Thursday, April 21, 2016

What Else is There to Life? --Other Projects



What Else is There to Life?  --My Other Projects 



   Sometimes I start feeling a bit one dimensional from too much hiking and outdoors. 
Hard to believe, but it is true.   I am by nature a very creative person. I am interested in writing,
photography, floral arranging, crafts, art, and music.  I learned to play the piano when I was a 
little girl.  My best piano teacher of all time was Mrs. Earline Chapman of New Hope, Virginia.

The lovely Earline Spitzer Chapman. She knew how to love, encourage, and inspire a child. 

I like to sing and I enjoy music of just about every kind.  Lately I have not been hiking as much as 
I usually would especially in Spring.  The reason is that I have been feeling the need to work on 
my other interests to round out my life more.   

        I set aside Facebook for awhile and social media and worked on my creativity.
I cleared my desk of all projects!   I finished writing the Alarka Guide.  I finished the corresponding movie of the falls from headwaters to base.  I had a tote full of wreath making materials. I made my mother a Spring wreath for her front door. I'd had an image in my mind of a wreath for myself that would include a lot of natural items I'd collected from the ground over the years.  I finally got that done and it turned out as well or better than expected. I love the result!

Front door wreath.  I had saved moss, lichen, drift wood, and chunks of turkey tail fungus which I found in the forest over the years. I included them in the wreath.  I like it!  

       I worked on my CME's for my nursing license. I finished writing up the materials for a
How to Find Waterfalls Class I plan to teach.  Together with sister in law Denise I got more details worked out on our upcoming Grand Canyon trip.  I called round all the places we had reservations and confirmed them with a real live person instead of just the online menu.


         I also worked on my music.  I knew playing the piano would be good for helping my brain 
rewire itself after being ill and help me heal more.  It helps with explicit memory and muscle memory.  I first got out the song books and sheet music I already had and the hymnal.  I worked on that to start. I enjoyed it. It felt good. It surprised me pleasantly that I could recall a lot of the songs and play them pretty well.  It stoked the desire in me to play.  I found a website called 
Music Notes which I have loved! It permits you to search for sheet music or lead sheets. You can 
sample them by printing the first page for free.  If you like it and want to buy it you can purchase most songs for $5 and download and print them immediately.    It is pretty economical and it is fast.

      I have learned to play songs I never thought I would.  I learned to play some of my favorite gospel tunes, some classical, and some ballads.   I went to church and we had a sermon on the seraphim in the Bible calling out to the Lord day and night.

Artists representation of a six winged seraph.
"And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." Isaiah 6:3
“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
and honor and glory and praise!” Revelation 5:11

  I was inspired to learn to play Michael W. Smith's Agnus Dei which includes these beautiful scriptures.

I learned to play In Christ Alone, Take me to the King,  and Hymn to Hope.  These are the sacred songs.  I am working on Revelation Song and The Anthem, but those need work. I need to get them back out and continue.

I also learned  Steve Perry's "Foolish Heart" . Brenda K. Starr's "I Still Believe",
Stevie Nicks "Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You".  And my favorite thus far:
Shawn Stockman's Visions of a Sunset from Mr. Holland's Opus.  I have enjoyed this one so much and was so happy to learn to play it I cried.   I can remember dreaming about knowing how to play the piano as a little girl. I loved learning it. I still feel the same, but now it is real.   I still can't believe it sometimes.  For anyone who doesn't play music there is no explaining it. For anyone who doesplay music no explanation is necessary.  It is an outlet for the feelings of beauty and creativity to flow flow from the heart and mind out into the world.  Completing these things and most especially my music has rounded me out and given me "hedges against the night. "  A quote from my favorite book of all time... Duma Key by Stephen King.



"You need hedges.""Hedges," I said, bemused. "Yes, Edgar." He looked surprised and a little disappointed, as if I had failed to understand a very simple concept. "Hedges against the night."(in conversation between Edgar --the main character and hero. and his Dr. Kamen.

    Hedges against the night are hobbies and interests that bring you joy and enrich your life. They keep away the "night" of despair. " I have many, but I don't want to cultivate one and exclude the others.  What if my health ever got the point where I could not hike anymore? Then what?
I figure the Lord didn't put the abilities and desires in me for me to ignore and exclude them.
Use all of it.



I haven't yet figured out how to share me playing music, but here is a video of
Shawn Stockman playing and singing Visions of a Sunset.   If you haven't seen the movie
Mr. Holland's Opus you should.   It is excellent.  



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