Saturday, October 13, 2012

God Winks In The Middle Of Waltzes

*warning: impending run-ons just pretend we're having a phone conversation and I never came up for air see I warned ya*

So, today I am sitting there literally trying not to cry when the Physical Therapist measured my fingers because I hurt my already mangled mess of an arm at 8am this morning when a huge ugly Granddaddy spider crawled up on my good arm and just sat there like an unwanted sleeve which caused me to scream and instinctively brush it off in a hurry with the broken arm (sigh) which hurt like Hades, and all day it throbbed which is why I was ready to smack the first person who touched it...when he, the grand leader of fun "activities" in the space I now call my PT (Physical Torture) room with artificial legs and knees and braces just hanging around on the walls all day like a Spare Parts For People store (Knees R Us) tells me to get up and lean against the wall and show him my rotation exercise. It was lame. Less rotation of the forearm than last week. Pitiful. It just won't turn. Wrist motion improved, swelling improved, fingers improved.  Forearm is stiff as a board. I can't turn my hand over either way. I worked and worked for days to move three pieces of foam into peg holes?! I am not amused.  So I'm thinking...what good are moving fingers and wrist if they're crooked? With bones like that I'm doomed to play the waltz and only the waltz for the rest of my life.  Big 'ole pity party happening there against the torment wall.
I can't. I can't. I can't. I CAN'T!!

Then I hear a woman's voice, "You need to fix her up right, Doctor. She plays beautifully."
I turned to see a middle-aged woman I kind of recognized but couldn't place..! From my old crazy church twenty-five years ago. Mary! Works here? At my physical therapy?  And then it hit me and I said, "Your mother. She taught me to play chords."
She hugged me and a softness came over her face you see.....because I also sang her mother's funeral and played her favorite songs, and I started remembering my friend, her mother, my mentor, who laid down for a nap one Sunday afternoon at the ripe old age of fifty and never woke up. And how she was born with this anointed gift of God's touch in her beautiful hands and never had a lesson and couldn't read a note of music, but when she played she did it all to the glory of God. It ministered to everyone who heard it. She had something you can't you can't you can't learn in a school. Whether you believe this I don't know, but I'm telling you... that woman had an anointing from God.

And here stood Mary looking all the world like her mother. I told her how her mother insisted I learn to "play by ear" like she did and how I told her "I can't! Why do I want or need to do that?  Just write down the notes and I'll play anything you want me to, or give me a hymn book, but I can't play your way. That's your gift, not mine."

She wouldn't listen and she took both my hands in her beautiful hands and prayed over them. Right then and there. We sat side by side on the bench and in no time I'd learned to read music without music notes - chord playing by guitar chords and lyrics alone - sometimes at church we'd play four-handed duets. I would improvise the treble and she provided the bass rhythm and changing chords - leading and imparting something I was forever grateful for. I did learn. She taught me to throw away my crutch of printed music and my fear of failing without it....and to just follow whatever wanted to come through my fingers. And sometimes we'd take my "real music" and transpose it into chord language for her. I learned so much from her.

She fostered my respect for self-taught brilliance and taught me to honor  those unapologetic folks who know they have something special and are greatly blessed, and instead of tooting their own horns in the competitive cesspool of fame-starved sames, they choose instead to share it, to give it away, to pass it on because they know deep inside what "it" is. And even if they can't teach you to totally possess what they possess because that high-brow music snob judgment keeps you from reaching for it while you're looking down your educated nose at their genius....well...she taught me that sometimes it's best to leave your book-learning at the door and just show up.

 With all my years of formal classical training, I would not be the musician I am today without her playing - and praying - hands.

And now, in the middle of my fear of losing that, in the land of broken plastic replacement parts, was her daughter, out of nowhere it seemed, reminding me of where the music really comes from in the first place and that I am just an instrument, as all artists worth their waltz should be no matter the genre - as she was - before her music was sadly silenced here on earth...and how, if God, in His attempt to shut my whining mouth and get my attention, could see to it that her daughter would show up on this particular day when I needed to remember that replacement parts are only for temporal flesh, easily put on and easily taken off, and that they have absolutely nothing to do with what bubbles up through your soul on a fine day of four-handed playing  you see, then I don't have any grounds to feel sorry for my peg-holed self.

"Just give it some time," she said. "You'll get better."
Funny. That's just what her mother said.
Didn't you hear her?

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lime said...

i'm glad you got just the encouragement you needed when you needed it most. don't give up. keep working. some weeks will be plateaus and some weeks may slip back just a little in one way or another but you keep working. and celebrate every increment of improvement. i know...2 surgeries and 6 1/2 months of painful therapy....but keep can do it!

Mimi Lenox said...

I so needed to hear that, Lime. Some days feel like I went backwards and the pain is constant. Still. Six 1/2 months??!!

But he mark a little improvement with his red marker on the little chart. That is something. I suddenly know what no-pain-no-gain means.

Dawn Drover said...

"reminding me of where the music really comes from in the first place"

I love this!

Sometimes we need reminding. I know it seems like a long hard road but I know that you have a strong will and you will get there in the end.

Akelamalu said...

Of course you're going to get better, it will just take a little time and perseverence on your part. I'm sending Reiki to help you do it Mimi. xx

Travis Cody said...

Whenever you hit the wall of can't, you find the inspiration to remember that you can. So I'm not worried about you. This is hard, but you are going to get range of motion back and you are going to play again, whatever you want to play in whatever way you want to play it.

But please please please...don't ever lead off a story with creepy creatures again without a warning!!! I almost didn't read any further. NCELMs...not good.

Mimi Lenox said...

Dawn - Good friends help too. Thank you.

Mimi Lenox said...

Akelamalu - The Reiki is helping. You are the best. Thank you so much.

Mimi Lenox said...

Travis - oops. I didn't include a picture so I thought you were safe. I will remember next time to remind you of your horrors and what I am about to write!

The Gal Herself said...

Oh, this is beautiful! The incident and the coincidence as well your well crafted post. It will all come back, Mimi. Maybe not the same as before, but just as good. When your rehab is over your music will have a new depth and sensitivity.

Mimi Lenox said...

Thank you, Gal. It took a lot of rewiring my brain and altering the way my shoulders and arms moved to play again - and it IS different - but it's back. And for that I am grateful.

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