The Shades Of Beauty In Our Lives

28 02 2008

Ben , our son, is repairing our roof this morning.  I could hear the steady pounding while teaching my 68 year old piano student and later while I worked on a beautiful Claude Debussy piano work entitled : Reverie.  Debussy is an early 20th century composer who broke all of the musical rules when he wrote his lovely pieces.  They have a strong impressionist theme.  One can feel the shades of beauty so intensely while listening or performing Debussy’s music.  I’ve been enjoying working on this piece– for it reminds me of early spring after a harsh winter.  That is my interpretation of it.  Layer after layer of musical shading is so strongly felt.  It helps me find joy in the midst of trouble.

I would not have even known how to interpret Debussy had I not had some professional training in college.  One of my piano pieces the spring of 2004 was another Debussy piece entitled:Clair de Lune.  Over and over my piano teacher coached me to feel the poetry in that piece.  Debussy is musical poetry.  There is no other way to describe his compositions. 

If one has read any of my Vera stories–then one knows that our family has not had an easy life.  I’ve always suffered with a tendency towards depression.  Many turn to alcohol when depression is a constant irritant.  I’ve had a faith in God since I was a young girl.  Faith is not a magic potion though.  It doesn’t mean that one will always be happy.  Faith, to me is the foundation that we can rely on in the midst of suffering.  However, I admit that I’ve not always relied on my faith.  I have had an addiction to sugar that at times as been to me like alcohol is to others.  When I was young, I walked all of the calories off. Since I never could afford store bought treats when our children were growing up–I baked a great deal.  When depression hit me–a handful of chocolate chip cookies and a strong mug of coffee helped me cope.

Yet, one can’t live one’s life on a continuous binge of cookies, alcohol, drugs etc.  Eventually, one has to begin healing from the inside out.  My Christian Orthodox faith has helped me so much with inner healing.  In a day when there are so many church splits and ministers change their mind about their doctrines easily–I can count on the beautiful unchanging rhythm of the Christian Orthodox Church.  When I know that I am having trouble coping–I make an appointment to talk with my priest.  Since we live a good hundred miles from our parish–he is always so kind to meet with me after the service.

An Orthodox priest listens and does not condemn.  He offers some suggestions for inner healing.  Lastly, he offers absolution of my sins.  For the Orthodox church is like a hospital to the soul.  During my walk with breast cancer–I made regular appointments with our priest.  There was much  work to accomplish in my soul.  People have noted that my cancer walk has been gentle, peaceful and encouraging. That is because in the shadows of my private life–I’ve struggled to hand any bitterness or animosity over to God.  Meeting with our priest on a regular basis certainly helped me to extinguish anger.

There are so many shades of beauty within our reach.  There are healthy coping mechanisms. Music, writing and reading are my favorite ways to cope.  Another priest I know of says that people of faith ought to be out writing,singing and dancing to the glory of God.  We of all people should endorse the beautiful works of art. 

My cancer journey will continue as I work to take care of my body. There is no guarantee that the cancer will not return.  I’m reminded of that fact each week –when we attend our cancer support group.  This week a lady found out that her cancer has spread to several parts of her body.  My heart aches for her.  This kind of information keeps me from getting too comfortable with my present good health.  It keeps me thoughtful and prayful for others.

I have found my own shades of beauty this week as two of my children have gone through tremendous personal blows–of which I don’t have the freedom to write about.  As I struggle with them through their sorrow–I turn to working harder on my piano piece by Debussy.  It is a healthy coping tool.  I work to keep my blog up.  I love to write about adventures of the past.  I’ve been working on a series called: The House Blessing, yet I had to come up for fresh air and think about this week. 

I’ve not been able to wipe away the tears of my adult children.  I can only offer my continual support and love.  A certain spot in my bedroom has become a favorite place this week.  I have a rocker in a corner by a heating vent.  At night , after all of the chores have been finished –I sit in my rocker and read.  I love to hear and feel the hot air coming up through the vent.  I have a small light hanging by the rocker so that I don’t disturb my husband’s sleep.  I have a favorite blanket that I cover myself with. The blanket is long enough to fall to the floor.  One of my dogs likes to sleep on that part while I read.  I have a cat that likes to sit on the vent.  However, I have to shoo him off–as I love to feel the heat. This  cat then climbs into bed with my husband.  All of these cozy things help me find joy and solace. 

Thus my faith is the rock, but on that rock are many shades of beauty that I employ to cope with the challenges of life.  Debussy, writing my blog, reading in my rocking chair helps paint the beauty in my inner life. I ask each of you–“How do you cope with your pressures in life?” I would love to know.

May the peace of our Lord be with each of you!




6 responses

28 02 2008

Claude Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” is one of my very favorites. I never heard “Reverie” before I went to YouTube. There I found it in piano and then I found this: It was done on a Rhodes Stage Piano. It is breathtaking.
Nicole3, you and I must be cut from a very simular cloth. I play piano and it seems that when I play, there is no room for anything from this world to enter into my mind but the music. It has been my “Prozac”. I have strict orders that should the house burn, saving the piano is top priority. *smile*. I would be so lost without it.
It is so true that faith is the Cornerstone to help along life’s unexpected twists and turns. I, too, have known the comfort of faith from my childhood and as I have mentioned on my blog, it was walking the land that brought me my earliest understanding of God and His Beauty.
I am so sorry that your heart is burdened. My dad always said that when children were small, they stepped on your toes, when they were grown, they step on your heart. It isn’t a problem where they step, just that it was so much easier to hold them and kiss them when they were so small and after drying their eyes, it really was OK…
I love your blog, Nicole3. I love its calm assurance and its deep comfort.
Thanks for signing, “Your Friend” when you comment on my blog. It is your kindness and friendship that brightens my Walk in the Valley…
I will be praying for you and those you love…
Your Friend

28 02 2008

I never thought of checking YouTube for my readers to hear “Reverie”. Thanks for providing that. It is a breathtaking piece. Yes, I would say that we are cut from the same cloth-with our faith, our music and writing. I don’t have the background you do in growing flowers, gardens etc. However, I do enjoy working with plants. Thanks for your encouragement and friendship.

Your friend,

7 03 2008
David Web


It is so good to know you have the simple comforts which lift your spirits, and the not so simple appreciation of Debussy, as well as your music kwowledge gleaned from raw talent and the serious study therof.

It’s always going to be raining sorrow as we trudge through this life in the flesh. Of that, I harbor no doubts whatsover. It is hard to see your own children suffer, but lovely that you are there for them, and that they feel they can console themselves in you.

I am that lone wolf, apart from the pack, who can never seem to find the key to living within that sphere. As a result, even my own children are denied the full understanding they deserve.

The fact is pretty well defined within me. In God I trust, but few humans have been faithful to their word toward me, and I am happy to say that there but a few close friends in whom I could ever fully trust. It makes me happy because I know that the wheat must be separated from the chaff. There are so many hearers of the WORD, but so few doers of it.

SInce you have found consolation in the Orthodox tradition, you seem more confident, and able to bare your soul through your writings. You, Nichole, are one of the very few in this life, whom I’ve known over the long term, that hasn’t ever violated my trust.

That day is coming when everything that was hidden will be revealed, and all the backbiters and wolves in sheeps clothing will be exposed for what they really are. Of this divine day of reckoning, when all the backroom deals, frauds, evil workers, blasphemers, and artificial “god” people will be cast into the fiery pit, I wait with a quiet indignation.

This is very special lenten peiod for me somehow, and the presence of the Holy Spirit is comforting me through groanings deep within the chasm of my spirit.

Litlle Brother

8 03 2008

Dear David,
Again, what poetic thoughts you have. I’m honored that you feel like I have never betrayed you, my brother, in any way. That has been the highlight of this day. Yes, there will be a time when all the motives of all people who have ever lived will be revealed. The Orthodox Church sees this as the Great Judgement written about in Matthew 25. I’m glad you are taking some time for some quiet Lenten thoughts. You and your family are daily in my prayers.


8 03 2008

Mom, this is such a beautiful posts. It sounds poetic in many ways. Love, Vera

8 03 2008

Dear Vera,
That is such a sweet comment.

I love you,

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