The soulful weeping of the tenor sax causes wave-like movements of emotion within me when I hear the old blues music. The sensations are laid down in a layered formation; the foundation is the beat, and it builds on the story told ~ with or without words. I think the blues and jazz music often mingle. Jazz carrying the “be-bop” element is yellow bright, in contrast to the blues which are shadowy tones leaning toward bruised shades. Throw in an acoustic, or maybe an electric guitar, old-time southern piano, and the music can flow in either direction. I compare them to a pair of train tracks traveling along together, veering apart on occasions only to merge once more. I relish the ride.
I chuckle when I imagine repeating these thoughts to my group of six, “the world’s grandest” grandchildren, since they are incredulous when discussing topics that include “Grandma and deep thoughts and/ or feelings,” in the same conversation… Perhaps, the discussion would resemble this:
Them~ “Uh, music can make you emotional? Wha-ch ya’ mean? Sad? Happy?"
Me~ “No; I mean deep and personal, thought provoking…”
Them~ “Blues, jazz… weren’t they from a couple of centuries back? You can actually say the word ‘acoustic!’ You know what it means? Shouldn’t you be making chocolate-chip cookies? You said something about being moved; does that have anything to do with, uh, uh your bowels? No? I’m out of here!”
Me~ (in action and thought) I would (most likely) jump back into my grandma suit and become the comfortable object of their affection; the one they know so well. “Oh yeah?”
What if I told them (in my style) the memories I have of the strings of the classical guitar being artistically plucked by a young man in a black tuxedo. Twenty years ago this formal attire was foreign enough in our church, but not much less than the playing of a guitar. How the times have changed; we now have live music on Sunday mornings and no one has lost their hearing, no one has experienced deadly attacks due to the music’s rhythm pulling one's heart rhythm out of sync. I love it. I clap; yes, I clap! My grandchildren don’t mind this, but it is rather off-putting for them because I can’t keep time, I have to watch their hands without seeming to, but they notice; uh-huh.
Now; let’s go back to the young man and his beautiful classical music. (A sure-fire way to bring on another monumental sharing moment.) “I was lifted to another realm as worship fell all around. It was as though I was transported to the very gates of heaven. When his mini concert was over, I longed for more, my praise and celebration were wafting on the vibrations and sounds of strings being caressed by steel like nails on nimble fingers. I absorb this type of music thought my skin, and it goes right to the heart of me; it draws me to pure worship. My Lord and I; bound by the strong rushing flow, as though lashed together for all eternity by a melody, of salvation and thanksgiving”
This particular “soul swaying” musical conversation would surely bring forth glazed focuses, and lips twitching wordlessly while trying to keep up with the questions grandma’s reflections brought to mind. And, yes, I can read their minds:
Them~ (in thought only, taking care not to be audible since it’s near Christmas!) “Who is this woman, was that empty bottle of pure vanilla full when I came in a while ago? She has been looking at young men, in tuxedos? Where’s Grandpa? She thinks she has been whipped by music. Wonder if I should take her for a walk, better yet shopping? Classical music? It’s her speech that's classic!”
I do like to startle them occasionally; I break off a piece of my mind and let it casually slip out from behind my teeth and enjoy the air for a while. I think it adds emphasis to the points I try to make. Influencing the direction of their pathway is my desire. I pray they will investigate ~ be aware of ~ the life God has given them. My prayer is ~ as they pass through earthly circumstances ~ they will learn to look deep within themselves, to search out those special, spiritual, and often secret ways God speaks. He can use every life situation to make Himself known to a heart He is pursuing.
Some things I’m sure to say to my grandchildren, along the way, in general, and at most any time; in my own particular or, peculiar leading way. ”I, your Grandmother, am more than a plump, willing, and pleasing “patsy” (easy victim) for you, although I love being that. I am a real person; I have loved well, oh yes I have. I can fight; I have fought battles no one knows, and have been the victor. I can reason, and I understand you; I possess logic, and know without Jesus and His armor, I am lost. Seeking His knowledge and wisdom has strengthened my faith. My seasons on earth have not been lived in fairy-land, but in brick and mortar-land where feelings are important, yet experiences are vital. I’d like to think I’ve lived my life in His purpose. Christ living in me is my purpose.”
“God gave me some odd, but pleasing blessings; one of which ~ even though I have no rhythm, or play an instrument ~ is to be touched and re-defined by music. He also gave me the desire to share with you the woman who lurks inside your loving grandma, so from time to time I will. Be prepared, for although you may find this unsettling, someday as you look into a mirror I will flash across your face; you will see a bit of me in the way you smile, wink, or scratch your neck. Furthermore, when you speak I will slip through; you may swallow me down, but I’ll find my way back out again, for I’ll never be just a memory, I am a part of you.”
Remember, I love each one of you with all my hear. You ask can I do that all at once, and how can that be? It is a mystery of God. He owns my heart; I gave it away to Him many years ago, and He can work His wonders with it. One thing more; listen to the music! He may be singing the words in your heart, and yes, it’s ok ~ be emotional.
I’m going back to the kitchen now. Butter should be soft, come on in; we’ll turn the radio music on low and see what we can stir up…
Here are some biblical truisms to instill in grandchildren as you use God~given instincts, talents, and special grandmotherly ways.
Proverbs 14: 1-13
1 Lady Wisdom builds a lovely home; Sir Fool comes along and tears it down brick by brick.
2 An honest life shows respect for God; a degenerate life is a slap in his face.
3 Frivolous talk provokes a derisive smile; wise speech evokes nothing but respect.
4 No cattle, no crops; a good harvest requires a strong ox for the plow.
5 A true witness never lies; a false witness makes a business of it.
6 Cynics look high and low for wisdom—and never find it; the open-minded find it right on their doorstep!
7 Escape quickly from the company of fools; they’re a waste of your time, a waste of your words.
8 The wisdom of the wise keeps life on track; the foolishness of fools lands them in the ditch.
9 The stupid ridicule right and wrong, but a moral life is a favored life.
10 The person who shuns the bitter moments of friends will be an outsider at their celebrations.
11 Lives of careless wrongdoing are tumbledown shacks; holy living builds soaring cathedrals.
12-13 There’s a way of life that looks harmless enough; look again it leads straight to hell. Sure, those people appear to be having a good time, but all that laughter will end in heartbreak. Sift and weigh every Word. (The Message Version)
Perhaps someday I’ll hear, “Well done good and faithful, Grandma’!”