Nearly a year has passed since we all began to face the challenges that the new virus was presenting to us. My last post in May spoke about Life in Limbo. I have long since realized that we could not remain that way, while also recognizing that moving forward with any kind of specific “Plan” was not possible. At best it could be “plan” with a small “p” along with an internal attitude of acceptance that it would be so for a long time – maybe even forever! Is this what we are all meant to learn? That yes, we can have good basic ideas on how we want to live our lives and at the same time, be open and present to what each new day offered to us? In my own experience, life is certainly most interesting at the edge of “knowing” and in my own spontaneous response, though I sometimes long for a time to breathe and just rest. It’s all about balance, right?!
When COVID-19 forced the cancellation of all concerts, I felt called to find a new and safe way to bring the comfort and solace of live harp music to people who feel isolated, exhausted and anxious. A little injection of joy and relief can go a long way in these challenging times.
By the beginning of September 2020, I had purchased and modified a Ford Transit High-roof van (the only vehicle tall enough to fit my concert harp) into a self-contained, rolling tiny home and concert hall. And so I set off on the first Harp to Heart (HRP2HRT) journey with my beloved harp, Amadei, my yoga mat and my cat Misty for company, intending to ease mental health stress for as many people as possible.
Over the next 7 weeks, I drove 6000km through Alberta and British Columbia and played a total of 33 events for seniors, students, disabled people at seniors care residences, hospitals and schools, to name a few. As I traveled, I also popped up in campgrounds and front yards – wherever people needed to escape the reality of 2020. From my COVID-safe “concert hall,” using an amplifier, I played in many configurations, including for audiences sitting outside in the sunshine, or sometimes, placing the amplifier inside a residence with Amadei and me sitting on the other side of a window. Even Misty became a beloved entertainer from his passenger window or on his long leash.
After an incredible first journey, I got back home exhausted, excited and ready to consider how to move forward with Harp to Heart. An offer from Cam Clark Ford Airdrie for a new vehicle helped me make the decision to purchase a new van to be built to my specs and a sponsorship from Strut Creative for a new website were two unexpected confirmations that I was on the right track. There are many other aspects of planning in the works to be ready to be back on the road for a cross-Canada journey in April 2021. As you can imagine, my personal, emotional and financial investment in this project is great. The cost of gas, harp strings, insurance and mobile internet are ongoing expenses I really need help with in order to bring Live music out into the world right now.
The new Harp to Heart website is under construction and will soon be live. For now, I am asking for your support by contributing and sharing my fundraiser to your communities.
Please click on the Harp to Heart logo for more information and photos from the first trip and follow #HRP2HRT on Instagram and Facebook for more photos and stories. I would be thrilled to have you on this journey with Amadei and me!
Six months have passed since my last post – how much has changed in that time? At this point, I would have actually been back in Brazil but now the covid-19 situation has kept me at home, along with the rest of the world. So now, I’m praying that we all survive this situation as well as possible and use the time it has gifted to us to consider how to build a kinder, more humane world as we move forward into future generations. I have good days, bad days, lonely ones, genuinely happy ones and every possible iteration in between. It’s been interesting to realize that now when I do feel a certain way, I have the time to actually consider why. What is my response to a particular situation or feeling trying to tell me? In a lot of ways, there are myriad opportunities for growth and not just because of the incredible breadth of new offerings on the internet. It’s really encouraging to see to what extent people are finding ways to be creative and closely connected despite our physical distancing and I’m really curious to see how this time will impact the future. Overall, I find myself feeling great hope despite the overwhelming grief and suffering that our global community is experiencing right now and I am sure that LOVE is at the centre of all that we are living right now. We need the faith, trust and courage to keep our hearts open to it.
With fewer vehicles on our roads these days, I thought you might enjoy this video of some beauties from a slightly different perspective than usual.