Something Good

 

Skimming over some of my previous posts, I see that I rarely mention anything about feeling frustrated, unhappy, anxious, or any other “negative” emotional state.

I would like to clearly state that I feel disappointed, scared, envious, disheartened, disgusted, vengeful, upset, discouraged, and cranky on a regular basis.

But I strive — when feeling out of sorts — to remind myself of any number of things in my life that I can be grateful for.

A wonderful life partner.  Health.  Plenty of food.  Lots of family.  Lots of friends.  A functional bicycle.  Employment.  A safe place to live.  Clean water.  No tanks patrolling my neighborhood.  Music.  Electricity.  The children and grown-ups in my Music Together classes. Warm clothing.  Two lap top computers.  Access to the internet.  Great collaborators.  Our local network of public libraries.  The retirement communities which invite me and my collaborators back to perform again and again.

Once one gets started, the list can go on and on and on…

The week before Doug Hammer and I performed Songs About Parents & Children at the Third Life Studio in Somerville, MA, I found out that I had been awarded a grant from the newly-created Bob Jolly Charitable Trust to help pay for rehearsals and marketing outreach.

Bob Jolly, who died in 2013, was a beloved actor in the Boston community for 28 years.

The Bob Jolly Charitable Trust — established by his will — supports local actors, performers, composers, and theater companies with modest yet very meaningful financial support.

I am very grateful for this grant as well as Bob’s vision to nurture Boston’s creative community for years to come.

His generosity is indeed something good!

The song in the player at the beginning of this blog post was created by Richard Rodgers for the movie version of The Sound Of Music.

He wrote both the music and the lyrics because his second longtime lyricist/collaborator, Oscar Hammerstein, II, died before the movie was made.

The knowledge that Mr. Hammerstein was dying from stomach cancer while they were bringing the original Broadway musical to life adds — for me — an extra layer of poignance to songs such as “My Favorite Things,” So Long, Farewell,” “Climb Every Mountain,” “Edelwiess,” and “The Sound Of Music.”

And learning more about Mr. Rodgers challenging relationship with alcohol — as well as with various female cast members in his shows —  adds many more layers of complexity to “Something Good,” which Doug and I performed as our final encore at the end of Songs About Parents & Children.

Deep breath in.

Deep breath out.

Thank you for reading and listening.

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4 thoughts on “Something Good

  1. I love that song and have always felt surprised it was in a musical I don’t generally admire. Interesting to know Rodgers wrote the words. When Elaine Stritch sings it, there’s a sense of gratitude to her audience. (I also love your list of good things. Mine is almost exactly the same.)

    • So much to be scared/concerned about on planet earth — and yet so much to be grateful for at the same time. Thank you, as always, for reading and listening and responding!

  2. Congratulations on the grant! And amen to the list of gratitudes and especially to the one I seldom think about, “no tanks patrolling my neighborhood.” I have a friend living in Burkina Faso, which has been balancing on the edge of a very violent time for the past days. It looks like they may be moving into a more democratic time, but transitions are always fraught with danger…

  3. One of my favorite Music Together families moved back to the Ukraine last spring, which heightened my awareness of the (blessed) lack of tanks patrolling the streets in my neighborhood. And much to my happy surprise, this same family reappeared in one of my MT classes this fall, having been able to return for another chunk of time in the US while Russia and the Ukraine continue their transitional dance/dispute/war, fraught with danger….

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