Priorities are funny things. You have to set them. But first you have to recognize those things that are important to you. Really important. Things that make a difference. Things that help make you whole.
When I left California for Hawaii, I said -- out loud and probably in writing -- that I was leaving behind most of those things by which I define myself. Some of them I couldn't do anything about. I cannot bring Ray back. My children are grown and have lives of their own. There wasn't room to bring a sewing machine or guitar, much less the accumulated genealogical library. So Mr. Purrkins and I came to Hawaii -- and then Mr. Purrkins succumbed to the same horrible disease that took Ray. I still sleep with his favorite quilt.
There's no room for anything else in this house. Really. If it's mine, it needs to fit in that 9x12' bedroom which also houses all my mother's cook books, her accounting documents, and part of her genealogy library. These aren't occasional use items -- she's in them daily, sometimes several times a day. She's stored them in that same space for 30 years. Moving them isn't part of her agenda. I did buy a sewing machine. It found a corner to live in by replacing a non-functional sewing machine. The room is f-u-l-l. Very full.
Those space constraints have kept me away from music. That and "noise". I am continually surprised that deafness and noise are not mutually exclusive. Noise is an irritation. Music is part of who I am. I recognize that "itch" when around a piano, guitar, even a harp or a drum playing "music of the people" -- any people. My fingers reach for chord patterns. My foot taps the cadence. I sit in church an remember the joy of being part of a music team at a Cursillo Retreat or Quiet Day, of making music with friends. Then someone offered me the opportunity to play again -- with new friends. He was even willing to find me an instrument to borrow. For several days my heart lifted, my step lightened. Days began to fill with color. Then it dawned on me. If just the promise of having an instrument in my hands, of making music again, could touch me so deeply, then it wasn't right to depend on a loan or the kindness of a relative stranger. It was important to make the investment myself, both financially and in a space for an instrument.
Yesterday I went shopping. I found a new guitar, not fancy, but adequate, made in China, for $300. OK. Cheaper than the sewing machine, and I managed that. Tried another store. These folks carry both new and used instruments. Their best offer was used, $109, with a soft case for an additional $10. Is this what I am supposed to do? If it is still there tomorrow, it's coming home with me. If it isn't, I will continue looking. The right instrument is out there, waiting for me to find it.
Thank you, Lord, for helping me -- again -- to realize what's important in my life. Thank you for giving me the courage to act on this one thing.
Look up. Give thanks. Don't forget to pray!