Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Door

It's early summer and something just bloomed. I've been waiting for it longer than I can remember. Winter seemed to go on forever, spring brought me lots of beauty. Yet still I waited. I didn't know what was going to happen, but I knew if I was patient enough, strong enough, and had enough belief, that something wonderful was going to come into my life.

A few minutes ago, as I was playing Kim Robertson's arrangement of The Minstrel Boy (sort of my theme song), I came to the end - and began to improvise! I had written/arranged/improvised on the piano years ago, but for some reason the harp always told me, "No. Not now. You're not ready." Intellectually I had all the tools I needed - except for the jackhammer I needed to break through the wall I was continually hitting. Perhaps I suddenly just noticed that the wall had a door in it...

I had begun playing gently, as I usually do. I brought the music up a notch, and floated back down. My hands reached in to coax the tone deeper as I reached the part that goes, "One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard - One faithful harp shall praise thee." But instead of ending, by hands took over and melded with the strings as I drifted lower, lower into the deep bass voice of my Warrior Caste McFall harp. I felt the vibration of the harp's body on my shoulder and in my chest. Something was being pulled out of me - 7ths and suspended chords - that were not in the arrangement. Chord resolutions drew me up into the middle ranges of the harp, and the song became gentle again. Around and around the melody spiraled up and down, braking apart and completely disappearing into fragments. I couldn't stop - wouldn't stop. I sped up. I slowed down. Old chords morphed. New chords entered, left, returned.

Was the me? Where was this coming from?

And, as I sit here I wonder - will it ever come back?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


It's been a long, blah winter without even a clean blanket of snow to hide the dormant grass and dirt. But the sun is out and temperatures are rising, fooling my daffodils into swiftly reaching out of the earth. Is there any wonder that I am eager for spring?

And with thoughts of spring, comes the anticipation of my yearly migration to The Harp Gathering. I will forever hold the two events in my memory as I recall the warming breezes, the golden sunrises over newly planted fields, and the sounds of harps in the air.

This will be the fourth spring I head off on my own to renew my spirit in the company of other harpers, harpists and the beautiful instruments they bring with them. The harps, like the people who bring them, are each unique in their own beauty. Their souls resonate through their soundboards and speak to my own in their secret language. The harpists glow from the joy of the sound washing over them.

Sound a "little over the top?" Perhaps. But, like my daffodils, I suddenly feel my arms reaching up for the warmth and light of spring - and The Harp Gathering.