Mexico, Bones, My Canada & More – 2015 /June Letter From Barbara Lewis Music

Cancun ocean view

Cancun ocean view

Dear Friends,

I hope things are going well for you. Those who have recently signed up for my newsletter, thank you! I love being in touch with you.

I’m in Mexico for 2 weeks – staying in a condo on the ocean. I wake up to warm ocean breezes and the thunderous sound of ocean waves. Amazingly, that often-deafening sound fades into the background after awhile. It seems that our ears can be very choosy about what we “hear.”

Mexico

It’s hot now – about 31 degrees every day (88F) – and humid/steamy. I walk down the beach in the morning to swim in a cove that has been human-created using hundreds of chunks of gigantic stone that form an arc and thus, a cove. The ocean is much quieter in this cove. I can float, look up at the endless sky and think…

It’s a good place, no, the perfect place to think about music. I came here to write some music for my new show called, My Canada.”  And to consider new-fangled ways to take this show on the road.

My Canada

I’m still performing my current show, Passionate Heart. But I felt it was time to develop something new. Partly to be able to return to the places I’ve sung in the past 2 years with a fresh set of songs. But also, because Canada’s 150th birthday is coming up in 2017 (July1) and already the celebrations are gearing up.

I love my country. I’m grateful to live here. Grateful to be Canadian. But I’m not a nationalistic person. I love people – no matter their country of origin, race, religion etc. So it’s is not a Rah Rah attitude that inspired me to do this show.

Instead, I had been singing some powerful songs by Canadian songwriters.  I was pondering doing an all-Canadian concert that I could take across country as a tribute to the rich mosaic of sounds we call Canadian these days. (Including English, French, Aboriginal, Inuit, Metis etc.)

I told a friend about my idea. She reminded me about Canada’s upcoming birthday celebration. I thought it was it was high time to learn more about the country I have lived in and loved since birth. But I wanted to be able to create a show that had a very personal approach.

My good friend Jerry (who sets up concerts for me, plus much more…) said to me on Skype one day  – “Make it your own take on Canada.” And the idea was born. MyCanada.” Exciting for me! And my enthusiasm grows day by day.

As the show evolves, I’ll tell you more

From what seems bad, comes good

I took a bad tumble awhile ago. I was heading into the bathroom with my arms full of sheets and towels that I was taking to wash. My mind was also full of grumbling thoughts. Mid-grumble, I reached out for a towel on a rack, slipped and fell hard on the ceramic floor.

The fall gave my body an extraordinary jolt. I was stunned. But soon after, I was able to get up and walk away – bruised, but mobile. I realized that my fall had been made easier because I was lost in cranky thought. My lesson that day was “stay present.” I thought I had got off easy…

Sometime later, after a long road trip, I found that when I got out of the car, mybackside was in excruciating pain. Long story – shorter. An X-ray showed that I had a fractured my tail-bone. Likely damaged in that recent fall. But now, with the pressure of a long, bumpy ride in a cramped position – a hair-line fracture had become the real thing.

What could possibly be good about this? 

I had to find ways to deal with a fractured tail bone. I sang a concert in Ottawa. But then cancelled other concerts so I would not have to travel again on a fresh fracture. I also decided – finally – to get my body into much better shape. And I began to do daily, careful, but serious exercise.

I’ve done exercises sporadically over the years. I’ve danced a lot. Performed in shows that required a lot of movement. But I have gotten away with not doing daily exercise. Now, I must do it to shore up the muscles around that hard-to-heal fracture. And to keep myself in the kind of condition that makes a fall less likely (better balance) and less serious (better tone.)

I realize now how much better I feel (and look) with a body that is gradually getting into good overall shape (600+ muscles!). 25 minutes a day. No equipment necessary except a computer. If you are interested in a gentle, but strong approach to getting into shape for the “over 50” person, here is what I do. 

I’ve got nothing to wear!

I’ve decided that for this new show I am going to wear much more vibrant clothing. Mystandard look has been black pants and a simple top or a jumpsuit. I’ve always tried to keep things simple and let the music speak for itself.

But now, with “My Canada” and music that represents so many different cultures and ideas about life, I want to wear upbeat and lively colours and patterns. And I have found a way to do it that I think is quite novel. More on that in the next newsletter.

Final note:

Here in Mexico, it is the time of year when turtles are coming onto shore to lay their enormous eggs late at night. Amazingly, these mother turtles return to the place that they were born!

People help them out by taking the laid eggs to a safe place down the beach for hatching. And when they hatch, people again are on the scene to be sure the baby turtles make it safely back to the ocean. Tonight, my friend and I will go outside after dark and wait… hoping to see one of these incredible animals make their way up onto the sand to a place that only she knows is the right spot for her soon-to-hatch children.

 

HELP-PIANO-smINVITATION! If you have friends or family members who might enjoy my monthly letter, please invite them to sign up here. I want to build a community across the country so that I can takemy show to as many places as possible. Your help in spreading the word will be invaluable! Thank you!

Wishing you the best,

Barbara

Listen to a beach meditation

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