Monday, November 10, 2008

The Towing Path

Tow Path at Argenteuil, Winter c.1875
by Claude Monet

"The Towing Path"
by John Ireland, and performed by John Lenehan

"If music be the food of love, play on," the Great Poet wrote.

And so, in my family, we do.

Music, to us, is not only the food of love, music IS love. Music is an embodiment of love, between the person who plays, and the people who listen.

A few short weeks ago, when things seemed very, very gloomy for me, indeed, I packed up my little family in full-on "emergency mode", and headed home to my parent's house in Stratford. For there is nowhere on earth that carries the feeling of such calming reassurance for me, as the place where I grew up.

After a long drive, we arrived in the dark, with two out of three little girlies fast asleep in the back seat of the car. My mother gently led the two eldest upstairs, while I carried the comatose form of Wee Three. After changing them into their pyjamas, we tucked them into their beds-- the youngest ones curled up together, side-by-side, like two little kittens in a basket.

Downstairs once more, I poured my heart out to my parents, who sat at the kitchen table and listened. Once I had exhausted myself of frustrated monologue, my mother quietly got up and walked into the living room, where her beautiful baby grand piano stands in front of a picture window.

She sat down to play. She played this piece: a piece I hadn't heard since the very early days of my childhood. As her fingers gently brushed the keys, the melody filled the rooms of our house, and I felt some of the tension I had been carrying slowly begin to ebb away.

And I realized that she played because she and my father have no words for me at this difficult time. I have my own decisions to make, my own path that must be followed. But instead of sitting in silence, or trying to fill up the void with "small talk", playing this beautiful, soothing music was my mother's way of conveying how much she and my father will always love and support me.

"If music be the food of love, play on. Give me an excess of it..."

--William Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night"


ewe are here said...

You're incredibly lucky to have such loving and supportive parents you can turn to when things start to spiral out of control. Having such unconditional support can make all the difference in the world.

I wish you peace as you make your difficult decisions...

Nan said...

We are so blessed to have music. And that piece is so calming. I am playing it for the boys while they do their homework. It looks like we are moving to England, by the way. Probably in March. I hope everything is okay with you... Post again soon!

shawn said...

YOUR family instilled in me a love of music ... a love that has carried me through some very deep dark times ... There are many pieces of music that I have listened to that have lifted my soul heavenward ... some are pieces I first heard in your home ...

I remember your father and his "music room" with CDs (hard to imagine they were once a NOVEL and new technology) that were wondrously new to this rock'n'roll boy ... I LOVED the classical music that always seemed to be playing in the background during visits to your home ... (not too mention your brother's piano practises and your mother's rising blood pressure !!)

I'm glad music is still a balm that does more than just soothe you ... it truly is a gift of divine healing ... and for me, I look back on a dear friend and her incredible family as the place it entered my life.

My thoughts and prayers and love to you and yours ... hope things are getting better for you ...


Multi-tasking Mommy said...

Sometimes a Mom just knows exactly what is needed!

painted maypole said...

a true gift, indeed

mrinz said...

I felt tears come to my eyes when I read your post.
Sad occasion, but how wonderful to have music in your life. And the gift to be able to tap into it when needed.

Your parents are truly wonderful to have given you this gift.

Anonymous said...

I have never heard this before. You are very lucky to have a mother to play this for you, parents to listen, and the gift of communication. I hope your heart is light.

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