For most if not all of us it’s hard heading back to work after a holiday break. For me, I returned this year knowing that one of my clients may have passed away. I knew that after 3 weeks the condition of a likely few may have not improved or deteriorated further. What I hadn’t anticipated was just how many, and just how much, and the unexpected. And how it would affect me, first week back. And so, I’ve come away knowing that I need to do something more than speaking with colleagues and with families. I also returned to work knowing that I would soon be finishing with many of my clients and colleagues due to a piece of work ending, and so I face these next few months not yet with the prospect of a fresh new year, but first with many farewells, and many endings.
Within many places I work when we sing the classic “Now is the Hour” I often make the comment, “It holds different things for different people, doesn’t it”? It’s my way of acknowledging the loss the song might hold, the memories of difficult times during war and long after, the people, the experiences, the emotions – both negative and positive. Almost every time this comment is responded to with a murmur, a few nodding heads, a look of significance that seems to say, thank you for acknowledging where I’m at.
Today I share with you this recording of “Now is the Hour” as my way of saying goodbye to those I wasn’t able to in person. I see it as a song of farewell, of acceptance, and of the idea and hope that we’ll be remembered and held in the minds of those we leave behind, whether it’s through a change of circumstances or end of life, whatever your beliefs.
They say you learn something new every day. And my clients are like fountains, pearls and springs when music is involved. Here are a few random tidbits - knowledge, wisdom and truths - I've learned along the way which you might be interested in.
I quietly loaded my instruments and gear into the delightfully large boot of my car early on Tuesday this week. Brushing out the sand from my relaxing, much needed summer break, appreciating again the wonderfully accommodating size of my station wagon's boot, I began to think about my year ahead. As I did so, I began to smile, celebrating how calm I felt in the face of my forthcoming schedule and commitments. There would be fewer places to go this year, a more focused case-list of people to see, and a glorious amount of therapeutic music to be made.
With looking forward comes reflecting back, and I began to think about my tiny red Peugeot hatchback I had when I first began my Masters and as I started out as a registered music therapist. Eager, ready to go, darting here and there going everywhere it could whenever it could. I started 2012 as a Master of Music Therapy Graduand - completed the Masters, awaiting my marks, but not yet graduated - with two contracts over two half days, and by the end of the year I had six contracts and a more than full week of work. (Putting it like that might make it sound easy, I can assure you hard work and dedication built that amount of contract work so quickly)....
NZ Registered Music Therapist, co-creator, songbird, collaborator, advocate, lover-of-music.