Breathe into Joy

Emoji Pillow

Emoji Pillow

Two delightful events happened this week: I have stopped often to think about them. Each time, I smile and realize that small things can give great joy. We all need that!

Sunday was Mother’s Day and I was given one of the best gifts I have ever received. It is the pillow pictured here. I hope you are smiling or laughing out loud, too. My daughter-in-law gave one like it to her Mother when she was in pain in the hospital; the pillow gave her Mom great joy. Because I use that emoji often, she decided that I needed one as well. Yes, I love it! As my daughter-in-law said, “Everyone needs a bit of silly.” Every time I think of this pillow or walk by and see it, I smile and feel loved; when I stop to admire, breath refreshes me.

I admit, even as a professional musician, I do not attend concerts often. This week we attended the Oregon Symphony Orchestra concert and heard Tchaikovsky’s Symphony #2 in c minor and Stravinsky’s  Persephone, both composers I love. The concert did not disappoint. The production of Persephone was designed by Michael Curry, who has worked widely as a visual and concept designer for enterprises such as the production of Lion King, Cirque de Soleil, the Metropolitan Opera, London’s Royal National Theatre, Disney Theatrical Productions, among others. The program notes applauded his reputation for “entirely imaginative solutions in stagecraft and his ability to blur the lines between man and machine.” Persephone’s genre defies definition; the program notes describe it as “a quasi-ballet/oratorio/mime, half sung, half spoken word.” The symphony played splendidly; the singing, acting and dancing were magnificent. Michael Curry’s innovative stagecraft with the giant puppets was spell-binding. I sat at the edge of my seat, listening and watching, not wanting to miss a moment. Which Persephone was the puppet? Which Persephone was the real dancer? Amazing! I have continued to stop periodically and relive those moments of beauty. The evening was a reminder of why we need the arts in our lives. When the barking and noise of news, mostly horrific, drags us down, music, art and dance remind us of what is truly important. We actually stop and breathe and for a whole magical two plus hours tensions are drained from our minds and bodies. The memory lingers on and extends that lovely feeling of joy, that all is right with the world. Onward!

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