Piano Impro Music of Sonni Quick – “Drifting on a Cloud”

Sonni Quick hands on the piano keyboard

This is my newest piano piece. My music is always improvised. I play what I feel. This is the perfect piece of music when I need to unwind from a stressful day.  I try to end my day and go to sleep – except I can’t.  Sleep doesn’t come. My day keeps going around and around inside my head as I search for ways for solutions. I have a lot going on.  different projects. They are never finished.

I have two blogs to keep going.  One, this one, is where I post my creativity and sometimes the work of others.  I rant and rave.  I write poetry and music. My other blog is on prison issues and Jami’s life.  I write a newsletter – ITFO News. the letters stand for Inside The Forbidden Outside, the book I am writing about Jamie’s life that is in a second rewrite as I polish it to make it the best I can.  I want to help him get hiss life started again when he gets out in about 4 years. This is all in my other blog My  Name is Jamie. My Life in Prison. My facebook page is very active for Jamie Life In Prison.

My music web pages take a lot of maintenance . One is SkunkRadioLive. – a indie radio station out of London. Also ReverbNation. – a very popular website for musicians. Another is Soundcloud. I’m putting an album out “Stories Without Words”.  When It is done you’ll find the album at CDBaby, Spotify and others that sell indie music. 

All of these sites take a lot of communication with other people, writers and musicians. When you are an indie writer and an indie musician there is no label or publishing house to do the work.  I have to do it all myself and hope those who  follow me on social media sign up for my newsletter, share a few things and help me push it forward.

And I love it all. 

I feel in control of my my life.  I make the causes. I’ll get the effects.  I’m not waiting for anything else out there to change my life for me I try as much as possible to help other people.  I share their work.  I encourage people.  it is easy to get discouraged. We put ourselves out there and people judge the quality of what we do.When I was a young musician it was different.  Youth try to be famous. They want to play big arenas and make gobs of money.  I know I did. But life got in the way.  it wasn’t to be.  Now it isn’t important.  I just want to play music.  I’ve have played the piano for many years and I like where I am now. I’m not trying to sound like anyone other than myself.  If you like it – great.  If you don’t?  Well, you can’t please everyone. I also think I am writing a book that will have an appeal to many people.  I have to have that confidence or I will never finish it.

Every day I spin my plates and while one is spinning I spin another and gradually all of my projects move forward. I believe in myself and having that confidence is have the battle.  too many people start something and quit halfway through with excuses for why they quit.  Not me.  life isn’t about getting to your going – it is the process you go through as you make your way there.  If you don’t love what you do you’ll find ways to quit.

The hours of the day go by.  I forget to go to bed and when I do I lay there awake – thinking. As soon as I think I can go to sleep something startles me fully awake again.  I look at the clock. 4am, 5am 6am.  I blew it going to sleep.  When it starts getting light out I know I’m in trouble. I know there is no way I can get enough sleep now and I’ll feel draggy all day. I have gone through many days with less than 4 hours of sleep.

Now, when I have a night when I can’t sleep, I put on my headphones and pull up the website for SkunkRadioLive, click on the first piece of music, turn it down low and escape into the notes as they play.  It really is the soundtrack for dreams.  Beautiful melodies that melt into each other. I enjoy music as I play. I close my eyes and let it flow from my fingers. It’s relaxing and often haunting. I hope you enjoy it.  Let me know.  There is enough music recorded to play for a couple hours and never repeat.  Hopefully you’ll be fast asleep long before that. Z Z z z z . . .

AN EMPTY BOX OF GET WELL CARDS

AN EMPTY BOX OF GET WELL CARDS

 

I opened up my box of cards to lovingly remember

The cards from those who cared about me and wanted me to know

I was important to them in their lives . . . Love, the sender

The sender had no name, no address on the card

Who was I to no name was signed below

I sat and thought and tried to think, to remember hurt is hard

I looked down at empty hands because there was no card

 

I sat and held my empty box pretending it was full

It was instead my mother’s box which held the love for her

Showered with their love, she caressed them one and all

She looked at every single one, a smile upon her face

Thinking of how loved she was, the memories recalled

Feeling happy she was loved because she is my mother

Not thinking how I’d feel because my family didn’t care

enough to send a card to me, my face had been erased

 

“Why?” you ask, “was this so, did they not care for you?”

“Why do you think they pulled away and wouldn’t show they cared?”

A tragedy to be alone when there was one thing they could do

In all these years they never tried, with so much life to share?

“Why did they turn? What did you do for them to cause such pain?”

They listened to only one side, my mother’s truth for her

My side had no meaning, it was me who was to blame

Why add my truth, hers was enough, don’t take both sides and stir

 

The whole truth just might change their minds, a need to say “I’m sorry”

With crossed arms, chin in the air, no lips can say those words

Admit that you just might be wrong? Not you. You never could.

“I must protect our mom from you, I will NOT hear your story

If you live or if you die, I won’t be by your side

Neither will my husband, son or daughter so don’t worry

We’d rather you just go away, be rid of you for good

We won’t call or send a card, no one cares if you cried.”

 

She said, “I stand by what I know – the words our mother spoke.

She told me she was hurt by you, I can’t support you both

I don’t care what really happened, why mom said the things she did

You’re on your own, I do not care no matter what your truth

It’s too late to change my mind. Believe me, there’s no hope

I do not care.  Not worth my time. I have better things to do

With all my friends who love me, who needs love from you?”

 

I take my empty box of cards and put it on the floor

Crush it underneath my feet, smash it on all sides

Throw it in the trash outside, hoping not try once more.

I know fully what I’ve lost, I wonder if they do.

I know myself, what I have to give, this isn’t said with pride

I know the person I’ve become, was it worth it to burn

all future possibilities becoming future smiles

remember future time, now past, but never happened. Never learned.

 

No music ever written to celebrate a day

No poems ever written to engrave a deep felt thought

No picture ever taken and shared with love and smiles

Never sent across the world no matter what the miles

No victory of children’s growth, funny smiles or love to share

No sadness felt when things go wrong. No one knows to say, “I care.”

Birth, aging, sickness, death. The cycle all life follows

Who will hear when you have something to say.

The echo sounds ring hollow

 

 

 

 

Talking To My Younger Self

K’lee    Sonni Quick © 2017  Piano Improvisation

Very recently, I had a rather profound conversation with a man I don’t physically know. He is another mind in the blogosphere. Some people are so easy to connect to and you instinctively know your lives were meant to cross. There is so much we can learn from others if we stop trying to only get our point across and learn to listen.  I’m not sure without looking what country he lives in, but our ability to talk about this reality called life, is rare. Be honest when taking responsibility for your life instead of blaming the bad things on external reasons, or saying, “God must have wanted this to happen. It’s his plan for me.”

This man told me what he was doing with his own life. It was something I had never thought to do. Not like this. He said, “Go back and talk to your younger self and forgive her for the mistakes she made. Tell her you love her and you understand.” So the other day, while chanting, which anyone else could do using any way their faith dictates or even with no faith at all, using any means that helps give them with clarity. I sat down in the chair in front of the scroll of my Gohonzon to chant, already understanding the outcome will be difficult to deal with. 

I have been through decades of illness and surgeries and ongoing pain because my younger self stuck needles in her arm to get high and contracted the virus Hep C. This wasn’t even a word in our vocabulary at that time, but would it have made a difference to me if it was? I didn’t know then why I said yes to drugs. I know the answer now. It was a cause made somewhere in my long existence and the effect came forth at the time it was meant to. I  blindly followed the intended course. My younger self had no power over that karma the same way all karma affects the lives of others.

Some people have been taught, God pulls the puppet strings of their lives, but I never believed that. It made no sense. Not understanding why things happen doesn’t mean it was done by an outside source. It just means I don’t have the wisdom to understand it. Karma is the exact same thing as the lesson taught that reads, “You reap what you sow.” It doesn’t matter if you believe it. It is just as real as gravity. If you jump out of a plane you will fall to the earth whether you want to or not. We create what happens to us – and we repeat it until we learn the lesson it is teaching.

Unless you were born with an illness, ALL illness has a starting point that most people could have changed had they not done something to create it or perhaps allowing harmful things into their bodies that shouldn’t be there.

As I began chanting, relaxing myself with the deep breathing necessary to chant nam myoho renge kyo, I had a talk with my younger self at age 19. My 62 year old self, broken, stapled and screwed back together, gazed at a young girl the age my grandchildren are this day. They don’t know the word consequence any better than I did and think the only time that matters is this very moment.

I can so clearly remember a day, standing on the porch of someone’s house, looking out into a sunny day while watching people and cars move about in the course of their day. I thought to myself, I couldn’t see a time in the knowable future where I wouldn’t be sticking a needle into my bruised arm. These people didn’t know what they were missing. I hadn’t reached the point where the drug was needed to bring me up to normalcy. Forget getting high. I was using up my future life’s energy.

This younger me was so young, so perfect in her youth with her entire life ahead of her, and I cried. I  sat there with my head bowed and tears flowed down my cheeks. I whispered to her, “I am so sorry. I’m sorry what my lack of wisdom did to you.”

“I understand now why you did it, but it took me a long time to learn the answers. Why you needed to become this other person who felt better about herself when shooting speed – I understand.” I continued, “You needed the false confidence it gave you to make friends. I understand being near people made you afraid. I understand how you felt you had no value, so why would anyone else think you had value and want to be near you? Why would anyone want to be your friend? I understand you couldn’t give these feelings a voice. When you are high you feel you have worth. You have not learned yet how to achieve the understanding of how much value you really have – without the drugs.”

As I write these words I look at my left hand. I am grasping my thumb in a tight first. It is what I have always done when I needed to hold and comfort myself; reassure I am really here.

Because of this; because of the mountains you will have to learn to climb that gives you the understanding of how powerful you really are, the me you see before you now has learned things I never would learned without the life you have yet to live.

Without this struggle I would be a different person. I am sorry about the decades of pain you will have to suffer through, that I have already lived. But you will be okay. Through this you will help many people and become a woman who matters – all because of what you learned to teach. I want to thank you for being the soul – the body I inhabited during birth. I wouldn’t trade you for anyone else. You don’t know these things yet and I wish I could help you along the way, but understand I love you and I’ll be waiting until you get here. Just know, you will live through this.

I am proud of you, so proud, because you will learn the value of your life and you live it, in spite of what others think. You will reach and fall and pick yourself up no matter how many times life tries to knock you down. You will dust yourself off and re-determine you are stronger than the rock that knocked you off balance. You won’t hide. You won’t quit because you still breathe. This is the effect of the cause that made you an addict so long ago. This is the lesson it was trying to teach you. You will never repeat it again.

I wrapped my arms around her and held her close. People who I thought loved her – loved me – yet resented who I became, because the truth of who this young girl grew to be, became too hard for them to look at and see the truth. So be it. It’s easier to be hateful than to look at why you hate. It’s easier to pretend she doesn’t matter than to face your own insecurities. I expected too much from people who had no capacity to show and accept responsibility for their actions. How could I expect them to understand mine?

I had no strength to explain to my younger self what was to come, some pain is deeper than the physical. But she will learn that in time. That is a pain I see no end to. It is something to bear in later years.  Everyone has pain they have to lock away to survive.

No One Gets Out of Life Alive

we are human

[/audio

Life Interrupted

 Copyright Sonni Qui2015

NO ONE GETS OUT OF LIFE ALIVE

No one gets out of life alive
This was a year of loss and saying goodbye
Was no one dying when I was young?
or was death far away and I wasn’t among
the people whose lives were nearing the end
Did they manage to do what they did intend?
Or did they say they didn’t have the time
I’ll do it tomorrow or next year sometime
Every day we hear that so and so died
we stop, take deep breath and let out a sigh
you know he had problems, his heart wasn’t strong
I didn’t think he would live for very long
Our habits, not caring, hasten our death
you gotta go somehow, as we take our last breath
She was such a good person, it’s a shame she’s gone
But now she can be with her dear husband John
People need to believe in a heaven above
a place where our loved ones continue to love.
She died much too young, she should have had years
We now just have memories and sadness and tears
We want to believe we’ll see them someday
It helps us cope if we think there’s a way
Many believe after death there is more
Drawing our last breath opens a door
Each in our own way finds a way
to make sense of our life as we fade away
Because no one gets out of life alive
Every year has it’s loss and saying goodbye
Soon it will be you, what will they say?
What do you want remembered this day?
I lived my life honestly and helped all I could
I grabbed every dream, lived as good as I should
I have no regrets, I learned from mistakes
I lived my life fully, but in places it aches
Someday I’ll be the one that others will miss
I hope not with sadness, but with happiness

How My Mother Paid Her Dues

img_8525_20161203232416330

Sitting in the chair by the window

Sitting in a chair with big wheels

Thinking of her recent past

moving fast, but now so slow

not knowing how much memory aging steals

It was just a little while ago

she fed her cat and dressed herself

The loss of pride, she had no choice

she had to let it go

She swallows hard and fights the tears

and says this isn’t hell

She feels grateful for the life she had

no one will ever know

the pain inside, the fight for life

can she find a place to be?

 She doesn’t know how to live

within these closing walls

Look to the right, look to the left 

They think she doesn’t see

They stick their arms out just in case

her body sags and falls

Make sure she’s safe, feed her meals

call her once a day

Do what they can with their busy lives

there  isn’t time for more

Everyone keeps living, they’ll be there soon

she knows they’ll say

Not understanding years are short

The door will close for good one day

When life demands you pay your dues

your choices paid the toll

The effects from how you lived your life

stare you in the face

She laughs, how useless are your fears

if you trust what you have learned

the mystic law, the parchment scroll

she vows to find in these last years

new memories sewn on happy lace

aging gracefully, appreciation for living

Dedicated to my mother – Wilma Fritz b. 1933

I am who I am because of you. Thank you.

Silence is So Loud

Featured Image -- 2918

Silence is So Loud 

(music link)

Pain. Mind blowing pain

When they ask on a scale of one to ten

How badly do you feel

But all you want to do is scream

 the memory is too real

you felt this blinding pain before

said you’d never live through it again

There is nothing more they can do

at least they don’t pretend

 So they simply stand and watch you

beat the bed and rock any cry

and sadly say, there is nothing else we can try

Finally I pass out and soak the sheets with sweat

If only they could have let me sleep

but it wasn’t to be, not yet

Finally, sweet sleep for three hours

They woke me up at five

to do the necessary vitals

to make sure I was still alive.

I woke again to pain.

Mind blowing pain . . .

How Easy It Is to Brighten Someone’s Day

life is an echo, you reap what you sow

Today a paralegal called me back who I had spoken to last Friday.  When we finished speaking she told me, “I went online after we spoke to find your music. I listened to it all day while I worked. It’s beautiful. You have a gift.  I hope your arm heals okay. You have so much give.”

Such a simple sentence with so much power to heal the hurt and fear inside. A simple sentence many people are not able to say; withheld because it isn’t important to the giver. A simple fear; will I be able to raise my arm and play the piano without pain? Will I be able to open my arm and play a bass arpeggio? If that happened would I be told to just get over it? That would be likely.

SoundCloud – Sonni Quick. Hear my music at this link. Let me know if there is anything you’d like to download as an MP3 and I’ll make it possible.

Two days ago one of my oldest friends from jr high responded to a post I put online about my fall and she mentioned she has lost complete use of her right arm. A one line sentence with no explanation. I must call her today. How can I not? Had she told me before and I don’t remember? My mother had a stroke in April that affected her right side. It is somewhat stronger, but still she can’t hold a pen or feed herself with that arm and hand. This helps me understand their loss. I’m in a cast and a huge sling to immobilize my arm.

Throughout our lives we are sometimes faced with losing parts of our life, whether the death of a loved one or any part of our life cruelly snatched away. We have to learn to cope with it ouur it will kill some part of us. Sometimes it alters us permanently. You would think that experience would make us more sensitive of others, but I think it makes some of us want others to hurt as much as we do. If we have to lose, so does everyone else. Their pain is NOT MY FAULT we may think.

It’s been emotionally painful, knowing how much this fall could change my ability to play and possibly affect other plans for my life. I believe many creative people in all the arts are sensitive to the opinions of others. We expose ourselves to criticism and rejection of a very personal part of ourselves. It is not that everyone has to praise or love what I do, but rejection or disinterest by people who know me opens up a wound that goes deep inside. It can’t be fixed when it is done intentionally or callously with no regard. If the argument is given that it was done unknowingly then what does it say about the quality of that person to care so little,

These are the kinds of behaviors that go around, over and over, cause and effect that bring sadness; no one taking responsibility for the things they do yet seek understanding for themselves when the effect of their causes swing back to them. Can I treat people the way I’ve been treated? I don’t think so, but truthfully, I’m not sure. I would hope I wouldn’t be vindictive. I would be disappointed in myself if I did.

Daisaku Ikeda guidance

Today, this woman on the phone, a stranger, taking the time to tell me how she enjoyed my music gave me the boost of inner confidence I needed to hear to believe a little more that I will be okay. It gave me the determination to not only get it all back but to use this experience to add a  deeper layer of expression to the emotions I play. We don’t often realize how much our words affect the people we speak to. Sometimes we are callous and don’t realize what we do. What we think, say or do affects our own life as well as the person we say it to. We reap the benefit of being positive, and we reap the negative of the pain we cause.

What I play are not compositions. They are improvisations. I do not “write” these pieces down so others can play them. They belong only to me and not to the interpretatiom of others. I can not play them again so I record while I play. I don’t think about what I play. I get a feeling – an emotion – and I let my fingers express it. Usually days later, after memory of playing it fades, I listen. Simple, clear, uncomplicated melodies. Close your eyes. Relax. Clear your mind of your worries.  Regroup yourself.  My music is a meditation..

Because I am very sensitive to emotions, the brightness in this woman’s voice was just the medicine I needed. She made the cause to brighten this woman’s day. She may not understand that but the effect of that cause will be there for her in her life regardless, hopefully as something nice done for her.

***************

I am a Nichiren Buddhist. Our faith is based on the law of cause and effect. We take that very seriously. It makes US responsible for our lives and happeniness. Christians have something very similar in their teachings. It is called – you reap what you sow. There is also the Golden Rule. If you believe the Bible is irrefutably God’s word, how seriously do those phrases play a part in all you think, say or do?