Alabaster Seashell is one of my favorite songs. It has such a mystical quality, with descriptive words and eerie music.
Click the blue link below to hear it:
Two years ago, I created another arrangement for this song. It was very beautiful, but I did not feel the same emotional connection that I had for my first version. Below is the arrangement without a vocal:
Link to other stories about this song:
Over the five years since I first recorded my song “Alabaster Seashell,” my voice has changed considerably. When I listen to my earlier recordings, it doesn’t even sound like it’s me!
The chords and lyrics for the verses of this song were written long ago, when I was only 17 years old. I expanded my song three decades later to write a chorus explaining what the seashell represented to me.
The alabaster seashell held memories that were a comfort and reminder of love.
I’m glad that I can share how in my current life I’m enjoying creating new memories. I really do search for ways to find peacefulness and treasure each day.
A month ago my childhood friend, Joni, asked me what I planned to do on my birthday. I told her I wasn’t really sure; my birthday was tinged with sadness because I missed my mom. She died two days before my birthday two years ago.
Joni was especially sympathetic because she missed my mom, too. When we were growing up, Joni was almost like part of my family. It was an amazing coincidence that she shared the same birthday as my mother. I remember many times going shopping with my mom so she could find a card for Joni, which mentioned their mutual birthdays.
Joni asked me what I missed doing with my mom. I told her we often shopped together and then ate out at one of our favorite restaurants.
I didn’t want to remember my mother’s decline. A few years before she died, we stopped going on those outings. Before that, she grimaced as she pushed her walker into stores with me. She insisted she was fine, but I could see her pain. On a few occasions, she collapsed to the ground and I dashed to pick her up in terror.
Joni said, “Well how about if on your birthday, we go shopping and out to dinner then? Tell me the favorite stores you went to.”
I rattled off a few . . .
A few days before my birthday, Joni reminded me of our outing. I said to her, “Hey instead of shopping, let’s go outdoors – could we go to the beach in the late afternoon instead?”
Joni told me it was a fantastic idea. I surprised myself by suggesting it because I seldom did anything like that.
But when I was a young girl, the beach was my favorite place to go with my friends.
The weather was perfect and the sky was beautiful. The clouds were delicate and created extraordinary textures that reflected back from the mirrored slicks of wet sand.
It was a little over a year ago when Joni had open-heart surgery to repair a heart valve. Thankfully, she had healed and gotten much of her strength back.
We had known each other almost all our lives. So much of our destinies were intertwined because of our friendship. The fact that I currently lived in the same building where we played together as toddlers was amazing. Yes, memories were always vivid when we were together.
On this beautiful day that was my 56th birthday, we talked about our present lives and challenges. We revealed dreams about things we loved to imagine in our future. And we reminisced about our childhood.
We ate dinner overlooking the ocean. On our way home, we even stopped at one of the stores where I used to shop with my mom, too.
I came home and enjoyed seeing the pictures from our day. I planned to celebrate with all three of my children the next day. It was fine, since my oldest son was helping his father move on my actual birthday and couldn’t be there.
My day was additionally sweet because I had lunch with my sister-in-law before I met up with Joni.
I received so many beautiful Facebook wishes and text messages. I appreciated them all and replied to every one. There were messages from friends I hadn’t seen since elementary school!
There is one line in my song “Alabaster Seashell” that usually brings me to tears.
“Reminders of days, like the one – holding him tightly in a setting sun.”
I originally wrote that line remembering a romantic moment. But 30 years later, I interpreted it very differently. Now that line was about how I anticipated my young son’s death. I held him with great sadness while we watched a beautiful beach sunset together.
Yesterday, the sun was setting as Joni and I walked along the beach. It was not a dramatic sunset, instead it was soft and subtle. I noticed the quiet passage of pastel colors slowly fading into darkness and felt very peaceful.
Being peaceful was a great feeling. I knew there were many things we both could have worried about. Thinking about aging can sometimes lead to depressing thoughts.
But instead, life was glorious.
I photographed a white seashell, so I could write this story and have a picture of a real alabaster seashell.
What seems especially beautiful and telling, is that I had no desire to bring it home and save it.
© Judy Unger and http://www.myjourneysinsight.com 2015. 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.