Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Shakuhachi Effect

Ages ago, at the Recorder Society, longtime readers will recall, I recounted the playing of the shakuhachi Japanese wooden flute, and the chance to try it, too, and learn a little about the use of the flute. It's more of a meditative instrumental sound than about making music.

And one of the principles of the approach to it is that there are no interruptions. If a sound breaks in, or something happens to disturb the flow, it's not considered unwelcome. It's part of the sound, part of the experience.

This has proved to be a huge help to me in my current somewhat demanding life. When things happen that are frightening or sudden or unwanted, they are not an interruption of our lives, but part of them. Like the stones in the running water that make the music.

This last couple of days has been one of those times. The good part is that we found a new respite person, who starts this week, yay.

The not so good side is that we have a sudden dental problem for HP. Which might be taken care of at home by our visiting dentist, or if it proves more complicated, have to be done in his office. Which involves great fear for me, learning how to find and hire ambulance help to get him there, figuring out the logistics of how the dentist can work in an office not geared for a wheelchair,or possibly stretcher, etc., getting all the timing right. And overall the hope that it won't come to that.

I've been exhausted the last couple of days just from reaction, I guess, and HP is refusing even to think about it. And it wasn't helped by my not getting the Saturday morning follow up call I was hoping for from the dentist. I have to chase it up tomorrow again and see how fast we can get this taken care of. His mental ability has definitely been affected by this new complication, very confused and unhappy about it, talking wildly.

The timing is very bad because I was about to arrange to get our heating and AC replaced totally before the weather gets cold, and it's not possible to have that done on a day the dentist needs the power on for his work, not to mention keeping the place relatively dust free for his benefit. But the dental work has to happen first.

So I'm trying to remember the shakuhachi effect and how even the ghastly waiting, the hardest part of any issue for me, is part of the melody.

And the picture is of a clipping from my recorder magazine showing an old drawing of a musician playing the flute, not the shakuhachi, not even wood, but same part of the world, complete with Japanese fingering chart. It lives on the refrigerator among the Do Not Resuscitate notice and the emergency numbers of all kinds and the list of daily care needs for HP, just to remind me that there's a life going on, too.


  1. I feel for you and for HP, and you know the reasons why I do. Hoping for a good outcome with the dental issue. Take care of you.

  2. My thoughts are with you both. Fingers crossed that things work out okay.


  3. Oh, dear...peaceful thoughts and good vibes your way.

  4. ~~~~willing the dentist to call and to be able to handle it at home~~~

    Love and hugs

  5. Hope the dentist problem worked out OK. All the best to you both.

  6. Wondering how things worked out - sending love and all associated vibes to help you through. Blessings.

  7. Thank you for the thought of the stones in running water. I'll keep it with me as long as I can.


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