March 17, 2022
Hello Dear Friends,
You’re right. It HAS been a long time since I last wrote, so forgive this long and overdue update. But I’ve been very busy…healing, transforming and beginning to create again. It’s definitely Spring in my own little backyard…
It’s been quite a year…for ALL of us! Personally, though, I have been surprisingly grateful for the forced isolation. It has given me much needed time and quiet to grow. Just like the bulbs that lay dormant until their time to push up through the soil, I've been changing under the surface too. My new favorite equation is: Isolation + Hibernation = Liberation
Grief is the hardest road to travel and we all are forced to walk it in our lifetime, almost always against our will. I’m learning that if I try to avoid the painful moments, they only come back more fiercely later. There is no getting around it, only through it. And it’s true…time is a great healer. This lovely little illustration gave me hope and perspective. It’s not that the grief gets smaller…it’s that the life lived afterwards gets bigger.
And when I’m paying attention, Patrick “visits” in the most amazing ways... Just yesterday, while on my morning walk, I spotted a butterfly on the other side of the street. Spontaneously, I started singing from my song, “Can You Hear Me, Butterfly? I’m singing to you with my heart…” And to my amazement and delight, that butterfly did a complete U-turn and flew straight toward me. AT me! I got swooped before it flew off. Seriously! (Click the link for the whole song...)
Not yet convinced? Last week, I was changing the bedding, remembering how Patrick liked to help (sometimes). I was missing him a LOT in that moment. Suddenly, my clock radio turned itself on for no APPARENT reason. It was tuned to a lovely classical station that was playing very soothing music. I smiled, and walked over to the radio to turn it off. I pressed the OFF button, but nothing happened. The music continued. I pressed it a few more times. Nothing. Then I pressed every button on the clock radio, to no avail! I finally just turned the volume all the way down…and ordered a new clock radio!
Seriously, How did that happen?? Ah, yes, Patrick was quite a trickster. In fact, I used to call him my own personal leprechaun. (That's why I'm sending this newsletter on St. Patrick's Day...☘️)
It is said that authentically-felt grief is a complete rebuilding of the old self. I can sense I am in that transition and wonder who I will be when I come through the other side. (Of course, we don't actually EVER finish with it, be we do grow around it and through it.) As an example of this transformational process, here is a Before and After photo of Patrick's office. The first was taken the day after he died. Slowly, week by week, I made it into my yoga loft where I practice Kauit Yoga* every afternoon as part of my self-care routine.
My daily walks, meditation practice and this yoga method have kept me sane and grounded through it all. Oh, and lest I forget, there’s The Dodo! These short videos of animal rescues, heroes, fosters and unusual pairings (think: lonely abandoned hippo and baby goat) make my day…EVERY day! They keep my heart open and continually show me all the wonderful people all over the world rescuing our four-legged, two-legged and winged friends. You can see hundreds of videos here on The Dodo Channel on YouTube. And of course, my own sweet kitty, Toesy, is a great source of comfort and joy, even in the darkest times...
I'm happy to report that my creative impulses are beginning to peek out again too. The musical partnership with my talented producer and collaborator, Thomas Barquee, is leading us to release a new album of “the sound of us.” I even made my way back into his studio recently to record some harmonies on a number of our songs. I’ve also been nudged from within to release some new music videos as my response to the current world situation. My dear friend and creative videographer, Robbie Adkins, does such great job translating my words into images. You can watch the newest video, “Love Is Light” here. There are now 8 music videos and you can see ALL of them here. By all means, share them with friends and family. And please subscribe to my YouTube channel to be notified when a new video is available.
Speaking of talent and creativity, one of my all-time musical heroes passed away in December. Stephen Sondheim’s kindness was legendary, and he was very influential to me as a lyricist. His passing prompted me to recall a very special experience… Click here to read My Sondeim Story
Now...step away from the computer, your tablet or your phone and go outside to enjoy some Spring! It’s time for YOU to be peeking out too…
With eternal love, Sandi