I saw Zoë Keating in concert last night. She’s an amazing musician who makes sublime music with a cello and some looping software.
Do me a favor. In another tab, open this link. Listen to it as you read this. The piece you are hopefully listening to is called Escape Artist. It’s my favorite. I love the places it takes me, the way I feel, and the calm it brings.
My other favorite is a piece called Optimist, and it’s always been One Of Those Songs. You know. You hear it and it hits you and it’s like, “FUCK, man, this is my song. This is me. This is everything I’ve been trying to SAY.” And while Escape Artist is my favorite because of the emotional and mental places it takes me, Optimist was My Song. It was an embodiment of what I am to my core, the thing I’ve always wanted to be, who and what I am when I take off the mask. My philosophy, my purpose, my soul, conveyed in cello and software. Artistry and technology.
Optimism has been high this week, but it’s been put through the paces. It’s been a week of The ALS Show. The whole weekend was about the Walk, which gave me a boost of love and support. At the end, though, the whole day was a reminder of my disease, and a display of it’s various stages, a glimpse into my future with it. Monday my carpool was traveling so I walked to the bus and I was tired from it all day. Tuesday I had all kinds of job stress because I’ve turned into our purchasing/finance person and it was the end of the quarter. Wednesday I had the appointment with Dr. Goslin. Thursday I had a meeting with the Elder Care attorney and faced a lot of important but terrible decisions. And then a meeting with my amazing realtor and talked frankly about the practicalities of buying a house when I know I’m not going to stay there forever because eventually I am GOING to have to live in a nursing facility until the end. Friday, work was harsh, there was physical labor and stressy conversations, and then the concert. Finally. The concert.
I sat in a dark room, with strangers, listening to my soul resonating. And out of nowhere, I had the thought:
This is what I want to hear as I die.
It just came as a true statement, and I could clearly imagine this sublime music playing as I slipped away, and everything would be calm and perfect. I started crying, and it was a comforting, profound moment of perfect acceptance. I am going to die. And it is still going to be okay. I cried as I sat in the theater and listened to her pouring her heart out through her cello, and I knew for a fact that it was going to be alright. No one noticed that I was crying, it was just the music and I, and it was perfect and calm and connected. With astounding clarity, the universe reached out and touched my shoulder through her music, and whispered to me of comfort and love and understanding.
I keep this blog, and it helps me put order to chaos. I have a job, and it keeps me grounded. I have a fantastic, amazing support group, and they give me strength and hope to survive every day. I have music to keep me sane.
I am, at my heart, an optimist. I’m going to be okay. Somehow. Even if I die, that will be okay, too. It’s going to work out, and on days like this, in moments like this, I am in perfect peace and acceptance.
And now you should listen to Optimist. It would be a perfect end, for this to be the last thing I ever hear. And so I leave it here for you, with love and acceptance and faith that it really IS going to be okay.