Monthly Archives: May 2015

The Lady of Arles (Poem)

The Lady of Arles

The Lady of Arles

 

Echoes of Edith
Chanteuse of a certain age.
Je ne regrette rien

Forty years from Barcelona
Playing her life in Arles.
No regrets. No regrets at all.

 

 

 

 

note: my sister-friend Susan and her husband are playing gypsies traipsing throughout Spain and southern France this month. She keeps my e-mail inbox filled with wordy treats describing eats and events of their day, including occasional photos that wow my (he)artistically starved eyes.  This photo is posted here with her permission.

Re-Ramping My Nails for Service

For the past few months, it’s been all about the music.

Most of my playing focus has been in rep* upkeep and composing/practicing new pieces for my Swimming with Swans project.  Before my back spasms in March, I increased technical practice to two hours a day minimum.  Outside the realm of being a student in a rigorous University Music School program where two hours is but a blink, that’s a good amount of time spent on keeping those chops up.

As a working musician, the balance between teaching, playing, practicing, composing, rehearsals, sight reading, learning new rep, collaborations, gigging, performing, recording, and giving presentations is an on-going juggling act. Snoopy Juggling Woodstock Schult These past few years, I’ve been blessed with a space of time that allows me to choose which balls to juggle and for how long.

Since my NaNoRebellion 2014, I’ve been listing out project to-do’s in the form of my “Where I’m At and Where I’m Going” focus sheets. I’m on the fourth such guide, about to compile yet another for the upcoming month.  These allow me to jot down specific areas that need to be addressed, quantify what needs to be done and help me to see progress towards completion in a linear fashion.

In other words, they keep me on task.

Since receiving that new and much needed classical guitar case on Earth Day Continue reading

The Last 10,000 Miles

Anticipation:

Around this time last year, I noticed the odometer on our 2003 Toyota Camry read a little over 290,000 miles. And I remember thinking, “Wow, almost 300,000!”  Okay, that’s an obvious, yet  normal reaction.  Along with it came a heightened sense of wonder each time the car was driven.  Would today be the day it’d get to 300,000?

We do a lot of driving.  We figured it’d get to 300,000 in no time.  Feelings of tingly anticipation for the imminent occurrence of the momentous event were close to the surface of our emotions. And yet, those 10,000 miles seem to have taken longer to accrue than ever.

Son-in-law David mixing up a mini-margarita for his mother-in-law (me) during our visit to Nashville. Impressive.

Son-in-law David mixing up a mini-margarita for his mother-in-law (me) during our visit to Nashville (Summer 2014). Impressive.

Michelle and the Smokin Thighs food truck, Nashville

Kicking around town with Michelle during our visit to Nashville (Summer 2014)

Even after our trips to Atlanta, Nashville, and crosscountry to our roots in Colorado and back, that odometer just didn’t seem to budge. Soon, we left our vigil, but not our curiosity of when it would occur.

 

Bro, Dad and me during our visit home to Colorado (Fall 2014)

Bro, Dad and me during our visit home to Colorado (Fall 2014)

Everyday mileage:

While driving back and forth to work, daily errands and events, along with weekly commutes to exits 131 (Wounded Warriors horse therapy) and 98 (Camden Writers critique group), the miles just kind of tagged along and tallied up slowly but surely.

Laura Bruno Lilly and Dennis Bruno (Orlando 2014)

Me, my cousin Dennis and Wizard Mickey (October 2014)

Thrown in for good measure was a trip to Orlando, Florida with cousins Chris and Dennis which added some mileage as well.  Oops, they drove, so those miles don’t count.

Terry and Michelle at Lynches River/Swamp (October 2014)

Terry and Michelle at Lynches River/Swamp (October 2014)

Visits from the kiddos meant excursions to the Lynches River/Swamp, Pawley’s Island and even a trek to the stables.

Joe visiting the stables with me and Belle.

Joe visiting the stables with me and Belle (November 2014)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Darn, but that odometer stubbornly hovered slightly above the 295,000 mark.  Not much closer to the big 300K.

Startled into alertness:

It wasn’t until I drove to Camden one fine morning in April for Brenda’s celebratory luncheon that I happened to glance at the odometer. It’s 298plusK didn’t quite register, until my math-mind insisted upon doing the numerical calculation.  Something clicked – we were a mere 1500 miles from the elusive 300,000 milestone. Again with the “Wow, almost 300,000.”  Note the fact that there is no exclamation point.  Aside from the fact that the Camden writers routinely point out they should be used sparingly if at all, it also reflects the fact that I was more keenly aware the big event wasn’t as imminent as it looked numerically.

“Almost” is still not enough:

Shortly thereafter, the car ‘got a new pair of shoes’ as hubby says.  Woefully in need of new tires, we splurged and got a great deal on a set of Michelin’s complete with a 90,000 mile warranty.  This baby was gonna get closer to 400K in no time…Ahem. Let’s just get to 300K, ‘k?

Anxious to break in those ‘new shoes,’  hubby got out the map and plotted a spontaneous day trip to St. Augustine, Florida.

Lighthouse St. Augustine, FL

Lighthouse St. Augustine, Florida (May 2015)

We thought for sure that adventure would tip us over the 300K mark.  It did not.  The following weekend was Mother’s Day.  I wore my new top purchased at a little boutique in the historic district of St. Augustine.  Surrounded by cards, gifts, phone calls of love and a doting husband, my day was made even more special by the prospect of the turning of that darn odometer.

Laura Bruno Lilly Mother's Day 2015

I am loved…Mother’s Day 2015

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s the day:

Well, we almost blew it.  Last night after filling up the car with the old guzzleline (gasoline) master mind hubby looked down on the odometer.  “What are you planning on doing tomorrow?  There’s only 34 miles left to go.”

Nursing this puppy to greet 300K with both of us in attendance was top priority so I stayed home doing this blog post along with music related items on my Swimming with Swans project.

299,999 miles 2003 Toyota Camry

Before…

After work, Terry picked me up and away we went to countdown the final 8 miles left after a day of frugal driving.

Mileage300k

…After

 

 

Terry and our 2003 Toyota Camry, where it reached 300K

Terry and our 2003 Toyota Camry, where it reached 300K

Laura and Terry sitting on the bumper of the car

Happiness is… journeying together for another 300K

 

Peace Post: Happy (Grand)Mother’s Day

HAPPY (GRAND)MOTHER’S DAY

(Welcome Home: A Tiny House, Huge Purpose)
LA, the City of Angels…
…at least one angel, shown here caring for his neighbor…

It’s All About The Music

My Swimming with Swans project.

Imagine a single sunflower blossom, filling the mind-canvas in O’Keefe fashion.

Sunflower-Eye-copy

The center, filled with potential protein tidbits to be harvested after the bloom has died, is the current focus of my Swimming with Swans project.  It is the source from which all else emanates.

It’s All About The Music.

Prose, dance/animation, fiber art and documentary infuse individual project-petals emerging from that sunflower center.

SanFran Sunflower

My Swimming with Swans project-petals emerging from its music-center

It’s All About The Music.

Recently, I awoke with that O’Keefe-esque visual imprint in my mind’s eye.  Often, the Lord speaks to me through such visuals.

It’s All About The Music.

How that basic fact escaped me during the early days of organizing Swimming with Swans: vignettes of our three-year journey between homes can be understood in the reading of its working title. In reigning in the scope of my Swimming with Swans project, first steps were found in the Kevin Powers article I read and wrote about sometime last year.  Still, it only addressed the written aspect of my project.

It’s All About The Music.

From the very start of our Between Homes journey and on through to the bittersweet end, music was my calling card.  Wherever the work sent us, whatever job opportunity hubby pursued – performing opened doors, initiated relationships and provided supplementary income. The Music also served as a precious tether connection with my true self amidst the current Reality we were navigating.

Early on, a colleague jokingly spoke of our Between Homes lifestyle as my personal sabbatical.  While I was certainly immersed in composing, playing, performing and practicing, the circumstance of our journey was not something I’d label as a sabbatical.*

But truly, output gleaned from that Between Homes time resulted in a large body of work.  A large body of quality work, some of which has been presented in bits and pieces on this blog in the form of ‘individual prose-project-petals’ as re-edited vignettes, reflections of re-entry into the mainstream, photos of fiber art created as a result of that experience, and the desire to Give Voice to the experiences of others in similar situations across the country.

All to the exclusion of its core element: The Music.

It’s All About The Music.

To be fair,** the sharing of musical projects on a blog is not easily achieved.  Posting mp3 audio snippets or pdf score excerpts of works in progress is problematic on many fronts.  Copyright protection just doesn’t seem to count for much of anything in this digital age.  Aside from that, there is this old timey view of discussing current projects and ideas that I hold as truth.  Any creative (he)artist knows what I’m talking about: the dreaded speak it, talk it, discuss it, and it will disappear! In other words, don’t share all the details of a current project or idea during the creating of it or the energy will just vaporize; just do it!

And that’s exactly what I have been doing since the beginning of the New Year…

It’s All About The Music.

Swans on a Misty Lake, by Alex Saberi

Swans on a Misty Lake, by Alex Saberi

With the music in its proper place, Swimming with Swans is fleshing out naturally.  It is beginning to glide effortlessly across the lake of completion with strokes of fluid motion, like the swans themselves.

 

 

*Definitely something worth writing about more deeply in another post/vignette.

**and in the spirit of full disclosure: the last few months of our three year journey, I walked away from the deepest part of my self-the music- which took longer to heal after our reentry. That time to the beginning of this year represents a period of restoration and reconciliation that is relevant but not appropriate to recount in this post.  Possibly open to dialogue further in another one, though.