Kaleidoscope and Bird Storytime

I wrote and released Kaleidoscope in 2021

But It was back in 2020…when

I got the cold email when I was waiting to be picked up after some minor outpatient surgery–about an hour of needles and calculated lacerations aimed at my left leg while awake. My driver for some reason missed my texts that it was time to pick me up-stood up by a usually prompt loved one, jilted by a job I was engaged to most of the year, and only several days before Christmas. Bummer!

After 10 months of waiting, and geared toward going to training with a “mid-major airline,” they sent out a heartless “dear applicant” letter, cutting the line on all trainees in waiting. I was vetted and packed and only 2 or 3 weeks from training when the whole world shut down, but I waited, and worked on myself, and studied my pre-training lessons, and then just like that, it vanished.

While waiting, I had taken what I thought would be a temp job, about 5 months earlier, which had been beating this round peg into the square hole of bookkeeping, with a side of unfathomable receptionist/dispatcher stress. I loved it, and hated it, and knew it was not sustainable…but I kept on keeping on (for another whole year, actually)…and was very glad to be an essential worker, at least in my field, and for the brief times my duties allowed me to be round and fit, instead of square and frenetic.

It was January 2021, and I had money, thanks to having a job, but felt like I did not have time, also thanks to having a job. I determined to make time, in the midst of everything, just carve it out. I contacted a local sound engineer who had worked on a neighbor’s project, and I appreciated those pieces. We met a week later to talk, and to see if we could work together.

I brought a song that I had JUST penned, and all the enthusiasm of wanting to quickly get it out there, but I hid that as we talked about or experiences, and values etc…I pulled it out, and said, it is OK if nothing comes of it, but here is my most recent song let’s try to work on it…out came a guitar, and out came the EXACT feeling I was going for with the lyric…it was DYNAMIC!!! And the snowball rolled right on down the hill, including a rare moment where the meaning of the song got stuck in his throat and came out his tear ducts briefly, I hope he does not mind I shared that. He is a bomb.com guitarist, and he nailed my song right out of the box.

He made a backing, and we set a date to do the final vocals. Then, I postponed due to having a cold, and then for months as I experienced a front-row seat to the death of a parent. But eventually, it was appropriate to go back and finish.

I wrote the song Kaleidoscope for caregivers. There are times when caregiving, and already underpaid, usually just unpaid position is a gut-punch. There are caregivers who show up every day to give attentive and patient care, only to receive abuse, and usually also experience isolation. It is very sad that many people walking through unfathomable circumstances are also shunned. I probably could write 5 screens on that, but instead of hypothesis, I offer a song.

Caregivers are often the physical ballast, literally steadying a person whose balance has been thrown off by injury. In the same way, where there is neurological or emotional injury, or where those are tacked onto physical need, the caregiver is the ballast in the unseen as much as what is seen. Go tour an old wooden sailing ship, any old wooden sailing ship, and when you get to the lowest deck, where the ballast is you will observe chaos and odor not observed in the more orderly layout on decks above.

Have you ever handed a busy child a kaleidoscope? They stop and begin to slowly turn the outer ring, in order to see all the shapes and transitions, and the beautiful colors. They slow down and really focus, aiming the prisms at the light at the best angle to be able to see the most. Some caregivers become like a prism to the ones they care for, they become something to focus on, good or bad, and it is heavy. The glass shards are turned and ever-changing shapes can be seen. The tuning can come in the form is testing—Yes, you are bringing me food, but do you love me, let me drop this bowl onto the floor and see…or maybe you will be me whipping post, or maybe you will become my WHOLE world, I am looking to you, I am looking AT you…Sometimes someone finds their ballast, by focusing on you.

If you have a poetic bent, perhaps you can connect those thoughts to the lyric. The video is a compilation of a very round and scopic—(is that a word?) architecture. A marvelous Mid-Century Modern Building, that connected areas and structures with passageways, but no doors. Thank you Eero Saarinen and whoever undertook to Preserve the TWA Hotel at the edge of JFK Airport-and also preserve the happiest pieces of my childhood, and aviation history. The videos also feature a lone dancer working out some ballet steps and turns after class, and prior to instructing them to her next day’s classes, in a space with new well thought-out architecture designed to be free of limitations and open to all who seek to pass through.

Enjoy, be encouraged, and most of all, caregivers…be seen and valued…your sacrificial love and offerings are noted in a book that can never be erased.

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