Here I Open Up - Heart To Heart Purge For The New Year

Suzanne Claire Photography -Untermyer Garden

So I never really shared much about my evolving life.  It’s not something I find easy to do. Course I know it’s not as if I have to, or that my life is somehow great material for an interesting novel. I mean it’s not as if I periodically went to Mars and spent time there learning about Martian culture. Mars was originally my rising planet of my zodiac sign. Pluto, was previously my planet. But as this planet is now hiding behind some other planet, I gathered by my astrological ancestors, felt they had to migrate back to Mars.  So now Mars is back to being my rising planet.  Anyway, I felt a need for the New Year to open up a little. Not a lot. Just a bit, to open doors, and I will explain that in a minute. It doesn’t seem to be in my personality to open up fully. I’m half Introverted and half extroverted.  It’s like being half earthling and half Martian.

What that means to me is that I love to talk with people and be around them, but other times I need to be by myself to refuel and to allow transformation.  We introverts do a lot of that by the way. You know who you are if you are one.   But back to the reason I wanted to open up a little. It’s because I feel the universe has a lot to offer. The Lord, the Angels of Gifts, and the universe, have presented me with a doorway of gifts and opportunities. They have shown them to me, from a distance.  And in the months ahead I will be able to share them with you. But I’m not to touch them because there are some things I feel I need to do in order to accept the gifts from the Divine.  And that is to purge from crippling inhibition.  This does not mean, loss of virtue or anything to loose self respect.  It’s what we commonly recognize as fear.   

Now we will always have fear.  We need it, to watch what’s in front and what's in back of us.  In my case it’s what's in back of me.  What’s in back of me is crippling me in a way that renders me to stand still and never move. And in addition to being afraid to move, there is a big fear of change. I believe in climate change yes. But I’m speaking of personal change. And I have to say climate change and personal change can be rough. It’s shocking and totally unexpected.  Before I continue, I just want say this is not a self pity post.  It is more of a recognition of what I need to do to move forward in life, so here it goes.  One of the biggest purge is discussing the loss of my Dad.
My pai.  Poppa to my brother Jerome, and Roni to my Mom.  We all have lost a loved one in our lives.  And we know that it’s the most painful thing.  My Dad past away in May of 2013. One of my parents.  The one I have seen since I was a baby, passed away at 76 years of age. Too young, if you asked me. But God called him home. Yes.  I know I don’t have to accept that he is gone, but I have. And therefore, I talk and pray to him every night. I know, as my Mom told me, that I will always miss him.  My Mom, who I somewhat watch like a hawk!!! lives in Luanda, Angola, and she is well. My Mom is vibrant and if you look her she looks magnificent.   And I have expressed to Mom, WHAT THE HELL AM I GOING TO DO WITHOUT YOU, IF GOD TAKES YOU HOME? We talked about this.  I have asked Mom to stay as long as she can, which she agreed as long as she could. When Dad passed, I told Mom, immediately, not to follow Daddy.

The thing of it is, is that because I had both parents, I felt no need to move forward too much.  I was comfortable, knowing that my parents were around.  They were my support, my security.  Not financial.  Although who doesn’t mind receiving $20 from your parents now and then. Ok $50.  Twenty is good money but $50 as side gift is nice!!!  I pay my bills no problem because I do work. I love my work at Manhattan School of Music and other non profit organizations. So I have security in that sense.  I got my emotional support from my Parents mostly. They were people I loved to hang out with.  Even when I was in high school.  When they went to receptions, they would drag me along.  Not all the time, parents needed time alone (I knew nothing about that then). But my parents were really my life. I had friends and other family members. But everyone has their lives.  My parents were my life security really. Don’t get me wrong, I love to live my own life. But, because of my parents I felt I had everything I ever needed.  But because of the death of my Dad, my security expired.  And I can’t renew it either. And I’m more afraid than I have ever been. I really make sure that I’m there for Mom.  She calls for advice at times. But I’m the one who really needs her.   And if I don’t stand up, and take hold, I will miss gift opportunities that would be presented to me. Opportunities that would help me make a difference in this world. And I would just loose myself inside a big void.  I would loose my self completely, not knowing who I was or would even cared to ask. I have never spoken to anyone about my Dad’s passing.  I couldn’t bring myself to saying it.  There were only three people I spoke to the day my Dad passed.  My brother, My besty (who lost both her parents in two years) and who I cried uncontrollably to on the phone, right after I got the call from big brother (who I love very much) and my beau, who is my soulmate. Mom, I couldn’t talk to then, for I knew it was too painful for her.  In personality, I’m more like my Dad.  We sometimes suffer inside, but I realize that it’s just not healthy at all.  There are people who care to listen to you and be there for you. But I know, as we all know, that sometimes when you are caught up in your own emotions and pain it’s hard to see that or believe that it’s there.

So what does this all mean.  I wanted to get this all out in the open.  I needed to say this out loud. I guess I needed to be open about my Dad to you and how it has really effected my communicating in general.  I post fun things but  they really mean a load of beans, if you didn’t know the person who was sending them.  I didn’t know myself really.  This is a bit of a breakthrough, this.  To find myself.  And in order to unlock this door and to reach the opportunities I feel that God is showing me. I have to find out who I am.  Because it’s been buried behind loss for a long time.  

The good things: music and writing. This is mostly my loves work.  I make dolls, and I have a doll business, but it’s not really going too well. Mostly because I haven’t really advocated for it much to my targeted audience. And I don’t know who they are either. I’m an artist. I finally had to admit that to myself. The work I do is art not really doll maker for children to toss up and down.  

Back In The Day Band

Music: Now some of you have seen a band I’m in called Back In The Day.  They are a wonderful group of people you ever want to meet.  And fabulous musicians. I have been working on music of my own in addition to this.  Each of the band members have their own pet musical projects.  Now, in the band, we sing and play Rock and R&B music from the 70s and 80s. 

Back In The Day Band

My own is Eclectic New Age. In addition to this project, I sing as a professional Cantor at my Church Saint Pius X in New York.  

Spirit of Heart Album

I sing twice a month now, Saturday and Sunday. I’m  also in the choir. But if you are ever in the Scarsdale area, you will definitely see me at Easter, Easter Vigil and Christmas masses.  After my Dad’s passing, I for some reason started writing lyrics and music. I got the go ahead from my Mom.  I basically wrote songs about finding purpose and all that and then recorded it.  I’m not sure what the hell to do with it, but it was something I had to do. I guess to see if I had it in me to do such a thing. Like writing a book. What lead me to do this, was after singing at my Dad’s funeral.  I sang Amazing Grace, in acapella.  I gave it my all. Was it hard to do?  I sing at funerals, as part of being a cantor at my church. My goal is to make them feel comforted, to let the family and friends know that they are comforted. I aim to create an environment, with my singing, that is peaceful, tranquil and to let them know that in their grief, that we the church are with them, and that the love of their loved ones, is present in the church. God and the ones they loved is one of the same. At my Dad’s funeral, I am his daughter, the cantor.  After all, Amazing Grace was my Dad’s favorite song. 
Who wants to be crying in the middle of it, to botch it up.  My Dad wouldn’t want that.
My Mom was shocked.

Spirit of Heart - Songs

Ok, you should know that both my parents were tough when it came to singing or musicianship. They could tell if you were slightly and totally off (who wouldn’t) but they would make no bones about telling you that!!! Mom loved the singing! That is huge!!!! coming from Mom. Mom said the Pastor and Bishop were crying. The choir was humming behind me after the 4th verse.  It was a gift my Dad sent me, along with Grandpa, (Mom’s Dad, who was an organist) Papa (Dad’s Dad - a writer) and Grandma (Mom’s Mom-educator)  

Suzanne Claire Photography

So Music is where I needed to be. That’s why you see photos of me with the harp. I play harp for my Church at Christmas time.  It’s glorious. I’m not virtuoso.  But I can improvise and play my favorite song Make Us One by Gary Walth and Child of Our Dreams by Marty Haugen. I also indulge in cheerful glissandos and arpeggios!  In any case the harp is a big part of my Eclectic New Age project.    

Through your photos on Facebook, people can come to know you well. You know, what’s important to you, what you like and dislike. I haven’t been able to tell you anything of that about myself. At least the things that really matter. Actually the photos I post, matter, just they may seem unlinked.  It’s almost sometimes unconnected.  No it doesn’t need to be, it just depends on what you want to share. I really wanted to share this (and it’s a lot!!!) but it’s a start.  I’m thinking 2016 will be in the clear, to begin to work on things that really matter.  May your days be filled with happiness and serenity.  Liz