December 7, 2016
I had said I would share the song I first played for Mathew, which won his heart (and showed me his heart). Steve has been practicing diligently, and because he feels I am rushing him, here, he has recorded it in usable bits and pasted it together in an editing program. This is just the opening. Of course I played it with more nuance of expression, but Steve has done his best, and it will give you an idea of it. This is from a book of sheet music from the Portland, Maine "Sacred Music Society" library, from the era when we lived there. Steve thinks I must have volunteered to play piano for them, which means I may have checked out this very book for practicing. He can tell which songs were his favorites--some are, in fact, inspired (mostly Handel, a few claimed by Haydn), and the rest are, well, as Steve puts it, "churchy." Quite a contrast! But then, this is what you find in church, generally.
Steve still has a memory of the day I invited him into the parlor and played this for him, and how he kept repeating to himself, "How wonderful she is...how wonderful she is"--and at the same time, now that he knew his heart, "How in the world am I going to win her?" I was in a higher social class, of a different religion (my family was Catholic, his was Quaker), and my father was an actual French Marquis, for-crying-out-loud--how was it going to be possible? But, you see, he had my heart all along. For years I studied him from afar.
So, this is the recording...
Steve feels I may have played it a bit less staccato; and that my piano, a grand, would have sounded fuller. Steve is now pausing, thinking that surely I want to share more, here...
The Native Americans and the Standing Rock protests are on Steve's mind, and mine. We do not wish to increase divisions nor ethnic identifications, in general, at the expense of the Brotherhood of Man, you see. Support for the Tribes automatically (not my favorite word, but it will do--how about "instinctively" or "unthinkingly"?) gets translated into divisive support for one group, against another, when what is needed is unity among the people of heart across the world. But then, one's heart goes out to the underdog in any situation, as mine always did, as Abby. And, Steve and I were, as I have told him, once of the Lakota tribe, before any white men came.
I will say that this situation, if handled rightly, could make a shining statement and help move humanity forward. If handled badly, it could start a war. If the guidance of the elders--who are listening to the guidance of the elders over here--is taken, then it will become a wake-up call for the masses. Don't think the elders aren't aware of us, and what I call the Council, here. That culture understands perfectly what Steve and I have been sharing, meaning, the same truths.
Now Steve is pausing, again...and no, dear, he is not rolling his eyes up into his head, or chanting anything...he has finished some chores, and gone to the bathroom (so his bladder won't be a distraction), and in a minute he will have to go downstairs to feed the cat...ordinary life...but now, he pauses and listens for my inner prompting, just a "whisper," to him.
Steve is not especially psychic. You, too, can learn to do this with anyone on our side with whom you have a sufficiently deep connection.
Steve must feed the cat...this is why I am pausing :-).
Okay, I gave it to him in a huge burst, the next several paragraphs-worth, while he was feeding the cat...so now he has to "disgorge" it all! Let's see how he does...
These songs--the "favorites," the ones he remembers liking, in this song book from Portland, evoke a memory. Mostly it is emotional; but there is a little bit of the circumstances that comes through for him. He has no way to check it out historically. Perhaps someday a letter or a diary will surface to confirm it. Steve knows that during this period, a fresh start for us in the "big city" of Portland, things got bad again. He remembers we decided we would keep a low profile, fit in, and try to get back on our feet (we had been shunned for our efforts at reform and education in the small town we came from). But at church--which we joined partly to make social connections for Mathew's business (otherwise, we practiced our religion at home, quietly as Jesus enjoined), I was in a study group, or some kind of group--Steve doesn't know quite what it was. But I was in this group, and someone started telling racist jokes, and I couldn't laugh at them. That was all it took--I was immediately found out as an Abolitionist, and ostracized; and word gets around, so that Mathew's business also suffered, and we went from what you might call a comfortable middle-class lifestyle, to poverty almost overnight.
And I want to tell you, I knew I had, as they say now, "blown it big time." I went home with my tail tucked between my legs, thinking I had ruined everything for us. But Mathew was so proud of me...
So I am explaining this to Steve in more detail than he has had up to now. This is how we came to have a piano in a small apartment, as he seemed to inexplicably remember. A small living room with tapestries or blankets covering the walls, for warmth, and this piano taking up most of the space! And I would play for him. I was starting to get sick again with tuberculosis, but I was comforting and reassuring him, you see, because he was worried sick. So I would play him lullabies, or what amounted to adult lullabies; and this is the emotion Steve remembers--but he remembers them as though I had already died. His emotions are stuck at the point of hearing these songs after I passed, you see. So they carry with them all the sweet reassurance, and the worry, and the grief, all balled up into one.
But now, I want him to form new associations to these songs. I want to take the grief away from them. I want them to be associated with our marriage now. Because I am reassuring him, again--but whereas before, it was a reassurance of things to come, now it is the joyous reassurance of things that have come. Perchance, if I had lived 110 years (at which time I would been as wrinkled as a prune), I would still be long dead now, meaning, of course, my body as Abby Poyen Whittier. So would he. But the spirit literally never dies. I am more fully alive than I ever was--and I have tried to tell him this time, and time, and time again. You cannot imagine how literally this is true, but I will, if you don't mind, share a little something (once again, because I may have shared it once before), from our Guru.
His right-hand man, Eruch, had recently lost his father, who was also a direct disciple. Baba remarked, in the free intimacy of that friendship, that when you die, it is like having a good bowel movement--you feel fresh, clean and relieved afterwards! He said that the body (and the experiences one can have through it) is like food for the soul, and when it is no-longer needed, death is like the bowel movement.
Once, with his men disciples sitting around, he had the whim to ask them a riddle: "What is the biggest prison in India?" None could guess it, and he told them the answer was, "your own body."
The trick is, to understand this with your heart and emotions, not just your head. At that point, one rejoices, truly, rather than grieves--because the one you love has literally never been more alive.
So the memories which are the most unbearably poignant, must be flushed clean so that the grief is purged from them, and they yield only joy. This is done with faith, which remains open to experience. Experience will follow faith. It is, after all, faith in what is real. Faith is powerful enough in itself--but faith in what is real, is unstoppable.
My love to each of you,