I had my piano tuned. Actually I had to have it fixed (Nina snapped off a black key) and tuned. What a difference. Beautiful music, sounding crisp and clear. I’d almost forgotten how good it could feel to sit at the keyboard and let the music fill me, fill the air surrounding me. Music that saturates, making porous the spaces around and in between, forming a sort of pathway, a connection through the Universe.
I realized that when I feel this connectivity, when I open myself up to the channels, become a conduit in and to and between the Universe, that is when I feel most alive. No matter what my written job description says, this is what I do, what I am meant to do.
So last week at some glad-handing big wig populated governor attended event, a man approached me and said, “you work over at the other campus, don’t you?” When I said yes, his eyes filled with tears. I’d ministered to his grandmother, dead now over 10 years. I didn’t remember her and apologized to him for that. Still, I’d brought her back for him. Someone he loved very much, someone who was now mostly far from his thoughts, deep in his heart, suddenly so very present, her absence so very keenly felt. I asked him to tell me just one story about her. As he did, the sadness lifted from his face and and was replaced by a nostalgic smile. She was, indeed, right there with us.
On the same day, a short time later, a young man dressed in an EMT uniform shyly approached me. I had a vague sense I knew him. He said, “I’m Paul. You officiated at my sister’s wedding. My grandmother lived at the Center.” LILLY! Of course! Oh my goodness yes! And suddenly a flood of memories of her and her family came rushing back to me. Just beyond the limit of my vision in the space between me and Paul I could picture us all sitting together in the lobby laughing, talking. So visceral were these recollections, I could almost smell her perfume. She’d been gone half a dozen years, yet there we were, her grandson and I drinking in her infectious smile. We swapped stories, shared memories, and he told me about his mother and her three sisters and their journeys since his grandmother’s death.
I saw a woman, so much older than I remembered her, and yet somehow just the same, walking slowly down the hall. I approached her hesitantly, looking at her expectantly. With narrowed eyes she said, “I’m sorry, do I know you?” I took a leap, though I’ve been wrong in similar circumstances before, I felt certain I knew this time. “You look so like your mother” I said. A moment’s hesitation. “Oh my, it’s you! It can’t be. How on earth did you remember?!” She’s been gone so very long and yet, she still remains.
I’m reminded of a reading I do at funerals sometimes, “our lives are a dance to a song we cannot hear… its melody courses through us for a little while and then seems to cease… where is the melody from and where does it go…” Right, it only seems to cease. The melodies stay right here, floating between and around us, waiting to infuse us, waiting for us to sit down at the piano and play them. May we all be blessed with sacred ears with which to hear those melodies.