I arrived at the tennis court.
As I opened the car door, I stepped out and groaned. I held the top of the car and gingerly pulled myself up. It was a good thing I’d taken a bunch of Ibuprofen tablets at home because I was so sore. How in the world was I going to play tennis?
Yesterday, I had fallen down onto the pavement while on a walk. Other than skinned knees and feeling sore, I was fine.
I walked onto the court and moved very slowly. I smiled at the other three women and was glad I hadn’t let them down. If I had cancelled, it would have been hard to find a replacement at the last minute.
After a few minutes of hitting the ball, my creakiness subsided. But my eyes were bothering me a lot; I could barely open them. My supposedly “dry eye” condition now caused my eyes to constantly water and burn. I tried to ignore it, but tears were dripping down my cheeks. I told my friends that my tears were from my condition, not emotion.
Despite my discomfort, I was very grateful to be outside and getting exercise. I decided my better eating track was paying off, because it lifted my mood. And I certainly had more energy.
One of the women asked me, “Oh, how was that movie screening you were so excited to go to last week? Did you enjoy it?”
That was when I mentioned my daughter was in a car accident two hours before, so I had canceled going.
Now all three women really looked at me with pity. I imagined they were thinking, “How much more can Judy Unger deal with?” I myself was wondering how much more my daughter could deal with, since the week before she had cut herself at work by accident. Yet nothing really caused me to get down this past week.
It was because I had a new song going through my head!
Last week, on the day when I planned to finish my song, there was a hitch that morning.
I almost cancelled my appointment with my arranger, George because of some problems with getting my daughter’s car repaired.
I called George and was anxious about whether or not we should skip our session. He was willing to wait for me if it didn’t take too long.
My daughter’s car had a flat tire from the accident the day before. My friend, Orlando was helping with the repair. He was my former housekeeper’s husband and doing me quite a favor. Orlando could not get the tire off in order to put on a spare. It seemed the tool that came with her old Honda Civic did not fit that particular tire.
Orlando decided to go to a mechanic he knew; I let him use my car. He drove off and came back an hour later with a bunch to tools.
Thankfully, one of the tools worked. As Orlando drove off to repair my daughter’s car, I danced with relief. I called George and was on my way. Although I was an hour late, I was brimming with energy.
Stress could have interfered with the creation of my music, but I didn’t allow it to. So on that day, we finished the arrangement for my newest song “Take Me Away.”
A few days later, I added harmony to my song with George’s talented instructions.
Recently, a good friend noticed there were backup vocals on many of my more recent songs. I laughed after I hung up because she told me that it sounded so “professional.” She had no idea!
George would tell me what I needed to sing. He would hum it and then I would attempt over and over to replicate his falsetto. It could take a long time because I usually keeled over laughing at how bad I sounded trying to sing something other than the melody. Those days of being in a choir were long gone!
All of what I’ve written reminds me how at a recent solo show a woman asked me, “How do you create music with all the interference going on in your life?”
That “interference” she was referring to was probably the illness and deaths of my parents. Not sure if she was also including my separation, divorce and challenges that came with three children.
My answer was: Creating music has been my medicine!
Turning my pain into a song really is miraculous. It even inspired me to find faith in God.
Therefore, with that thought yesterday I went to the recording place near my house to sing a few vocal lines for my new song. I had fallen only a few hours earlier and limped over to the microphone.
Later that night, I edited the vocals and put them together with the harmony, creating a rough mix.
In a few days, I will record the guitar. A finalized vocal will take awhile because I am still playing around with my lyrics.
I started this post describing my achy tennis match where I was completely soothed because of listening to “Take Me Away” while driving there. It definitely was my remedy for pain.
Of course, I didn’t play a very good tennis game, but I was really glad I pushed myself to get out there.
I tried not to imagine how awful it would have been if I had broken my wrist and couldn’t use my computer for music, art or blogging.
My friends all told me how lucky I was. One woman said, “It sure could have been worse!”
I let her know that was true but not comforting. I said, “Sure, it could have been worse but I wish I were luckier and hadn’t fallen.”
Then I added my latest line of, “But it is what it is!”
The stumble that landed me on the pavement happened so quickly! I had run an errand with my son because I decided to enlist his support after my frustration returning a modem the week before. There was a long line at the cable store, so I told him to run another errand while I waited in line.
The line went quickly and I had about twenty minutes until he would return. I decided to go for a walk because it was a beautiful day.
I sent my son a text message and gave him an intersection where he would find me. I was almost there and decided to go into a gas station on the corner to use the bathroom.
Just as I was walking toward that gas station, suddenly I fell. I landed with a hard thump onto the ground and my knees and wrists absorbed most of the impact. There was a step and I hadn’t seen it at all.
I silently cursed my foggy eyesight and lack of attention.
I lay on the cement for a moment in shock. I looked around to see if anyone had seen me fall. Nobody had. It was humiliating to be on the ground like that – I felt so helpless.
I groaned and sat up. My body really hurt. My pants weren’t torn, but I could feel my knees were bleeding. I could not stand up, so I just sat there.
Eventually, a woman came over to me from a gas pump and offered me a hand. It was a struggle, because my knees really hurt. As she pulled, I yelped and could not stand up. I told her to stop; I didn’t want her to hurt her back.
She refused to stop trying. Firmly she said with a smile, “Come on! One more time.” She clutched my hand and I stood up shakily.
I gave her a warm hug and thanked her. Just then, my son’s car rolled up to where I was standing.
He put down the window and said, “I saw you walking a moment ago while I was waiting for the light, but then you disappeared. Where did you go?”
I got into his car and my tears were gushing all over the place.
I came home and collapsed onto my bed. My daughter sent me a very loving text message. She oozed with appreciation that I had taken care of her car repairs.
It seemed that since my outburst the other day, things were better between us. I decided that my new mantra of not suppressing everything might have some benefits, after all!
I rested for an hour and wondered about whether I was up for recording vocals in the afternoon as I had planned. I didn’t wonder for very long.
I came into the recording studio moving very slowly. I told Darrin (the man who records me) that I had fallen down a few hours earlier, but I wasn’t going to let it keep me from singing.
This was going to be another challenging day searching for my vibe!
Only a week ago, I had sung with Darrin just twenty minutes after my daughter had called me from the scene of her minor car accident.
And by the way, she was not too thrilled with me for doing that.
I told her that my singing only took about half an hour. I had already cancelled my evening plans and knew I’d be home by the time she arrived with her wrecked car on the tow truck. But it wasn’t easy singing with the image of her dented car in my head!
I have sung several times a week at this studio with Darrin for over a year. I am quite used to singing while under tremendous stress.
It’s hard to explain how I manage to sing when awful things are happening in my life. Of course, my voice is affected by how I feel.
I work with it and find emotion that I might not have otherwise.
I continue to sing because singing takes me away to another place that is far away from my pain.
I was so excited to sing a vocal for my new song; it was easy to ignore my sore body.
I closed my eyes and positioned the earphones. The exquisite arrangement transported me somewhere else.
My eyes were still closed as I waited for the music to begin. That’s when the vision happened.
I was lying on the ground where I had just fallen. A woman was reaching out a hand to help me up. My heart skipped a beat.
In my vision, the woman who pulled me up was my mother.
She gently hugged me and disappeared. I marveled that I hadn’t broken anything.
I began to sing and I could still feel my mother’s hug. She may have died five months ago, but she hadn’t left me.
© Judy Unger and http://www.myjourneysinsight.com 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.