Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Swallow's Nest Mandala Revisited / "All The Little Birds"

This morning while reading at our local newspaper's website just before 7 a.m., I noticed this headline for an evening musical event.  For some reason -- unclear to me but significant in its outcome -- I clicked on the headline to read more.  These days I rarely go to any events in the evening because I go to bed very early so that I can wake up between 4 and 5 a.m. without needing an alarm clock and get 8 to 9-1/2 hours of sleep.  For that matter, I rarely go to live music events or public gatherings, preferring to spend my social time in walking and in meeting with friends daily at breakfast time.

There was something compelling about the intensity of the gaze of the young woman next to young man in the news article's photo, and the mention of "Child Ballads" drew me in further.  Next I clicked on the link to Anaïs Mitchell's website, while musing that she was likely named after Anaïs Nin. There I found myself moved by the fascinating shifting nature of the image on the cover of the album she had recorded with Jefferson Hammer.  Entering the website, I clicked on "Media" and went to her videos.  I scrolled down, and the words "Mad River Rising" caught my eye, as I had spent some time years ago near the Mad River in Humboldt County in Northern California.  What also caught my eye was the name "Daniel Houghton" as the director of the video and that the animation was done by students at Middlebury College in Vermont. On my mother's side of the family are people named Haughton who came from Ireland to Canada to New England, and I idly wondered if Daniel Houghton were a distant relative.  I also thought of bev and her new stringed instruments from Vermont.

This is a classic example of how I am drawn into the internet by chance clicks that lead me places I never expected to be -- where I feel things I never expected to feel, where things I never expected to heal can begin to heal through the creative efforts of others.

Before I left to meet with my friends, I had watched the first half of the video and found myself in tears but didn't want to be late for my friends.

Caught up in the stories of my friends, I forgot my tears until a few hours later when I returned home and finished watching the 13-minute video:

I didn't realize how much I had needed the relief of unexpected tears in these few days after the anniversary of my father's death in 2003 and the anniversary of yet another time that my Richard nearly died but was resuscitated in 2008.  He lived for another month -- just long enough for me to be able to visit with him in the ICU before he died in the afternoon of April 20, 2008.

Although I didn't pick up all the details on the first watching, the second time I did notice many significant details I had missed the first time including the Scandinavian knitting pattern that my mother had used when she made a pillow for me many years ago:

The pattern now seems to me to be of four little birds.

Here's the commentary for "Mad River Rising":

And footage of the Vermont flood of 1927:

Watching this little animated film today was healing for me on so many levels.  I take heart when I see what younger creative people are doing with their energy these days.  Although I won't be able to stay up late to hear Anaïs Mitchell and Jefferson Hammer in person, I am grateful to have discovered them today through the magic of the internet.

(the photo at the top of the post came from a post of mine from 2010 called "Swallow's Nest Mandala.")


Sabine said...

This is so lovely and so strange because I know of Daniel Houghton. His wife went to school with my daughter for a few years when they were maybe 10 yrs old, a time of campfires, sleepovers and silly dance classes. They are once again on different continents but, you know, facebook...

Anyway, six degrees of separation in action.

am said...

Sabine -- Yes. Lovely and strange. Fills me with wonder and gratitude. I'm still a little teary. In a good way.

bev said...

The music and the animated movie are wonderful. Yes, so good to see such works being created by young people.

This has been an odd week for me too. For most of last weekend, I felt the need to let go of my emotions for awhile. There were a couple of things that got me thinking about my dad (who also died on St. Patrick's Day 1999 at the age of 69), and also of Don who was becoming increasingly ill in March 2008. I wondered if I would be up to playing at the St. Patrick's Day jam that our celtic group had planned. Fortunately, there is something about making music that lifts the spirit so much that all turned out well.

Your description of "chance clicks" on the internet is so familiar. There is a certain serendipity about some of these explorations!

am said...

bev -- Good to know that you made the decision to play at the St. Patrick's Day jam. For me, those decisions are important turning points, and I find that I have unexpected inner resources as a result.