Sunday, February 28, 2010

Music in My Life

Recently I've had the privilege of listening to a lot of good music in a matter of days. This has gotten me thinking about music in my life. A week ago I went to see Brigadoon at Notre Dame. I'm not real familiar with the show so I wasn't overly excited to see it, but I always enjoy the NDA musicals and this was my last one, so I went. I went alone because that's the way it worked out. I was fortunate enough to sit with my good friend Angelo, so all worked out. But what a treat to enter the world of Brigadoon with the talented singers and dancers and musicians at NDA. Chris Gray, a fellow staff member, played bagpipes beautifully. The singers were right on the money and the dancing was incredible! Musical theater has been in my life as long as I can remember! (Thanks, Mom and Dad!) Then two days ago I ended up at a concert in Appleton seeing my favorite Christian singer/songwriter Mark Schultz. Point of Grace was touring with him on the Come Alive! tour. This was the first stop on their spring leg of the tour. My fourth time to see Mark Schultz. Here, the experience was entirely different. Again I ended up alone at the show (with 500-600 others in attendance) and sitting by Dennis? who bought me a water. Anyhow, I love Mark Schultz's music and voice and piano playing. For me his music helps me reconnect with my soul and my God. What a renewal! I find this to be true every time I hear him or listen to his music. Of course I bought 2 more CD's and managed to get autographs this time as well as a picture with him on my phone! (But that is another story.) In this case, music was a spiritual experience. The following night (last night) I was able to see live, local talent in two establishments in Green Bay. One, a male vocalist/guitarist with a clipped style but a diverse reperatoire from Buffet to Pop to rock to Latin. Next place (Smokehouse) a man and woman couple, smooth vocals and guitars, clear tones, sweet and soothing. Perfect to tune in to or chat to. Altogether I must have listened to music last night for 5 hours! What a joy in my life? What would I do without it? And now I'm off to church. The kids and I will be listening to His Way, an ecumenical group in Green Bay that Brent has just joined. What kind of experience will it be?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Beginnings come from endings

What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from. T.S. Eliot

Anyone reading this blog already knows our upcoming endings and beginning. We'll be leaving Green Bay and heading for S. Korea. It doesn't getting any more "new beginning" than that!
We've known this new truth for several months already. This is a good thing; it's like having a baby - having several months to prepare is a GOOD thing.

What's been done: we've sold our house, resigned our jobs, found new ones, begun sorting and storing our stuff, and applied for passports.
What's being done: I'm training the new IB Coordinator, we're deciding what to do with our dog, our TV, our cars, and our stuff (what goes with us, gets stored with family or in a pod, or gets sold or given away). We're gathering our Visa documents, communicating with KIS, and waiting for passports to arrive. I'm working on learning some Korean.
What's left to do: Completing the shutting down of the our US home and my job, getting our AP training, having a bunch of summer fun, and saying our good byes.

And this is where the reflective element of a blog comes into play. . . .
Saying Good-byes
I've said good-bye before. I've said good-bye at 2 (I don't remember that) at 7 (I barely remember that) at 15 (that was the hardest one) at 18 (smooth transition to college) at 22 (hardest thing in my life - to say good bye to my friend Marsha who passed away) at 22 (exhilarating summer in France on my own and then off to start a career - all went well) at 26 (again, smooth transition to Green Bay and married life) and again at 37 (good bye to couplehood and hello to parenthood - also more smoothly that I anticipated). So, I've gone through this "endings lead to beginnings" or "beginnings are rooted in endings" thing enough to know that everything will be alright. THIS TIME I'll actually have my family with me (as in my husband and kids). Yes, I'll be leaving behind co-workers and friends - but those who are meant to be a part of my life will continue to be a part of my life. I have lots of friends that span space and time - change doesn't always bring an end to friendships. Yes, I'll be leaving behind my language, culture, and community - but I've done that before and found it exciting and enriching to learn another culture and use another language. Yes, I'll be leaving behind family - but I've done that before and one thing I know is that MY family is always available to me, even at a distance (thanks to today's technologies!) Yes, I'll be leaving behind security - but I've done that before, too, and at this time in my life, I'm ready to mix it up a bit.

So. . . I'm not feeling too intimidated by the endings. In part, because I do KNOW that endings lead to new beginnings!

And so, this blog is a new beginning, as well. I've never written a blog before! I hope this is one of many. I hope to get into somewhat of a habit now so that when we get to Korea I can keep you all updated on our lives and what we are living and learning.

God Bless,
Brenda