Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Neighborhood Streets were and are a Special Part of Being Home

It is not just this house that I “drink in” each summer.  It is also the neighborhood, the deep ravine forest park, and the U of Wash. that hold memories.   I walked this neighborhood for going to school, for escaping the dark depression and volatility of my mother, and because my father who had the car never drove us anywhere – walk and/or bus or forget it.   Like the house, the neighborhood has changed very, very, little.  What most surprises me is how large the trees have gotten.  I had no idea how young they were when I was young 🙂    During the six years away as a young person I found myself missing with great ache my well-traveled walks.  Coming home meant re-visiting those as well.  And, returning home still required those walks as home dynamics and my own deep inner void so needed them.
Again and again, each year that I walk them I realize how very far I have come since a tormented child, teen, and young adult walked until the overpowering ache finally gave way to the rhythm of my steps and breathing.   During the late evening walks I so often looked inside the lit houses wondering what a normal family and home would be like, I believe, wishing I could find refuge in one.  An alcoholic and abrasive father who kept us in poverty though he made decent wages, along with a high strung and volatile mother left me looking for a home for my heart and soul. (I DEEPLY loved, and love, my mother and did everything I could think of to help, but this only left the void larger.)  I have to wonder if anyone else developed a list of “walks for when I am feeling…)  I did, and surprisingly I found my sister did also.

My music was another place that I could pour out and have poured in.  The next and last blog in this series about home will focus on this.  I have been told that people want to get to know musicians as people and how their lives shaped their music.  These blogs, which are not easy for the introvert that I am, are my gift of love to you.  Blessings to you.  Pheo


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

What it is Like Being Back in the Family HomeWhat does one say of re-visiting their family home?  Here is my attempt to share with you loving and faithful friends.  In a one sentence description: “It is truly wonderful to be home without ALL the terrible dynamics that existed throughout the decades my family lived here.”  I am in the peace and solitude and commune with this house that truly holds part of my heart.
This house was home for 29 years.  I entered it as a child, and left it as the care-taker who sold it after my mother had died.  For years after selling it, I had numerous dreams about being back in the house and being confused.  Was I renting it or did we buy it back?  What was I doing there?   In reality I would drive by it if in the neighborhood. Here is how the house-sitting began.
About five years ago, I actually had parked and was taking a closer look at the trees and shrubs that had been planted.  The owner drove up, and she invited me in.  Just to walk in and look around was an amazing feeling.  I think she knew, so she walked me through the house.  Very little had been changed.  She extended the invitation to anyone in my family who would like to visit the house – what a loving and understanding woman.  My sister and I returned, and that is when we offered (seriously) jesting to house sit if they ever needed.  As it turned out, they would need dog/house sitters that coming summer.  Since then, each summer I have returned to dog/house sit – sometimes my sister joining for some days (precious beyond words those days here with her.)  Now, about what goes on within me while here.
From the first day here, I have never felt anything but embraced by being here.  I look at how very far I have come since the years of neglect and poverty, and the house seems to celebrate with me.
Sometimes a particular memory is roused, but not that often.  It is more of swirls of feelings that can swirl and ebb.   A turn of a head can bring feelings that rush to my heart.  The house is sparsely decorated as it was in my years here, and that opens views and flashes of feelings.  I can look at one of the removable leaded glass living room windows and feel the hot summer nights when we could open and take them out for air.  I can look again at them and feel the stirrings of our first music stereo system that sat below them.  Or I can look and feel the embarrassment of my brother reeling around them drunk at a wedding held here.
The house is long, so from the living room I can see through the dining room into the kitchen and the end of the house.  I can visualize how my mother decorated it, and let feelings of memories wash over me – especially the endless trips from the kitchen into the living room with treats (children grew into teenagers with even bigger appetites.)
Not surprisingly, all the rooms feel so much smaller, for I was about 8 when we moved in, and first impressions are so often the strongest.   My hands instinctively know where to reach for light switches and which windows to open during hot days.  Each and every curve of the moldings or ceilings (this house has the most beautiful curved ceilings) is taken in with a knowing that holds almost 29 years of taking them in.  I can remember looking at the same spot just about wherever my eye catches.
The owners are kindred spirits in their love of this house.  The same doors with glass door knobs remain.  The bathrooms, including original 1929 tiles are virtually unchanged.  This summer I noticed that the walls are just about the exact color they were when we moved in those decades ago.  The stairs down the basement and basement itself are virtually the same.  I love going down the basement as if I virtually am going back in time.
It is to the credit of this house’s loving spirit that after a raw childhood, teen years that took everything out of me, and the tragedy of my mother’s sudden death that this is still a place for my heart.   Tremendous inner healing has come in these five summer “returning to home.”  I feel the strength of having survived.  I hold precious that I can be here once again, now so much more than the “mangle” of then.
The owner’s daughter feels like we children did at her age — she wants to keep the house for her family.  We did not have the resources then to do it, but we will surely help her if she takes that on.  We bought from the owner/builder’s widow, they bought from us.  This house has a lineage that stretches now fifty plus years between our two families.   Next installment, “It is not just the house, but those neighborhood streets also.”  Blessings dear friends.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What’s it Like to Go to Family Home to House-sitFor years I would have dreams about my family home.  After my mother died, I was the last one caring for it, and then sold it.  The home held so many powerful memories, that in my dreams I was trying to figure out if I was visiting or if we bought it back.  Then the beautiful people who bought it 23 yrs ago, took me up on my offer to house and doggie sit for them when needed.  I have done this numerous times now, and it continues to be an amazing experience.
Because the house has changed so very little, it is like going back in time, yet, being the person who I am today.   I do not reflect on specific memories, but there is the general feelings from growing up there.  And, it is not just the house, but the neighborhood streets I endlessly walked, that also really have not changed.  And the deep ravine park a five minute walk away, also stirs those deep feelings.   (This year I will try to get some photos of it)
What I can say is that from the improvished childhood in every respect, each year there heals more because each year I have deepened and matured in who I am.   The Beatles wrote a song “You Can Never Go Home Again.”  Not true.  There are many homes in our hearts.  And, for some of us, we get to go to the  home we grew up in, and have it to ourselves and our memories.
My general rhythm there is to get up with a cup of tea, and work on music.  A bowl of cereal is eaten while reviewing the music work. Then the doggers and I walk to the park and back.  A nap followed by more music work is my afternoon.  Then dine with myspace :), and work on projects through the computer.  End the day with a walk and some reading.  All of this in the rooms, hallways, and neighborhood that held the aching heart and lost soul of childhood.
You all come with me in my heart this year for the first time — what wonderful joy that brings to my time there.  Pheo


Sunday, July 06, 2008

Pace Picks UpOne of the nicest parts of being on a cruise ship is that a person can walk on the “moving” beach of the very long ship decks.  I spent time each day walking as I gazed upon the water, horizon, mountains; and every so often, the whales and sea creatures swimming briefly alongside the boat.  Few people ventured the decks when I did so it made for wonderful solitude also.
As I return, my “pace” picks up considerably as I prepare for a very significant workshop Monday.  Mental gears are going through “ramp up” on the “good ship”  intellectual thinking, as I leave behind the shore of soft contemplative time.
I will catch up with all of you as soon as I have this “ship” on its way.  Blessings and Love, Pheo


Thursday, June 26, 2008

I AM GONE JUNE 28TH TO JULY 5THTaking Cruise to ..:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Alaska for the Next Week

This first 365 days with myspace has been a joy.  I want to thank all of you for your tremendous support and inspiring friendship.
I leave now for a week of rest and relaxation with my sister and her family.  We are all very close, and I look forward to long and deep conversations with one and all.  And, I hope to clear my mind of all business and creativity, and just be.  Time for rejuvenation and replenishment.
Much to come, so stay tuned ….  Blessings and Love,


Friday, November 23, 2007

THANKS GIVINGNovember 22nd, Thanksgiving
On this day of giving thanks there is One to whom all thanks is due, in my life and in all life.  There is One to whom life comes and returns.  There is One who is Love, a Presence, an unending transforming energy, and even more that cannot be comprehended.  How can I begin to express enough thanks that beyond mortal life and death is a Love that holds all, transforming but never losing.
The past two nights of hard frost produced “snowfalls” of leaves in the morning hours — deciduous trees allowing the frost’s weight and cold to free the branches of remaining leaves.  A year ago an early snowfall left some trees with branches almost dragging the ground with snow laden leaves.  I shook the snow off to keep the branches from breaking; even as the snow flew down my jacket collar, up my gloves, and into my boots.  What was such discomfort compared to the threatening burden?  My energy was used to assist a life to continue in its same form.
As I heard the cracking of tree limbs further away, I joined my consciousness with the consciousness shared by all life.  There I could both affirm the individual life and encourage it on in its transformation – to whatever degree it took. I learned long ago that grieving is a willingness to be part of such transformation.  Today I give thanks that I can grieve.
Unitive consciousness is possible through Love. Wondrously, Love holds both individuality and totality:  individual consciousness and unitive consciousness; individual form and shared essence that gives form to all.  We are shown that the union of individuals produces more than themselves. The more individuality within Love the more diversity, complexity, and exquisiteness of the Total.  Today I give thanks upon thanks that Love is made more exquisite by the individuality with which it expresses itself.
With unitive consciousness in mortality there is a “
Living into life and death, honorably and with dignity” because there is recognition that there is so much more to Love.  Nature and creatures have evolved in this, but humans as a species are woefully behind.  We humans have a long ways to go in achieving that consciousness.  So this night I thank all nature and all the creatures for what they teach humans each day, if we would but learn.
Many went to church today to give thanks.  Even more quietly said prayers of gratitude, acknowledging and honoring that which is beyond the life/death cycle.  In this New Age of Awakening Human Consciousness so many now can inherently know what to be thankful for.  Less and less will people think of this Source as something unreachable except by going through some person, structure, or set of strict behaviors.  I give thanks upon thanks that human consciousness is undergoing an evolutionary leap to that unitive consciousness with all life and the very Source of life.
The time is quickly coming when understanding and developing unitive consciousness will be the first principle of all human endeavors and development. And the authenticity of this will be the recognition that diversity and individuality continually expands the forms expressed by unitive consciousness. I give thanks today that more exquisite expressions and forms, not regimented commonality, will come through unitive consciousness.
But BEST OF ALL, Love is PRESENCE.  Love is more Present to us than we can ever be to it.  Love’s Presence is what each and every human yearns for.  Tragically, humans in fragmented consciousness seek Love in forms of gratifications.  Not giving in to this is the way to Love.
My childhood left me very fragmented, but I never lost sight of Love itself.  Much work was required to heal.  I poured out the ache of fragmentation musically, the search for healing musically, and the celebration musically.  I speak the language of Love best musically.  Others articulate Love’s genius in scientific discourse.  I am so thankful for each and every person who has raised their consciousness to be with/in this Presence and expresses what comes through this.
I believe there must be some critical threshold of the number of people who have lived into unitive consciousness before the species as a whole actualizes the evolutionary leap. And then human culture will know how to develop the unitive consciousness in each person; how to live in union with all other life through this unitive consciousness.  This will be the time when inherent understanding will exist.  People will not have to be taught this understanding, but will develop and integrate on the basis of its foundation.  I give Thanks already.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Its 3:33am   Beginning this blog with heart aching for parents, friends, family of those shot at Virginia Tech was not what I expected for my first blog.   It is like 9/11.  So many lives affected by tragic loss.   To feel this grieving let’s me know I am connected.  We all need to be connected.   “Encircle” (with prayer) a piece of music not yet released.  A musical prayer for this moment.