I have recorded and new version of my song “No Words.” Below is both a vocal and guitar instrumental for it:
One of the many projects to occupy me during the isolation was updating my music website. This link leads to a new blog where I share the latest music I’m working on: JudyUngerMusic.
I wrote a post there today also named “Wings to Fly.“
Initially, I felt simply writing about music could relieve me of the pressure to write anything deeper. This was because I have been deeply blocked from writing creatively during this quarantine period. And only a few months earlier, I felt the same way recovering from a broken ankle.
Choosing the post title I did seemed to describe that feeling well. It turned out there were words for me to find and I’m really glad I could finally write something today for this blog.
This post feels almost trivial with everything else that is going on. Yet anything that can pierce the numbness inside of me feels worth writing about, even if it is as simple as a visit with my daughter at the park.
During our outing, we were warned about the impending curfew. I received messages from my son who was concerned about when I would be getting home. Sorrow, strife, monotony and fear simultaneously surrounded me.
My song “No Words” was conceived when I was 19 years old, but it was left unfinished. I eventually finished it and the lyrics described what it meant for me to have subsequent children after suffering the loss of my son, Jason. My daughter was a “rainbow baby” because she was conceived only a month after he died.
My daughter sat on her light blue blanket.
She was on her blanket and I sat in a chair. It was far more comfortable than sitting on the ground. When did the ground become so hard and uncomfortable? I guess it was just another change I could chalk up after turning 60.
I had given her that old blanket, which was actually an old bedspread my own mother had given me. I could still remember seeing it on my brother’s bed when I was a young girl. Such memories it evoked – of trips to the beach when I was a teenager. Later on, I sat on it while my young children played nearby in the sand.
We were both bathed in the yellow light of golden hour. I learned from two of my children how half an hour before sunset was the best lighting for picture taking.
In just a few hours at this lovely park, I marveled at the simplicity of our visit – savoring a take-out meal, wearing our masks while taking a “distant walk,” and sharing our feelings.
We both treasured this time. It used to be pedicures and restaurants; now it was a picnic. Even though I longed for physical contact, this seemed to suffice. We were creating touching memories, but they were actually “untouching” memories!
The first time I broached my isolation to meet her, I was overwhelmed by emotion. She had been very ill with pneumonia for several weeks and I waited until she was symptom free for another month and a half. My son was worried about us meeting and begged me to “be safe.” I promised him I would. Staying so far apart from each other was very strange the first time. But with each weekly reunion, it became our new habit.
Gradually, golden hour began to fade. It was windy and we both began feeling the chill. It was time for us to pack up, but we lingered. As precious as this afternoon was, I still felt very detached. Everything seemed unreal and most of the time I plodded through my days without any emotion at all.
I knew that “stuffing my feelings” was a familiar coping mechanism that left me burdened by numbness. It was literally stuffing. Food was both a comfort and a torment. I preferred to deflect depression over my weight and instead focus on things I was grateful for.
I adjusted my scarf to cover my arms and looked across the soft grass to where my daughter was sitting. I was so grateful for her and that was when the wave of emotion almost knocked the wind out of me.
I gasped with an audible sob and my daughter’s eyes opened wide with compassion. I choked out my truth, and tears poured down my cheeks. “I miss our hugs!” I sobbed.
She mumbled out ideas for us (she could wrap herself up in my scarf), but we both knew there really were no safe options at that moment. I struggled to contain my emotion and eventually managed to calm myself. I stood up and folded my chair.
In the twilight, we exchanged a few items from our car trunks while standing far apart. We waved goodbye and I made contorted gestures that resembled a hug. She sweetly chirped that she was looking forward to our next picnic.
I prayed there would be many more, even though I couldn’t look that far ahead.