Bound for London and Unplugged

Last night I treated myself to another concert with one of my favorite songwriters and performers of all time, Melissa Manchester, I saw her last year at the Barns at Wolf Trap, for the first time since the early seventies...

As always, she did not disappoint, but this year she performed a retrospective of songs that were dear to her heart and influential in her life - songs by Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Gershwin, Dusty Springfield, Carole Bayer Sager - show tunes like "Somebody" written by Sondheim, from the play "Company." Melissa included a classic by Ella, a beautiful re-interpretation of "Be My Baby" by The Ronettes - and topped it off with an exquisite acapella rendition of "Something Wonderful" from the "The King and I"...

It was a trip down memory lane for me - for we are both about the same age - we have been married about as long - and have children the same age, so we were formed in many ways by the same music...

The evening was exquisite and I wished I had a recording of it. At the end of the concert, Melissa invited people to meet with her, take pictures, get autographs, and so forth...

I waited in line again as I had last year, and reminded her how I attended some of her first concerts in Miami, in the early seventies, when I was in college. In those days, her grandfather, then in his nineties, dutifully attended. Her face lit up and she grabbed my hand and held it warmly as we both went back to that moment in time, so distant in many ways. Several lifetimes have transpired since then...

It was a fitting end to a day that was heavy with old emotional issues which surfaced, and which I gently released in a long held and supported Supta Virasana, which opened my heart, and allowed me to safely revisit other layers within in need of more release...

This morning, realizing grounding would be a good thing, I made my way down to the river and it was so still, I almost considered coming back home for my kayak. But I knew I had much to do today, and little time to do it in, so I refrained...

I tossed some prayers and meditations in the healing waters of the river, and stood a long time looking out into the broad expanse before me. In a week, nearly all the leaves have fallen...

I came home to finish packing and prepping for my trip tomorrow, for 55 years and a week to the day that I was born there, I will return to London with my 25 year old son, who has never visited. We will scour the city, see some sites, eat good Indian food, visit pubs, and drink in the enthusiasm of a people preparing for the wedding of Prince William, the son of Diana and Prince Charles, who married the same year I was, and their children are close to my son in age...

I thought of how a generation has easily come and gone, and while I am no longer young, I still feel so very much so in my heart. Yet, I find myself thinking a lot of the end of mine. The insight came to me on a walk yesterday, that my son, and another dear child I love very much - are in the early and later springtime of their lives, while I am entering my own twilight years, though theoretically I could live a very long life. But, it is not what I somehow sense or truly desire...

All of yesterday, I tried to be very much in the moment - as I practiced, went for a walk, and enjoyed the concert. A dear friend shared she was going to "unplug" during Thanksgiving, and I thought that would be a wonderful exercise for me on this trip. I always take a computer and "blog" and "tweet," but this time, I have decided not to do so. I will read and meditate on the plane, and enjoy the moments gifted to me with my son...

Melissa Manchester sang a beautiful song that spoke to me, and though it is technically a Christmas song and that season has not yet officially started, it still spoke volumes to me about my life at the moment and where I have been...

There's Still Some Joy

I took my tree down to the shore
The garland, and the silver star
To find my peace, and grieve no more
To heal this place inside my heart

On every branch I laid some bread
And hungry birds filled up the sky
They rang thy bells around my head
They sang my spirit back to sleep

One tiny child can change the world
One shining light can show the way
For all my tears, for what I've lost
There's still joy...

The snow comes down on empty sand
there's tinsel moonlight on the waves
My soul was lost, but here I am
So this must be amazing grace

(For last year's entry referring to the concert:)
http://www.aligningwithgrace.blogspot.com/2009/10/home-to-myself-on-river-and-elsewhere.html

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