When we have children we hope for the best for them, but truly, even with a crystal ball, we don’t know what lies ahead for them.
Once they leave the nest, they are on their own to chart their own path. We, as parents, just hope their journey is smooth without too many downdrafts and that their flight will lead them to a fulfilling life.
In this blog I am sharing with you a recent conversation I had with my singer/ songwriter son, Emerson Hart, lead singer of the 2x nominated and Platinum awarded alternative rock band, Tonic.
His first album, LEMON PARADE, had 5 top ten BILLBOARD HITS, one of which stayed on the top of the charts and became the most played song on rock radio that year, “If You Could Only See The Way She Loves Me.”
We talk about his beginnings and what it is like to be a a songwriter/singer and musician. I can’t use his music in my videos because of publishing and record company rights shared with him. I have posted below the video he speak’s about and that he filmed in London when Princess Diana died.
Join my conversation with a singer and songwriter on his creative process, his solo career vs Tonic and what is in store for 2019.
I have been doing videos on my Youtube channel lately talking about bucket lists and not putting off one’s dreams. All of this has me thinking about my own list. How can I motivate others and neglect my own unfilled desires?
The last time I sang in public was at my oldest daughter’s wedding in the 80’s. It was in a large vaulted church and I sang Schubert’s Ave Maria in Latin. When I look back now to what seems a long lifetime ago and why have I chosen to lock away my voice after that performance I don’t know. Life just happened, I guess.
Taking into consideration it is said if you don’t use it, you loose it. If singing in the shower once in awhile doesn’t count, well, I haven’t used my musical voice in years. The other morning a fear shot through me. Just out of the blue. I started wondering if I have lost it. If it’s too late to get back the gift given to me that once was so much of what made me happy.
As a young girl I sang in church and in a girl’s choir. I soloed at my music teachers wedding and I dreamed of singing opera one day in Europe. I met my late husband through music. My son is a musician. My daughters love music. Music has always been such an integral part of my and my family’s lives. How can I let it die within me?
I started vocalizing a week ago. My voice is there within the rusty pipes. I hear it. It’s still there. I know it won’t be ready for awhile, but I am going to get it back – every scale run by scale run.
My bucket list? Recording a song or two. For me. Just for me. Never say never.
Did you ever think that maybe the music that we have been exposed to by our parents as children has a great deal of importance in our formative recipe as to who we are today?
I recently did a YouTube video about my musical memories and how important they are to me. I was reminded by one of my fellow YouTube creators about music that her mother and father liked.
That conversation brought me back to a time that I had almost forgotten. My mother loved the music of Hoagy Carmichael. I can remember her playing his song, Stardust, over and over again. Every time it came up on our old wooden radio she would stop what she was doing and stand there living her personal Stardust dream. I was too young to understand it all, but now I wish in adulthood I would have asked her sometime during her ninety-two years just what that dream was. Mother’s music when I was a child resonated with me and I felt so it deeply in my heart because I loved her.
When I was about 12 years old for Christmas I found a music box that played Stardust. Every penny that I saved for Christmas that year went to buy that special jewelry box for her.
Throughout her life mother kept all of her precious jewelry in that box and I always knew when she was taking something out when the tinkling sound could be heard throughout the house.
When mother died and we were packing and sorting her possessions I kept two things; her purse that was filled with personal items and that music box.
Eventually, sometime when I was in my decoupage period I decided to decoupage the faded outside of the music box. Looking at it now, I’m not too sure it was the right decision, but it still plays.
Today I took mother’s music box out from my shelf in my closet. I gently gave the stem a few winds, just to listen to a few notes and it slowly plucked out the familiar tune. Next, I’m going to place my jewelry inside it’s empty faded velvet partitions. Then I will wind it fully and put it where I can look at it every day so that I can be reminded of my mother and the music that has shaped my life. I will remember through her music box the beginning if my own childhood dreams choreographed by Hoagy Carmichael.
I recently had to go in the hospital for a cryoablation for heart palpitations I’ve had since my twenties. I had a procedure done twenty years ago to ablate the pathways that were causing my heart to fire those extra impulses. Well, through the years they grew back and I have had to have another procedure to ablate them again.
It just so happens that my cardiology surgeon is a big Tonic fan. Although we have had many phone conversations about the new cryoablation procedure, I hadn’t seen Dr. Todd Florin since my radiofrequency ablation in January, but he remembered all about Tonic when we met again pre-op.
This time Dr. Florin spent at least a half hour with me just going over my procedure and generally chatting about life before l went into surgery. When I was finally prepped and wheeled into the operating room, he came over and said he wanted me to meet someone. He gestured to a handsome young doctor that was a part of his team to come closer.
(Author’s note: If your soul is rooted in music as deeply as mine, grab your earphones and reading glasses, if needed, and let me transport you with me to places in my past.)
“ I believe in teleportation and time travel,” he said taking a sip of his Old Fashioned. It was Friday and we were at a speakeasy watching bluegrass. I wasn’t sure I heard him correctly.
“ Not in the sensational way, mind you. But in the way a waft of a certain perfume can take you back to childhood, or a song can being back a flurry of feelings you felt long ago. Isn’t it strange and wonderful how our senses can give us context of the present, but transport us to the past?”
He whispered to the bartender who came back moments later with a mint julep identical to the one he introduced me to when we first met….orange twist and all.
“Here. Close your eyes and take a sip of this.
Tell me…..where does it take you?
Aromas and music are the two triggers that can transport me back in time. Big band music takes me back to my early childhood and our Sunday family outings to The Lotus Restaurant in Washington, DC.
Rock and roll and the music of the 50’s bring me back to my high school days when we wore pony tails and bobby socks and the worst thing the boys could do was smoke behind the building or drink beer in the coal pits.
Georgetown and great jazz wisk me back to my college years where we would spend our nights listening to Mose Allison or Dave Brubeck. I can still smell the mixture of cigarette smoke and scotch that filled the crowded clubs lining the narrow streets in Georgetown.
My child rearing years and the small tube radio that I always had on in the kitchen comes to my mind every time I hear Billy Joel and his romantic take on life. I was always dreaming through my humdrum life while being transported to somewhere beyond that kitchen and piles of dirty laundry by Billy.
Now that I’m older and have Alexa in my life, I can be transported to any era of my life by just asking. Transporting has never been easier!
When your children grow up and leave the nest the parent/ child dynamics change. No longer under your roof, their lives continue with you in the background; nose pressed to the window of their lives looking in.
A recent angry force of nature made me leave my nest at an odd time of the year and take refuge with my youngest bird of flight, my son. Hurricane Irma gave him fears his old mum’s nest just might be blown away. So it was that I landed outside the boundaries of a holiday celebration visit in Nashville with my son and his family.
It just so happens that Emerson is a platinum awarded singer/ songwriter who spends a lot of time on the road doing what he loves to do; entertain by telling his lyrical stories. Once in awhile if he is performing within driving distance, my husband and I will make the journey to his concerts and a few moments of private time with him. But in a lifetime that is not much.
You might say we are distant groupies most of the time, however, this time, my only positive Irma experience is that I was given a performance day with my son that I would never have had.
Squeezed within the sixteen day visit of watching my son be a good husband and great father, was a full day of a mother’s heart singing with joy that her son is able to have a satisfying creative life, doing what he was born to do.
Can’t get much better than that. Come along with me for a capsule of my day before a concert hall performance of Songs and Stories in Nashville.
I have news for you. Everyone of us has some type of creativity inside of us, whether it be singing, playing an instrument, cooking, gardening, or creating a beautiful vision through makeup everyday.
Life is more satisfying when we use our creative souls with an outlet. Expressing yourself boosts your brain, gives you satisfaction, boosts energy, relieves stress and most of all, brings us joy.
There are five types of creativity:
• Game Changer
• Sensitive Soul
Let me explain the types and how important using our creativity is to us.
Dance. Oh, how I have always loved dancing, don’t you? By myself as a child, or in the arms of a lover nothing is closer to heaven than lightly swirling around to music that makes my heart sing. Waltz, foxtrot, jitterbug, the monkey or rumba, it doesn’t matter to me.
Song and dance have been with us far back in recorded human history and has been an important part of celebratory rituals. It’s so true that dance is a way to find yourself and loose yourself at the same time.
Unless, that is, your heart is dancing a clumsy two step in your chest. Dancing with your feet is one thing, but a dancing heart is another.
Unfortunately, I was born with extra electrical pathways that under certain circumstances cause my heart to palpitate and loose sinus rhythm. These unwelcome ‘dances’ began in my twenties, but since my heart was otherwise basically healthy, I just had to tolerate this non-synchronized orchestra that lived in my chest.
It became a way of life for me until in the 90’s a new procedure called radio frequency ablation was developed to eliminate extra pathways in the heart. Tiny cathodes are run through the groin veins to ablate the dancing pathways. At the time it sounded scary to me, but each 12 hour episode of rhumba were scarier, so I opted to have the ablation.
Now, one thing they didn’t realize, or take into consideration then is that those electrical nerve pathways can grow back. So here I am once again saying goodbye to my heart’s unruly dance, one week into recovery from updated modern medical advances in electrophysiology and radio frequency ablation.
My procedure lasted about three hours and I was released the next day. My doctor showed me a photograph of my heart with the ablation points and it looked like a pearl necklace all around my heart. He said when they thought they were through, adrenaline administered would show other electrically charged pathways. I was a dancing fool inside my chest!
So far, I am following the doctor’s orders and not lifting anything over 10 pounds or bending over and just taking things easy for a few weeks. He told me I might have increased dances in my chest, perhaps for as long as three months while my heart is healing, but already they are short little tap dances that do encourage me everything is healing just fine.
The pinpoint scarred areas created by the cauterization, once healed, will block and interrupt those crazy dancing impulses by taking off their tap shoes and sending them into retirement.
Trust me, the next dance I do I hope it will be with only my feet and with someone I love.
The skies are dark and the tropical winds are blowing much stronger than usual, it’s that kind of day here on the beach. Anywhere else up north the winds and dark skies would be rather depressing, but here, for me, it’s an Oscar Peterson/Cole Porter kind of day. When I woke up to grey skies I welcomed the change in the sameness tropical living sometimes brings.
After my early morning walk with Sophie, nothing better than starting my day with a cup of tea, biscotti, Oscar and sharing my thoughts out into the digital universe.
For me, music has always been a barometer of our culture. Growing up in the forties and fifties, music was happy, soulful, lyrics clear and smooth, the beat consistent. Songs were about love, the good life and moving on. Listeners could tap their feet, shake their heads and groove to the beat in ‘slo-mo’ or shoulder shaking heat. Music felt good.
As a teen I would lie across my bed and dream to The Four Aces, Tony Bennet, Frank Sinatra and Cole Porter’s lyrics. The future and the world was out there for me, just waiting. Of that I was sure. It was a positive world I would be walking into. The music that surrounded me told me so.
My husband, having celebrated his ninth decade on this earth yesterday has taken me back into his reality of WWII evolving into peacetime prosperity and a more civil and dare I say simple, moral times.
What has happened to us as a society? Up until the music of the nineties and from there what has happened to lyrics with decency and morality in some popular music tastes? I can still close my eyes and dream to some, but I feel I’m in a dying generation as far as music goes.
As the music becomes corrupt and dies, so goes the culture, so goes the nation. I never thought life in 2016 would evolve into what it appears to be today. I don’t think I have to spell it out for you, you must see it, too.
Cole Porter: His numerous hit songs include “Night and Day”, “Begin the Beguine”, “I Get a Kick Out of You”, “Well, Did You Evah!”, “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”, “My Heart Belongs to Daddy” and “You’re the Top”. He also composed scores for films from the 1930s to the 1950s, including Born to Dance (1936), which featured the song “You’d Be So Easy to Love”; Rosalie (1937), which featured “In the Still of the Night”; High Society (1956), which included “True Love”; and Les Girls (1957).
Most mornings I am lotus hand, hip shaking, lift stepping and shoulder shaking my over-fifty self to energizing music. My new uninhibited idea of fun exercise in my freedom years is Bollywood dancing in the front row with no one watching but Sofi and my big Sony flat screen.
I have to admit I was part of the 1970s fitness craze. I joined my first gym, bought the most flattering leotard that I could find and headed out with a fitness mat curled under my arm. I went faithfully to the aerobic classes for, well, maybe about six months.
Three times a week I dragged myself to the gym trying to believe that I was a public exercise person who loves strange showers and locker rooms. That fantasy faded faster than my waistline. One morning I just stopped, firm thighs be damned.
What happened to save me from a lifetime membership of hiding in the back row of power aerobics, trying to stay fit and healthy while looking at the perfect behinds of women with figures I would never be able to achieve?Jane Fonda did, that’s who. All of a sudden I could put my body through all types of aerobic pain in the privacy of my own living room.
Throughout the ensuing years I have run 5K’s, walked miles, jogged a little, and made sure I downsized to a townhouse with stairs when all of my sane contemporaries were going with single floor residences. All this effort because I know it is good for my aging body. But, nevertheless, in spite of trying to keep as fit my age allows, I have stayed away from gyms.
Between you and me, I rarely ever found exercising fun until I discovered I was able to combine my fascination with a movie genre and exercise – Bollywood films. Netflix and iTunes are my new ‘go to’ for Bollywood movies and Bollywood music videos.
If you already haven’t checked them out, Bollywood films always include music with dancing that is an interesting fusion of Indian classical, Indian folk, jazz, hip hop, belly dance and others from around the world.
These films are always ‘feel good for the soul’ entertainment. I love the energy and message they bring and there is a whole lot of shaking going on and calories burned in my South Beach living room to Bollywood music. Life is good when you love it with passion.
achchha lag raha hai. – feeling good
Pyar se Zindegi mel tha hi – Life is good when you love it with passion.