I first posted this in July 2018. Now, nearly four years later, life has taken a turn that can’t be undone. I’m unsorted, off balance, uncertain. That and more have become daily companions. This post captures some of the most poignant moments in my life four years ago, a small window into what moves me even now. Thanks for visiting and reading.
The feeling I get
Standing before an audience
Knowing all I must do is
Read the words on the page
With grace and clarity
The feeling I got
Sitting in church yesterday
Listening to a young woman
Fill the air with a Brahms Intermezzo
Evoking unexpected grief
Friday’s open mic night was great. I read 5 short poems, saving my favorite two (of the five) for the end. So why did I feel unsorted, out of control and uncertain I was on solid ground? Because of the last two poems. Though different in tone, each was about aging.
One was Life flew south last winter; the second was Feeling pretty. I admire the way George MacDonald writes poems about being an ‘old soul.’ Sometimes I think I’ve been just that all my life.
I’m used to hearing people my age and older describe unexpected aches, pain and grief. Usually health issues, but also loss of friends and family members.
I’m not, however, accustomed to hearing older women and men describing in poetic form their feelings of living with loss and unexpected health issues. Perhaps I’m not looking in the right places.
At any rate, I find writing about this time in my life is comforting and rewarding. Especially when it’s in poetic form. Reading a few of my poems Friday evening was icing on the cake. A vulnerable, somewhat scripted way of sharing pieces of my life with a mixed audience of children, young people and adults.
Then, on Sunday morning the offertory was Brahms Intermezzo in A Major Opus 118. A young woman (Avery Gagliano) performed it on the piano, from her heart and memory. She’s a member of our church and studies at Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
I know this piece. I’ve played it many times, though not in the last few years. Her performance was magnificent, and I burst into sobs as others around me applauded. It wasn’t just the beauty of her playing. It was knowing that I’ll likely never again play the piano with that kind of freedom and confidence.
I’ve gained much in the last few years. Still, the losses sometimes undo me. Especially when they arrive unexpectedly in beautiful packages such as poems and music that evoke tears of grief and gratitude.
Happy Monday! I pray you’ll be surprised this week by gifts that undo you in a good way.
©Elouise Renich Fraser, 16 July 2018, reposted on 15 April 2022
Photo found at dancearchives.net