MUSIC NOTES, by Catherine Massey
This summer has given me the opportunity to prepare for a fresh start, in the process of remodeling my study. Pulling everything out of a room that has been mine for 23 years was a daunting task. I didn’t have time to do much with it before remodeling happened. Now that I have a beautiful room with all the things I really love in it, I am very selective about what I will keep. I’m not quite finished.
Some things had not even looked at in all that time. I have been very brave. I have thrown away, given away, repurposed, reimagined. I don’t want someone else to have to do this for me. This room has so much potential for creativity and joy and comfort, I am motivated to keep intentional about it, have no clutter, and actively choose everything that goes there.
Now every book I own has its place on a shelf. There are no random stacks of books anywhere. I have found gems to keep, such as my Broadway Playbill for Death of a Salesman with Dustin Hoffman (and John Malkovich!), a cassette tape recording of my high school senior piano recital, and all of Tammy’s old radio shows for KRWG-FM (Femme du Jour on Café Eclectic, Sounds of Change). I repainted one old bookcase, now with all my books on tap to read next, my crosswords, my UU meditation manuals, travel books and coffee table books ready at hand, in one place. I have washed and given away the last of my mother’s handmade clothes for me, and all her sewing supplies, which I neatly sorted. My early feelings of fear and reluctance have been replaced by empowerment and release.
New opportunities have opened up that could not have been predicted if I hadn’t pulled old suff out and prepared for the new.
The things that make me happy are still here. The dress I wore to interview John Kay of the rock group Steppenwolf as editor for my junior high newspaper is gone. But my friend Robbin shared her memory of that story, and that meant more than the dress. New opportunities have opened up that could not have been predicted if I hadn’t pulled all that stuff out and prepared for the new. Now it feels like I am ready for anything.
This afternoon I’ve been practicing the theme to “On Golden Pond” for Sunday’s worship service. It is a beautiful piece, bringing to my mind a mixture of yearning and presence. That makes it possible for me to feel tender about the past and hopeful for the future, simultaneously.
This month we welcome our new minister, Rev. Xolani. We have done a lot of work to get here, including reflecting and clearing out to make room. Look at the joyful space we have now. Imagine all the possibilities.
Catherine Massey, Director of Music
UUMN Credentialed Music Leader