Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Long-Overdue "Thank You" to Emily

I thought of her whilst having a chat with a special Friend. I was telling of my appreciation of that singularly exquisite instant ... when, in the midst of all of the bombastic grandiosity of some work of symphonic expression, that person, in the percussion section of the orchestra, strikes a pristine note on the unimposing little triangle ... and I thought of that girl, who quietly attended to that contribution to our school band and orchestra. I have thought of her, quite a few times, over the course of this past year. Her unassuming grace, as she patiently endured all of those very long periods of tacet waiting ... counting those measures and bars, that heralded the upcoming moment of required precision, in sounding that unique tonal gift, that highlighted the score.

Always present, and unfailingly constant, was her sweet countenance. I made it a conscious point to watch her, as she applied that tiny mallet to just the right cylinder ... at just the right instant ... with just the right blend of delicacy and decisiveness ... on the chimes. I can recall no one else ever playing that heavenly instrument. It has always been hers. I found an intimate satisfaction and reassurance in her Presence. And I always admired and appreciated the blessing and, yes, even joy that I knew in her being there. But I never expressed my appreciation for, or admiration of, her ... to her. For I did not have, at my disposal, either the confidence, or self awareness, that would have been required to communicate such an emotion, or thought. I had no facility of language, that would have made available the terms or phrase, that could have given her an understanding of what I, as that adolescent, bungling, and awkward sixteen-year-old, was sensing. But today, I can.


So, Dear Emily, I come, today, to thank you for making my world, of all of those years up to, and including, our graduation from high school, a far better place for my Spirit and Soul to live, and develop, in. Thank you, Dear One, for the depth of character, that was an ever-present reality, in your eyes. I thank you for your quietly wry smile, of patient acceptance of my silliness and inanities. And I thank you for your lingering Presence ... that still, today, makes my moments of uncomfortable unease, less distressing ... by reinstalling your beautiful reassurances, of pleasant and tranquil calm. I have always loved the wonder of Who you are. You are one of my most treasured Gifts from a loving Life. There! I have finally let you know! [smile]

14 comments:

willow said...

Lovely tribute, JM.

I always wanted to play the triangle in elementary school, but somehow always got stuck with the wood blocks. :P

John-Michael said...

'Sleigh Bells' just couldn't be performed without that crucial wood block providing the foundation for the orchestra's contribution. And I smile a big smile of appreciation and admiration as I consider You, My Dear Willow, providing that element to the joy of that delightful tune. [smile]

Lovingly ...

Annette said...

Joni from "Morning Coffee" has been my best friend since the 3 grade, and she told me I'd like you blog, so I came by for a visit, after all, anything Joni enjoys so do I, and she was right, I enjoyed visiting with you! Thank you for allowing to come by for a great visit!
Annette

John-Michael said...

Oh! My Darling Annette ... how absolutely wonderful to have you visit ... and to share such a lovely Spirit with me! Joni is one of my most treasured of Friends and Inspirations! The very mention of her name is a source of serene bliss for my Soul. I do (in a word) adore every aspect of her Being.

Please accept my warmest and most sincere thanks for your sweet and generous kindness.

lovingly ...

Hearts At Home said...

How I enjoyed my visit to your blog! As a musician, please know how deeply I appreciated this post. What a beautiful tribute!
Christmas Blessings to you,
~Trish

John-Michael said...

A Gift! That is what you, Precious Trish, have delivered to my Spirit. The Gift of a refreshing breeze of unfettered and uncomplicated Joy. And I breathe You in with a Heart gladdened and renewed by your visit. Thank You!

Lovingly ...

Just Joni said...

what a lovely way to acknowledge a memory...there are so many instances (brief or otherwise) that touch the heart and they most often go unmentioned...I just love reading your sentiments, they somehow make me think about all the reasons we should stop in the moment to say thank you for the slightest gesture that may have warmed our heart or added to our song...each measure really does count for the completion of a melody.

thank YOU JM for contributing yours ~

:)

Suldog said...

John-Michael:

Yours is truly a soul of beautiful depth. Words, in appreciation of your words, fail me. They really do.

John-Michael said...

In this unfolding 'Composition,' that is my Lifetime, Dearest Joni, I relish ... with sweet anticipation ... the insertion of each mellifluous passage that your delicious Presence adds to the texture of my Life. I unabashedly adore the reassuring knowledge that You reside in that chamber of my Heart that is blessedly yours alone. You bless me. I thank you.

I love You ...

John-Michael said...

Jim, My SulDog Friend, the scope of my appreciation of, love of, and delight in You, and your generous willingness to allow my embrace of You ... sets me to searching for just the right, and very best, word to illustrate the hallowed place that I celebrate as yours in my Being. And, as inadequate as it is, I am impressed with the fitting sense that "Confederate" conjures. For it speaks of a unity of Spirit and purpose ... an alliance together ... a collegiate completeness that would suffer a void of lacking without either component ... that I know in our intimate (though distant [in locales ONLY]) Friendship. This is a word that I have never considered any other as fitting in my life. And this Gift, of our "Confederacy" of Souls, is something that I revere.

Whilst you may experience a temporary absence of "words" ... I rejoice in the Truth of your never-absent richness of Personhood and Character. Loving You, Jim, deepens my Capacity to love life.

Thank You ... for You!

Anonymous said...

That was my favorite "instrument" to play at Broward. I didn't always get to play it, but it was my favorite, and if given a choice to play one of those instruments, that still would be my choice.

John-Michael said...

Broward Elementary School seems, now, as a wonderful mirage. Having the experience of beginning life's journey, in an atmosphere that is so alien to what exists in today's world, was such a tremendous blessing. I remember the appearance of Mrs. Hardaway, who came to hear me speak to a church on Fathers Day Sunday ... more than 20 years after I left her tutelage, as Orchestra Teacher at Broward. She remembered, and maintained an interest in, her former student. What a lovely thing that was.

Thank you, Dear Anonymous Friend, for the stirring of wonderful memories.

Lovingly ...

Emily said...

Greetings and Happy New Year Mike Brown!!!

Needless to say I was surprised, awed and humbled by your writing. You are truly a gifted writer. That is a gift I never experienced. Being a teacher of elementary children I never got to practice using "big words"!

I had been talking to a friend about how much fun I had in my high school band in the percussion section. I have carried on that job by playing the triangle,finger cymbals and hand bells in my church choir. I'll never forget playing the chimes all alone on stage while the band processed to the stage to join me in playing the Christmas Carole!! Those were the good ole days for sure!

Thank-you for sharing kind words and fond memories. You did indeed bring a smile to my face! :)

Emily

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