This is an excerpt of solo guitar that will be part of a new meditation song for Insight Timer. “Heart Song” begins after a short riff of an older song named “Farewell.” I plan to add piano and the entire track will be approximately 30 minutes when completed.
I retreated into my bedroom. I had hoped our lovely family gathering would be uplifting, but unfortunately it turned into something else. There were hurt feelings, anger and lots of drama and it continued after I excused myself.
I closed my door and took a deep breath to calm the pit in my stomach. Most of the time I felt peaceful in my “post-divorce life.” Triggers like this emotional conflict threw me backwards, but thankfully they were rare.
My guitar beckoned me. I gently picked it up and wiped away my tears. For several weeks I had been working on a new instrumental composition that was definitely special. My goal was to expand an older instrumental named “Farewell” with additional passages in the same key.
Every day, I searched for ideas. I already had several bars but I hoped I could add more to them. I heard emotional discussions going on outside my door and tried to ignore it. As I played my guitar, I felt shaky and sad. When a few sweet chords appeared, I played them repeatedly and went further with it. My heart was soothed.
Eventually, I had to address the family drama. I extended my love, despite my own hurt feelings. I was unable to share my truthful emotions, which drained me. I felt turmoil for a few days afterwards, but held onto the beautiful chords that were created during such a stressful time.
It was challenging for me to decide when my new composition was finished. I had to balance my excitement of recording it, while hoping my song had reached it’s full potential.
After another week, I was ready. I planned to record it early on a Sunday morning. There would be less traffic noise that way, except after sunrise there were noisy birds chirping outside my window.
The night before my planned recording, I set up two microphones in my bedroom. I cleared a small path so I wouldn’t trip over them at night when going to the bathroom.
Guitar recording involved intense concentration, as well as sitting still for long stretches while playing. I actually had two songs to record – my older composition of “Farewell and my newer addition to it.
Because this music was for meditation, I would play slowly. I estimated it would take about two hours. The main issue was to align my body and guitar in the exact same position for those hours. I wanted to record enough material to work with and tried different variations so I would have many choices while editing.
I slid into my chair and tuned the guitar carefully. I began when it was still dark and delicately fingerpicked in my quiet bedroom. I felt the guitar notes flowing from my heart. My body actually was tingling as I played.
Eventually, I had to stop because the chirping of birds was getting louder. I unplugged the mics and labeled the tracks. My old song was named “Farewell,” but I wasn’t sure what to call the newer part. I chose “Heart Song.” The full version could be called “Farewell Heart Song.” Of course, it was possible that I’d change my mind later on.
I stretched and made breakfast. I was so glad I had decided to record that morning. Later in the day I planned to visit a dear relative who was in the hospital. I sipped my coffee and then noticed someone had left me a voicemail message while I was recording.
As I listened to his tearful voice, by heart sank. My dear cousin, whom I was very close to, had taken a terrible turn for the worse.
I thought I would be seeing many relatives, but when I entered her hospital room there was only a nurse. I asked if it would be okay to hold my cousin’s hand. The nurse pulled down the sheet and I grasped her limp fingers.
I could hear the notes to “Heart Song” playing in the background as I leaned my face next to hers. She had one eye open and there wasn’t a glimmer of awareness behind it. I cried and poured out my heart.
How could I have known that my newest meditation song truly was a farewell?
She died a few hours after I left.
I share an excerpt of a recent performance of “Heart Song” before I became more confident with it.
This is a link to the story about “Farewell.” #118 MY FAREWELL TO MUSIC
The music is so beautiful and serene
Thank you so much, Allyson! I think it will work well for meditation. 🙂
Such a heartfelt message, Thanks for sharing Jude. May you find comfort knowing that she’s resting peacefully. Love you so much, always, Joni
i love you, Joni – thank you so much for your comment. I am blessed by your love and friendship and I treasure you.
What a beautiful story Judy! I’m sorry to hear about your cousin, but it really is kind of miraculous that you finished the new composition (which is beautiful) just in time.
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Thank you so much, Katherin. It was miraculous and my story didn’t reflect how I channeled my sadness about her situation into my music. In my heart I knew she wasn’t going to make it ahead of time. Hoping I can play a song for her at the memorial in another week.
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