At the Young Onset Parkinson’s Northeast Conference, I did something I hadn’t done in a long time. Years. Decades. I danced. After my childhood stroke, with literally half a leg to stand on, I crossed Dancer off my list of possible careers, hobbies and even casual past-times. But that didn’t keep me off stage in high school. Tall and not-so-graceful, the musical director cast me as an Amazon in “The King & I.” In my role, I stood cross-armed and at attention, guarding the entryway in each scene involving the king. Though I appeared more often than the wives — perhaps more often than Anna — in my role, I spoke no lines and certainly did not dance. I ventured onto the dance floor in college and at weddings. Two-stepping, waltzing, or lining up to do the Macarena called for so much concentration to get the footing right, to stay […]
A beautiful yoga studio sign! It stands, however, on the brick sidewalk outside the door of local clothing boutique. The bottom of it offers holiday gift cards for the shop. The sign struck me more, though, for the true gift it offers during this rushed holiday season: Breathe. Be present. Enjoy. Perhaps we all need a joyous reminder to keep from getting caught up in the next several weeks of To Dos and To Buys. As a person with PD, the sign’s living and being approach helps reduce the stresses that come with this time of year, stresses that can exacerbate my symptoms. It’s a yogic reminder that brings me back into the moment and out of past and future worries. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, may many eyes rest on this sign. Enjoy the beauty, moment to moment.
The holiday season brings together unlikely pairings: red and green, giving and receiving, Parkinson’s and beauty. Yes, beauty. Although it seems improbable, Parkinson’s has not simply taken but has added beauty to my days. One of the forms of that beauty manifests in the music of Greg Rice. Greg is a composer. He is also a father, businessman, active community volunteer and a person living with Parkinson’s. A law degree plus years of working in the corporate world added to a PD diagnosis wouldn’t typically total up to Musician. But Greg’s symphonies represent the sum of these aspects of him. The music – varied and original – surprises and delights. Performed by various city symphony orchestras, the sound is sometimes grand and sweeping, sometimes a simple dance. Each a pleasure. I play his music in my yoga classes. I play it in my car. I play it to fill the […]