The folks in my ukulele group, The CC Strummers, are wise souls who have lived long. They run marathons and use Uber. They play their ukuleles even with arthritis and broken bones. We have folks who volunteer at food banks, fix toilets and do dry wall, take care of grandchildren, spouses and bake dreamy sweet potato pies. Some are poets and artists who work with oil, watercolors, leather, wood. Our retired teachers are paying it forward. Our architect is still designing. Our jazz pianist is still performing. I’ve seen one or two of our players show up in class after a funeral. All of us, with seemingly ordinary lives, have extraordinary stories to tell.
Of course we have different opinions about the hot-topics of the day—politics, religion, fill-in-the-blanks—yet the most astonishing and wonderful thing happens when class begins… Music becomes the deep well from which we ALL drink, and thankfully, it gives our chattering minds a time-out. After an hour of singing and playing together, we feel so good. “Better than a psychiatrist,” says our strummer Victoria.
Needless to say, I adore these people. They inspire me with their generosity, their stories and oh those glistening pearls of wisdom. Recently our Aikido master told me her philosophy of life. In seven little words:
Be kind and throw away your trash.
Mister Rogers, she is… AND Plato. Who apparently said this: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” In some way or another we are soldiering on, stepping through fields of daisies that grow in quicksand.
But what about trash? Litter, stuff, junk? My mother passed away last year and her house had to be cleared out and sold. Quickly. My mom was a hoarder. If I dared remove an empty box or jar or a pile of yellowed newspapers decades old, she’d throw a tantrum that would put a four-year old to shame.
I have been dreading this task most of my life and now it is here. Let me be blunt. It is NOT kind to leave your trash, your mess, your stuff for someone else to clean up.
On the other hand, this mind-boggling excavation gave me plenty of “stuff” to write about. The process from beginning to end took three months and I shall begin to tackle the subject in my next blog. Coming soon!
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In the meantime life goes on and I’m doing my teaching and music thing. Here’s a heads up for my Southern California friends:
Both my Five-Week Ukulele For Beginners Class AND my Four-Week OnGoing Ukulele Workshop & Jam start Saturday, April 22, 2017 at Boulevard Music in Culver City, California.
On Sunday, April 23, 2017 I’m presenting a show called “Songs of Culver City.” Just think about those MGM musicals, for starters. I’ve been playing tunes from The Wizard of Oz, American in Paris, Annie Get Your Gun, Singing in the Rain, Kismet since my piano bar days. And there will be a great big ukulele surprise too. If you live nearby, please join us. It’s free. Scroll down to see the flyers and thank you. Fellow storytellers!