing. I have a saying that when I get out of the way, God steps in and the real adventure begins.
I have been thinking about some of the pivotal moments in my life. When I worked at the University of Maryland, many years ago, I was a research assistant on an epidemiological study involving elderly women and hip fractures.
I had a curiosity about a thing called a “computer.” It was 1984. Most people were not using computers. My boss encouraged me to take some classes. I learned that I was not good at programming, but I was very good at understanding the potential and communicating with the computer programmers. That led to my getting a job as a Project Director at Johns Hopkins University on an amateur boxing study and then my next job was working as a computer software trainer at a pharmaceutical company. It was good money and I loved the work and the freedom I had at the company. It happened because I was curious, interested, willing to work hard, learn and make mistakes. I took one step at a time that led me to discover something I was really good at. I was laid off from that job and a few years later began to home school my children. Each step led me to more joy, passion and expression of myself and my inner gifts.
I think about how the willingness to take my daughter to one concert two years ago led us to an adventure of travel, writing, growing together, healing our hearts, and meeting you. My heart overflows with gratitude. And the journey is still opening to more and more. I appreciate you the reader who is sharing in this journey. I appreciate you more than you will ever know.
In Kansas City, we attended the concert with the wife of one of my best friend’s ex-husband. Isn’t that confusing? My friend, Karen, is divorced from her husband, Kevin and he, now using his first name, Vince, is remarried to Meghan. Karen and Kevin’s (Vince’s) kids are in Kansas City for six weeks. So, we have driven half way across the country to go to a Jonas Brothers concert with Sophie, age 9.
I love describing these connections here. I have a friend, Susan, who can tell amazing stories about her family. She makes connections in her stories like the friend’s cousin’s wife’s sister’s dog. How can she remember that? It is so much fun to hear her stories.
Anyway, Meghan, the step mom, bought four tickets on Stub Hub for Hannah and Sophie and me and for herself. As the day approached, one of Meghan’s friend’s daughters (here I go again) was in town. I gave up my ticket and bought a single ticket at the box office. I found a great group of girls to dance with in another part of the venue.
Meghan drove to the venue and found the best parking spot of the summer! Yeah, Meghan!
I saw Sean from the vendor company, Mike and Ike’s, and yelled out to him. He doesn’t really know me so he was totally confused and I pulled a “you know we are watching your every move,” type of conversation. He got all wide-eyed and friendly but nervous. Then I introduced myself, to give the guy a break, and asked where James was today.
I found James, also from Mike and Ike’s and thanked him for the Jordin Sparks meet and greet passes from the night before. We talked about how nice and talented she is and how gracious with all of the fans. Then, he gave me an autographed picture of Jordin. He had an extra one from another event. I was so surprised! Here I was coming to thank him and the gifts just keep coming!!
We were able to get meet and greet passes for Honor Society again. Yeah! It happens sometimes when the band is in a town that doesn’t know them well. Kat was able to squeeze us in for a picutre moment. We saw them two nights in a row and I wished them well on their travels.
I was a little confused about where they were going next. Was it to the Bahamas and Mexico or just the Bahamas. No Mexico shows for them this time! Gio, the security guard and much more, said hello and gave me a high five.
I settled into my seat with a bag of Kettle Corn and a bottle of water and ready to dance! I was in the front row looking over the edge. Luckily there was a plexi-glass wall next to me and I held onto that until I got the rhythm of jumping in one place and reducing the risk of falling over the edge. Not sure if the people in the box seats next to me appreciated my hand placement, but I think it was better than watching me fall over the edge and plummet to my death in front of several small children.
Hannah and I were in different parts of the venue tonight. She had floor seats and I was in the balcony. I was in the first row in the farthest seat. As I was leaving the venue, I moved past 15 seats, climbed 21 rows, came halfway around the venue to a long escalator, waited in line for the escalator and then headed towards the outside door. A hand touched my shoulder and I looked around to see Hannah. Meghan and Sophie and Maddie went back to the car a few songs earlier. Out of all the different routes out of the building, how did we end up at the same place at the same time?
It was the perfect ending to a perfect day, as we walked to the car chatting back and forth about the adventures of the evening. All is well.
Thank you to Second Look Books our blog sponsor today:
Second Look Books
168 South Street
Plainville, MA. 02762
For more information on sponsoring go to www.livealifeworthcelebrating.com
July 17, 2009
Concert 18- Boston, Massachusetts
This morning I drove to Plainsville, Massachusetts to meet a woman named Sue, the owner of a bookstore called Second Look Books. Sue is a friend of one of my Facebook friends, Christina Labonte Groves.
I met Christina on Facebook this past winter. I think a Course in Miracles brought us together. We were both in a Facebook group that shared inspirational messages. She uploaded a picture of herself in the snow. It was such a beautiful angelic picture, I wrote a comment and we began communicating more on Facebook. She is one of my group Favorites.
When Christina saw that I was traveling all around the United States going to Jonas Brothers concerts, she looked up the schedule, saw when they would be in Boston and sent me a message on Facebook. She offered me a place to stay.
I had a place to stay already, but I was in the process of looking for a bookstore to have a discussion with my book Conscious Choices: An Evolutionary Woman’s Guide to Life. I thanked her for the invitation and then I asked if she knew of a bookstore or coffee shop where I could offer a book discussion. Within 24 hours, she had several ideas and talked with Sue and it was scheduled.
I drove to the store today to meet Sue in person, bring a few books and talk about the book group on Saturday. I was sad that Christina was working and unable to attend the book group. She was also working today. It was an amazing surprise when I arrived at the store and Christina was there. Her 11am appt was cancelled! We met and hugged and felt the connection that was started on Facebook.
The next “chance encounter” happened in Rosemont, Illinois last week. I was standing in line at the ticket booth waiting to pick up tickets and still looking for one ticket for the show that night. I was talking with a woman who was in line behind me. When I mentioned the goal of going to 45 concerts this summer, her daughter told me she had watched some of my daughter’s videos.
The conversation continued. They were from Boston. Susan has a travel business and had flown in with one daughter for the show. Her other daughter had broken her ankle in a freak softball accident at home plate and was not able to make the flight. We were talking about the Boston concerts. I told her that yes, we were coming and no, we did not have tickets yet. She had a friend who had two tickets to sell! She made a phone call and voila! the tickets were mine.
I met up with Susan and her daughters, Haleigh and Emilie in the train station below the Garden. I waited with them to take the handicapped elevator upstairs to the garden. Emilie is in a wheelchair while her ankle mends. Hannah received an unexpected meet and greet with the Jonas Brothers so she got her ticket and was off to stand in line.
I know that Susan could have handled the wheelchair and all of the details on her own. I also know that having an extra set of hands from me was good for her. We ended up on the third floor in a handicapped section with a huge dance floor area.
Isn’t it fascinating that we were in line in Chicago, she became my connection for tickets, her daughter was in a wheelchair and I was able to help her? Pretty cool, huh?
Susan and I danced and had so much fun together at the concert. One of the best concerts.
I love these synchronistic connections. Have you had any lately?
How perfect that Kathryn Yarborough is the sponsor for today. Check out her youtube about reducing stress and her website.
And let people know about her site. It is truly a gift.
For more information about becoming a sponsor go to www.livealifeworthcelebrating.com
Concert 17-East Rutherford, New Jersey
Community and Family
Wyckoff, New Jersey is listed as the hometown of the Jonas Brothers. The boys were born in New Jersey, Texas and Arizona. Currently they reside in Dallas and Los Angeles. Each location has a specialness for them, but New Jersey is home. And with Kevin’s recent engagement to a young woman named Danielle, it is even more evident. (Congratulations to them!)
I sat in section 108 last night. It is the center of the stage, I was in the 7th row, eye level with the band, and the seat was next to the underground tunnel where the band emerges to go to the stage. These were definitely the best seats I ever had at any show in my entire life.
Every evening the show is great and I have seen some that are phenomenal. But, this was like being in someone’s home. It felt like the arena was filled with only the people who have watched and supported the Jonas Brothers for a long time. And yes, Danielle was there with her family and bodyguards for both nights of the show. She sat a few rows away from me for the last two nights.
After the song, Live to Party, they leaned back on each other and breathed for awhile. It was an example of how much energy they were putting into each of the shows last night. This is the song from their hit Disney show, JONAS. Nick plays the drums the whole time and does some amazing solos. Joe and Kevin get into a mechanical arm contraption and spray foam on half of the audience. Fun and energetic!
It was a privilege to be there last night. To see and feel the warmth of a community of friends and family. To watch the boys give their all and share themselves so beautifully and personally with this group of people.
I have been taking notes and observing the idea of community for the past few weeks.
When you follow a band for the summer, you feel like you know the band, and the people who work the sponsor booths. If you were a dead head who followed the Grateful Dead, like my friend, Kater or if you have ever followed a band, you know what I mean about the community that is formed. (my sister-in-law, Patty has seen many, many Tom Petty shows and would love a summer like this to follow him around the country. Go for it, Patty!!)
In the community this summer, there is Jeff who drives the Burger King – Apple Fries truck. As we were leaving DC on Monday at 11:45pm, I saw him and beeped. Yesterday, I asked if he heard me beep at him and I asked him why he went towards Annapolis to drive to New Jersey. Yes, he heard me beep and he had to go a different way because of the restrictions for trucks on 295 North, the direct path I was taking towards Baltimore. He let me know that the air conditionning was on in the truck, if I got too hot today.
Jason another BK guy gave me two Jonas Brothers gift cards yesterday to help us with food. I met him a few nights ago and he took a picture of us at my 40th concert.
Owen, Seth and Warren work for Verizon Wireless and have a band of their own called Raised by Radio. When I saw Owen at the start of the summer, his eyes lit up and he said, “Are you traveling across the country again?” He very excitedly gave me an update on the band and told me they were cutting a CD this summer. If you want to check them out go to www.myspace.com/raisedbyradio.
Michael from Verizon is also a musician. There is a recording studio bus sponsored by Verizon Wireless and they travel with musicians ten months out of the year. He has traveled with Green Day, Black eyed Peas, and Rhianna to name a few.
Things happen during the summer in this community. This summer we have celebrated Nick’s trip to DC to talk to the Senate about continuing the funding for diabetes research. We celebrated the CD reaching #1, the second time on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine.
Jordin Sparks has a CD release on July 21. Honor Society has a CD release on Sept 15 with pre-sales already. We celebrate their music and their success. It is an exciting time for them and for the community that loves them all.
The Wonder Girls now have their song Nobody available on CD and they were there yesterday with a brief introduction. (They were not at the concerts here, but will be on stage in Boston) They saw Hannah and invited her up to the stage for a picture. A bit later, Hannah pointed to me and asked them, if I could have a picture, too. They motioned for me to come up. We cheer them on and they embrace us, too, this summer.
Last summer we were in Irvine, CA for the birthday of Denise Jonas, in Atlanta for Demi Lovato’s birthday and Joe’s graduation celebration. We were in Anaheim for two days of filming the 3-D Jonas Brothers movie, in NYC for the CD release and in the DC area when the CD reached number one on the charts.
These are the public moments and there are many small moments in the concert. Celebrating the birthdays of two ten year olds at their first concert. Celebrating a graduation from high school. Celebrating and sharing our lives, as we wait for the concert to begin.
I am in awe of the beautiful communities all over this country. Women, men and children gathered and supporting each other. I am aware during this time in the world how we all need each other more than ever.
In Vancouver, on a wonderful afternoon spent on a boat called Loveable with my friend, Laura Mack and her husband, Andrew a few weeks ago (actually, it was Canada Day-July 1), I watched a boating community greet and support each other. When the boat docks, people on shore step forward to guide you in safely. Yes, part of it is self-preservation. The boaters want their own boats to be safe. , But as we docked on the island, three boaters appeared and their boats were safely on the other side of the dock. They assisted us and it made for smooth docking.
There were picnics and barbecues. People greeted each other and the children and dogs that accompanied many of them on their journey. A community of love and support and connection.
When I went home to Baltimore last week, I got up early one morning to get a cup of coffee and a breakfast sandwich at a local Zi Pani. I was excited to give a BK Jonas Brothers lanyard to one of the women who works there. Her daughter is crazy for the Jonas Brothers. The lanyards are only handed out at certain concerts and I had been saving this for her.
I drove up to the parking lot and it was so empty. I looked and the store had closed. After a moment of shock, I got back in my car, put my head on the steering wheel and cried. I felt the loss of this corner of the community. The place I shared my journey, picked up breakfast for the road, listened to the passions of the workers, heard the stories of their children, their health issues, their ups and downs. In the month Hannah and I have been on the road, the store closed with no warning. I had no chance to say goodbye. It really hit me hard.
We need each other. We need support for our dreams, our hopes, our wishes. We need each other to hold during the times of loss and sadness, during the times of joy and celebration.
Yes, the concert last night was a magnificent example of a community that has held the dreams with a family of musicians with great, big hearts.
Find ways today to support someone and to ask and receive support yourself. There is a flow to this giving and receiving and we are all in this together.
Tricia Kramer, L.Ac.
National Board Certified
Baltimore, MD 21208
Media, PA 19063
Thank you to Tricia Kramer for sponsoring the blog today
For more information on sponsoring the blog, go to www.livealifeworthcelebrating.com
Inspired by Music and America the Beautiful
Driving through the canyons of Utah, the rolling mountains of southern Wyoming and the plains of Nebraska, I drove for 14 hours from Salt Lake City to Omaha, Nebraska. As I watched the landscape and drank it into my soul, I listened to the music of Peter Kater. His song Heaven’s Gate from the CD Ambrosia was the perfect music for an early Sunday morning.
Peter is a six-time Grammy nominated songwriter. I was listening to a podcast from an interview with Peter by Kristin and David Morelli on their Everything is Energy Radio program. www.everythingisenergy.com The discussion was music as healing and transformation. I randomly selected this podcast on my iPod this morning. But, seriously, is anything really random?
The timing of this was Divinely perfect. I needed time to integrate the experience I had at the 9th Jonas Brothers concert of the summer at the Stadium of Fire. Every time I thought of the evening, the 4th of July, I had tears spring to my eyes and I felt my heart expanding.
I thought of the music and the words from the songs about the land and America. Here are some of the songs and my favorite words from the songs:
God Bless America
God Bless America
Land that I Love
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with the light from above
From the mountains,
To the prairies
To the oceans white with foam,
God Bless America
My home, sweet home
God Bless America
My home, sweet home.
I love every word in this song. I love the reminder that we are guided through every dark place in our lives with light from above-and I would add from the Spirit within. I have sung this song softly to myself, as I have driven from the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans white with foam. I LOVE the land. We live in a beautiful, beautiful country. If you don’t have a chance to travel by car across the country, look at photos to feel the richness and diversity. The love of the land could be a religion. I am ga-ga crazy for the land.
America the Beautiful
amber waves of grain
for purple mountain majesty
above the fruited plain…
God shed his grace on thee.
I have visions of driving from one beautiful scene to another. Once again, the land. I also believe that God/Spirit/Higher Power…whatever words you use to create a powerful life force and guide, is blessing us with grace. As painful as the losses I have experienced with the deaths of my son and my husband, with a painful divorce of my first marriage and an illness that had me teetering between life and death, I can feel the blessing and grace of God in all of it.
I learned so much about myself during the dark times. The dark times have helped me to shine my light brightly to learn, to expand and to grow into a richer, wiser human being. Those times have helped me to live a life worth celebrating.