Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, September 14, 2009

Weekend Wrap up - Magical Moments

Last Friday my senior chorus, The Choralaires, performed at The Cottages, an assisted living facility for alzheimer and dementia patients. These residents are, for the most part, pretty out of it. If you look into their eyes, they're vacant. No one home anymore. It breaks my heart. Kris Kristoffersen wrote a beautiful song called "Hello in There" that speaks of this.

Sitting in the front row, I was about three or four feet from a man with empty eyes. As we sang, he stared into space, his oxygen tank hissing, his right arm partially raised--why, I don't know.
We sang eight or nine songs, saving "Que Sera Sera" for last. When I glanced in his direction, I saw his lips mouthing the correct words to the song. With tears streaming down my cheeks, I sang for him. It was a magical moment. There is something about music that reaches those whose minds have gone somewhere else. Something that allows us to remember words to songs when we don't remember our own names or our familiy members names or where we lived or what we did.

My community service work is bringing music to those who can no longer get out to hear it. It doesn't matter if I forget the words, or don't sing completely on pitch for each and every note. That man mouthing along is what it's all about. Touching someone's heart, even if they can't let me know in the normal ways, that they've been touched. What a blessing and an honor it is to be able to do that. Here's to more magical moments in all our lives.


P.S. I was contacted by the following website and this is the result - Some of you will be surprised to find your names and books mentioned as well.

What is Karen Walker reading?
Writers Read: Karen Walker


Tabitha Bird said...

Love this post. Makes me smile :)

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

What a touching post. I'm always amazed at how certain songs have the ability to bring back specific memories.

Thanks for mentioning my book in the other blogs. I am very honored and appreciative.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

You're right, something about music that connects with people. If that one man was the only one that day, then it was still worth it!

L. Diane Wolfe “Spunk On A Stick”

JStantonChandler said...

What a wonderful story. I know they appreciate you guys coming out to sing. Even if they can't show it or express it, I know they appreciate it. I used to work at a retirement home. Every little gesture is appreciated in some way.

The Old Silly said...

Music is the universal language and the WORD that ties us together in love. Great post, I can see you are being blessed. I'll check out the link, too.

Marvin D Wilson

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I think music touches a chord that's buried really deeply in us. He might not have remembered a book he'd read or a movie he'd seen or a painting he knew.....but the music brought him back. That's amazing, Karen. Thanks for sharing the story.


Anonymous said...

Here's to those magical moments! And one of those is having Karen over at my blog today... Stop by and read a fabulous interview about her process of writing a memoir. I'm rarely online lately since I'm away at this writer's retreat, but wanted to stop by and say THANK YOU!

N A Sharpe said...

Wow. I know they really do appreciate it when someone reaches out to them like that. I think music is a wonderful medium for connecting to people. That certainly was a magical moment.

Nancy from Realms of Thought

Jody Hedlund said...

My children and I regularly visit a nearby nursing home. I have to remind them that their smiles and love touch the residents, even if the "grandmas and grandpas" don't remember them from the last visit. Those tiny moments of holding a hand, or sharing a song, can brighten the resident's days, even if they don't understand who we are or why we're there.

Galen Kindley--Author said...

Just a wonderful story, Karen. It's gotta be a great feeling to bring joy to others, but especailly others who may need it most. Great job and keep up the good work.

Best Regards, Galen
Imagineering Fiction Blog

Zarena said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience, Karen! Such a great reminder of how simple and deep connections can be!

Patricia Stoltey said...

What a touching story, Karen. I wonder what that song meant to the man that he could recall the words in spite of his memory loss.

And I was thrilled to see what Karen Walker is reading. What a cool blog connection.

Helen Ginger said...

What a moment that must have been for you. I wasn't even there and it made me tear up.

Straight From Hel