April 9, 2014
Again, today looked like a day without much of an agenda--except for the routines of laundry and cooking and cleaning.
But it is now 3:30 pm and the day has been full of good things. My friend Maggie and I walked along the swollen St. Joseph River downtown and, as always, had plenty to chat about. I came home and returned a call to my friend Sue who has left South Bend, but has been good about not leaving behind our friendship. After lunch I called my sister and we both had time for a chat that was postponed from yesterday when we played phone tag. I have always had good friends and I have always needed good friends. I do not want to contemplate a day when that is not possible.
Carrie Groenewold, a former member of our church, posted a link to "Pipedreams" on Facebook and I have spent much of my work time around the house listening to a two hour pre-recorded performance at the University of Kansas where Carrie has just completed her PhD in organ music. She was interviewed by Michael Barone and was so articulate and charming in her response to his question about what a nice girl from Iowa's farm country was doing playing a wild "Saga" by Jean Guillou. Now I'm listening to another "Pipedreams" performance from Harvard Memorial Church, a place where Jim and I worshipped many times in another era of our lives .(www.pipedreams.org)
Still left for today--my "taking on" for Lent (not giving up!) of singing through the Psalms using the Psalter Hymnal or Lift Up Your Hearts. If the goal is reminding one that Lent is a time of focusing on spiritual things, this has been a good thing for me to do. If the goal is a sacrificial giving up, this has not been so for me. I have often gone beyond the three or four psalms I said I would do each day because it has been fun! However, singing is a reminder of my aging. I can't sing as easily as I once could. Even a pitch above middle C is strained. Would it help to vocalize? Would it come back? Or is it just the aging process and the tightening of the vocal chords? Sometimes I just think the words along with my piano accompaniment rather than hear myself sing them!
Eventually I will need to structure my life a bit more and find more ways to volunteer or help others.
But for today, I am contented. Joan Chittister in The Gift of Years says, "Age is meant for the revival of the spirit. Age is meant to allow us to play--with ideas, with projects, with friends, with life." She says, "Life is now. Only now."