Saturday, March 31, 2012

Rhythm

Thursday a few hours after my treatment, I walked over to the pool.  On the way there my heart was pounding, I thought about counting the steps, but then that seemed a bit OCD, and I have enough issues so will refrain from adding that to the list.  While there, I got into the pool and did a few slow laps, laid in the sun until it seemed way to hot and walked back.  On the way back without thinking, I said out loud, "its not hard to walk".  It took me by surprise and its even a difficult nuance to describe to others when its hard to understand myself.  Once again an effort I knew was there but thought about in different ways...such as I am walking too far, or I'm fatigued thus its hard to walk, but not until the effort was removed did I see it in reverse.  It wore off quickly, but a glimpse was there - I will take the glimpse.

I'm relaying that story more for myself, because the last 24 hours have been rough.  I feel starving but everything I eat takes energy I don't have, or doesn't taste very good.  The mundane eating routine that I have been accustomed to due to the excessive food allergies have gotten me down.  I'm craving something as simple as a banana or a pear.  I am in a mental state that despite all the progress I feel weighted down and overwhelmed by the enormity of my loss of rhythm.

In fifth grade our choir sang this song, "Rhythm of Life" and bits of the lyrics along with the image of our theatrical and frustrated chorus teacher Mr. Tomcheck  keep running through my brain. 

"Stomp Stomp (left / right) ..."Rhythm" vocal high...Stomp Stomp (left /right)..."Rhythm"....Stomp Stomp..."Rhythm of LLLLLIIIIIIIFFFFFFFFEEEE"...."is a powerful beat" Snap Snap..."puts a rhythm in your finger" Snap Snap "a rhythm in your feet" ....hmmm hmmm...."to feel the rhythm of life" (high vocal)" "to feel the powerful beat' (low vocal)...."to feel the rhythm in your fingers, to feel the rhythm in your feet...""Baby you've got the" dun dun "Rhythm (high vocal)" dun dun "Rhythm (low vocal)" "Rhythm of LIFE!"

I can still remember being on those risers belting out that song.  In my quiet grade school Mr. Tomcheck was one of these things not like the others, with his bleached blond hair and short temper, quite a contrast to most of my maternal teacher's up to that point.  His constant strive for perfection out of a bunch of kids was impressive.  In hindsight, perhaps he was someone who had dreams of being on Broadway...name in lights....directed by famed choir director...Mr. Tomcheck - instead he tended a beautiful rose garden in a house less than a mile from our suburban grade school, but damn if he wasn't going to make it the best grade school choir ever - even if it meant a red face that often looked like it would burst and a chair flying through the room.  

I feel a bit like Mr. Tomcheck, working below my league.  Mr. Tomcheck did his best, by making us our best - just like I am trying to do, make the best out of these circumstances.  But the best just doesn't seem good enough.  And today I thought - I'm never going to be my old self again - and of course no one can turn back time (Cher reference unintentional), but some days even close to my previous self seems out of reach.

I try to create a rhythm,  but it is a manufactured one.  This illness has become the puppeteer pulling my strings determining the beat.  Its tough at times to remind myself that those around me have the fast paced rhythm that I too enjoyed.  I have to consciously tell myself when phone calls get un-returned, emails unanswered that I use to be like that....have a rhythm, have too much to do in too little time.  Instead now I spend too much time watching the world go round and round....again song reference unintentional...I must be channeling my music teacher! 

I never knew Mr. Tomcheck in a personal capacity, so obviously I am just conjecturing - but even if he didn't have those dreams, he deserved them - he was that good.  Because thirty years later, I still remember our Michael Jackson montage,  the red wigged Annie tribute that a handful of us bought to local Nursing Homes, and through out the years that song, Stomp Stomp Rhythm....comes sneaking out from my youth - reminding me there is a rhythm, I might just have to change the beat.

And while I may fight to gain my old one, there is no denying Mr. Tomchack you always claimed yours.

The following link is another wonderful tribute from someone who is a better position to do so....from A Composer's Life, By Daron Hagen
Remembering Wally

Here are the Lyrics I found....


When I started down the street last Sunday
feeling mighty low and kind of mean
Suddenly a voice said go forth neighbor
spread the picture on a wider screen
And the voice said neighbor there's a million reasons
why you should be glad in all four seasons
Hit the road neighbor leave your worries and strife
Spread the religion of the rhythm of life

Chorus
For the rhythm of life is a powerful beat
Puts a tingle in your fingers and a tingle in your feet
rhythm on the inside rhythm in the street
and the rhythm of life is a powerful beat
To feel the rhythm of life
To feel the powerful beat
To feel the tingle in your fingers
To feel the tingle in your feet (2x)

Verse 2
Go and spread the gospel in Milwaukee
Take a walkie talkie to Rocky Ridge
All the way to Canton then to Scranton
even tell it under the Manhattan bridge
Bridge
(Fast 3x)
You will make a new sensation
have a growing congregation
build a glowing operation
here below
Like a pied piper blowing
Lead and keep the music flowing
Keep the rhythm go go going
Go go go

Doobi, doobi, doobi, doobi, doobi, doobi, do-bi
Doobi, doobi, doobi, doobi, doobi, doobi, do-bi
Doobi, doobi, doobi, doobi, doobi, doobi, do-bi
Doobi, doobi, doobi, doobi, doobi, doobi, do
(2x)

Flip your wings and fly up high
Flip your wings and fly up high
Flip your wings and fly up high,
Fly, fly, fly up high

You can do it if you try
You can do it if you try
You can do it if you try
Try, try, try to fly

Like a bird up in the sky
Like a bird up in the sky
Like a bird up in the sky
Fly, fly, fly up high

Chorus 3x
For the rhythm of life is a powerful beat
Puts a tingle in your fingers and a tingle in your feet
rhythm on the inside rhythm in the street
and the rhythm of life is a powerful beat


This you tube video is not my choir - but too funny - not to brag - but I think we were a bit better - at least in my memory!!!

As I read those lyrics and listen to that choir - memories come flooding back, the importance of dictation, precise, precise, you have to be precise!  And apparently its "tingle" in your fingers, not rhythm.  I think we wore straw hats, and red blazers....  



1 comment:

  1. Hello! What's your opinion on who are your common readers?

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