Working Together

"We shape our self
to fit this world

and by the world
are shaped again..."

Excerpt from "Working Together" © David Whyte
in The House of Belonging

Many Rivers Press

Monday, December 25, 2006

Whole Wheat Radio and my Solstice Miracle

It is hard to go any further in this blog without mentioning what is probably the most profound technological influence of the last decade for me. I'm speaking about my discovery of Jim and Esther and Whole Wheat Radio. Jim's enthusiasm for technology is infectious. I have learned much in spite of myself and it is his fault. You can read the whole story of my finding this particular music niche here but the real story is, I think, much more interesting. The real story is about a fall from grace and my redemption. A good winter solstice story, actually.

When I stumbled upon WWR back in 2002, I was in the middle of a situation that I was fully prepared to try and tackle but was totally unprepared for the hardship of. I had volunteered to move from Arizona (which I was very ready to leave) and join my family in my home town to help them take care of my mother. The whole experience of being in the small town I grew up in and reconnecting with my family was a huge switch from the carefree life I lived in Phoenix. After I got there, I picked up a day job and watched Mom at night. My sister, Suzy, worked caring for another elderly woman at night and cared for Mom in the day while I was at work. Mom was diagnosed with dementia shortly after I arrived. To this day I cherish the time I got to spend caring for her in those years but it was tough.

Outside of my one day to hike with my friend on Sundays between 9 am and 5:30pm, I had no other time off. This is where circumstance gave birth to a miracle and the creative process had its shining moment. The sheer force of the beam of my spiritual lust for freedom found the portal Jim provided in creating Radio Free Talkeenta and fate was sealed. There was just one problem for me. It was radio.

Radio had come to represent for me disease, despair and public disgrace. Deep within my past was an experience that very nearly cost me my life, my family and certainly, for a time, it cost me plenty in sanity. I also lost my ability to enjoy any prerecorded music of any type. So it was with great caution and anxiety that I approached this on-line radio station. The warm and curious nature of Jim and Esther and their quirky sense of humor coupled with my genuine need for the comfort I had once enjoyed in music and the company of friends wore down my shield of distrust. Slowly but surely over the year I began to hear and feel music again; I allowed believing Jim and Esther where sincere and I planed my journey to Takeetna to meet them and celebrate. The healing was complete when I saw their faces smiling and welcoming me. It appeared so simple - no one would have noticed anything unusual, yet the world began anew for me. It took a lot for me to get up the courage to travel to Talkeetna with the kind of baggage I had and it took a great deal of courage for Jim and Esther to trust that some stranger from out in the ether somewhere could be trusted with their friendship. Ergo: the miracle of healing was made real. To say that I'm thankful for all that I recieve from WWR is clearly an understatement.

So, gentle readers, mine is much more than the story of a simple trip from California to Talkeetna, Alaska for a beer. In truth, this is the story of a long journey of redemption from a dark and unfortunate accident into the light and the healing of it, for this writer. It‘s the story of miracles and how they happen everyday when we allow ourselves to be who we really are…How healing does occur if there is enough courage for it….A story of how one thing leaves into another thing and creates love on into forever… this is my Winter Solstice miracle story of Whole Wheat Radio ; radio for the precious few.

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