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Classics in whatever genre—words, notes, pigment, marble, metal—require the artist to dig for inspiration into his/her psyche, realm of the Sacred. Facilitating the process is a servant heart, a willingness to change direction, and a letting go of the work—it never being finished. Indeed, the artist is co-creating with the Creator of the universe and learning a new way of being-inside-and-outside of the world.  Fortunately for us, there have always been such individuals who embraced this sacrifice of arduous becoming.

Aaron Copland is one of these artists whose music invariably opens me to the Beautiful where interludes of stillness speak. Appalachian Spring (1944), commissioned for the dancer Martha Graham and company and interwoven between the 1848 tune, Shaker Gifts, evokes such gentle hushes. Its war-weary audiences flocked to performances, their psyches uplifted by this new vision-in-sound that was awarded the 1945 Pulitzer Prize for Music. 

War-weary myself this afternoon, I turned away from the news and listened to Appalachian Spring, scored for a chamber orchestra of thirteen instruments; its barely audible opening notes excised my scrambled psyche of turmoil and pried open my imagination. Immediately, I was in another world, deeply soothed, until twenty-five minutes later, again muted notes brought closure to the piece, and with it, an aching within me.

But the memory remains…

At 3 A.M., I woke with this consoling dream:

It’s early spring, moist, fresh greening everywhere. I’m healthy, tanned, and stand tall, soft winds teasing my short white hair. I decide to shop for a new outfit to honor the season and step inside a Women’s Boutique. Inside, most of the clothing is made of the same wide striped light green and white fabric, billowy in texture. I’m thrilled. The barrette on the matching hat also draws customers’ interest. I’m delighted by my selection of the dress and hat.

Another glimpse into my psyche shows more healing of my femininity, one that is pure gift from Higher Power, despite periodic episodes of grief.

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.”

And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

From Genesis 1:11 – 13

We give thanks …

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