Here's an update on the painting of Jake, my son, in Panera's. I'm enjoying this process. I can see him evolving before my eyes. I have already seen a few things evolve, come true, magically happen since I began writing down my list of 101 things I want to do.
Yesterday after our walk, Superman took me to my favorite place for ice cream. I had a hankering for their handmade custard... chocolate almond, and since it is only open seasonally, I had a severe onslaught of the "gots to have it NOW!!!" Oh my.... Two scoops of creamy goodness, chocked full of chunks of toasted almonds nesting in a waffle cone. Yes, it's an odd treat for a 5 mile hike but, hey, this is my reward system. And I am nice to me....
Here's a little (big??) piece of magic that happened late yesterday afternoon. You may have read yesterday morning's blog where I added items 41-50 on my to do list. One of the items on my list was to sing again. I didn't clarify the exact way in which I want to sing again. I just know I do but not in a steady 5-6 night gig a week circuit like I used to. I envision a band that works steadily, and from time to time would welcome moi to do a 45-55 minute set with them. I love singing live as much as I love recording. It's in my blood, and I've been without an outlet for singing (except for the concerts in my car or shower and a little karaoke every now and then...) since 1998.
My pipes are rusty especially mentally. A voice is an instrument. The more you use it the better you become. I have had an inner fear that I lost the ability to sing like I once had. I know it's like getting back on the bicycle again theory... but it's way more personal than that. I had been smoke free for over 17 years and for some stupid reason about 6 years ago I picked the habit back up again. I quit again this past December 13. (YEAH!!!!) My unspoken (until now) fear is that I muffed things up by smoking again. I took a breathing test a couple of weeks ago & was at the top of the charts. 97-100... Sweet! But I've still have been singing (to myself...) the "wondering if I still have it" blues.....
So, when I wrote sing again on my list it was a similar "goal, dream, longing, wanting to do" like it was the day I wrote down "take a picture of the muskrat" that swims so adorably in the lake by my island from time to time... The Universe heard me and took note of my written request. There I was standing on my deck taking pics of the sky when looked over and saw the muskrat swimming in the lake. I got a clear pic of this aloof muskrat. Sooooooooo.... back to the stop for ice cream yesterday....
In all the times I've stopped at this popular ice cream stand, I've always eaten it in my car or brought home a pint to devour while watching TV. Superman spotted an empty picnic table, and we decided to savor the wickedly, delicious frozen cream while sitting in the shade at a table. As we headed toward the table an attractive, older couple both dressed in crisp, white, cotton shirts-- he in black linen shorts and very tan skin; she with a light colored jean skirt, and shoulder-length, light auburn hair reflecting the coppers from the late afternoon sun--walked past us to order ice cream from the window. I remember thinking how nice they looked as they walked by. Before I'd reached the second scoop, they approached our large table, and smiled before sitting down to join us.
She began conversing right away. Her smile was infectious. Her words interesting. His undying love, admiration and full-on respect for her evident in every twinkle in his eyes, and posture. They were heading to the same place we had plans to go to after we finished our ice cream-- a popular, seasonal vegetable market. I was in awe of this when she told us. How coincidental. How small is this planet?? She continued on about their upcoming 50th wedding anniversary and how their 5 children, their spouses and grandchildren were coming in from all over the world to celebrate their anniversary. I could have sat there for hours listening to them talk. Hours... I could see they were both those kind of people whose lives had been lived, enjoyed, and full of life's rich nuggets to hold in your pocket forever as gold. I was hungry to know more.
They met in New York over 50 years ago. He had come to the Big Apple from the Canary Islands and was in his residency. She was an opera singer performing and studying voice. (Oh my... a wave of goose bumps crept up my sunburned neck...) For the last 40 years she told me she's been teaching voice lessons. Next she asked what I did (do?? as in an occupation) I told her I used to sing pro for nearly 25 years. She said, "Oh, yes, I can hear it in your voice. Your voice has many inflections, and moves up, and down freely. I would love to hear you sing" I nearly crapped myself with joy---and awe. Is it possible to crap yourself with joy????
Then she insisted I have her phone number and told me she wants me to call her. I never once felt she was chumming up business with me on the wooden picnic bench, chocolate ice cream now dotting the front of her beautiful, billowing white blouse. No, she was simply responding to the Universe that told her and her beloved to drive to their favorite ice cream place nearly 18 miles away. She listened when the Universe nudged her to sit down with us at the picnic table, and encouraged her to start a conversation with us.
She begged her kind, adoring, patient husband of 50 years go to their car to get a piece of paper and a pen so she could give me her number plus get mine from her. He happily obliged. He came back with only a piece of paper--no pen or pencil. She lovingly sent him back to keep looking for a pen. Superman got up, too, to search his car for a writing instrument. She then told me again she wanted to hear me sing. And finally, he returned, her love of 50 years, with a pen, and her lipstick... how utterly sweet is that? I knew in that instant I had to seize this precious, divine appointment. She trusted herself, she trusted me. She (we) knew it was an preordained moment in time to meet. "Call me!" she said, as if she knew the Universe commanded we get together to open this gift.
After exchanging our info, we left to go to the vegetable market. Our car two car lengths behind theirs, winding down the side streets to the market together. My heart was riding in the front seat of their car pondering what had just happened. We both pulled into the vegetable market to find they had just closed moments before. Superman parked next to their car and we rolled our windows down. I think we were more sad to not have some fun bumping our shopping carts into each others in the store than the store actually being closed. One more time I saw her mouth to me, "Call me!"
"I will." I mouthed back. And I will. I could use a good vocal coach to get my voice back up to speed.
I am writing this with a tear in my eye. A muskrat.... a voice teacher.... a to do list of 101 wonderful things I am on my way to completing in magical, mystical and monumental ways.
What's next? I can hardly wait to find out!