Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cherry Amour Therapy

"Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer." -  Leonardo Da Vinci


Fleurs De Cerise (Cherry Blossom) - Oil on canvasEmile Vernon, 1916, private collection

I'm heading to Washington, D.C. this morning to catch up with two friends, Reya and Linda, and fill a prescription for a little Cherry Amour therapy. That's Reya's way of describing the effects of the Cherry Blossom Festival this time of year in her corner of the world.

The Japanese cherry trees were given as a gift to the city of Washington, D.C. by the mayor of Tokyo, Mr. Yukio Ozaki exactly 99 years and two days ago, March 27, 1912.

That is so cool.

This trip has been in the works for several weeks now, and I thought it would be a fun frolic with a couple of girlfriends, laughing and walking in the warm D.C. sunshine, and taking hundreds, if not thousands, of pictures of the annaul spectacle of spring.

I had no idea what was in store for me.

I see now that it is no coincidence that these two trips, one to see The Graceful One perform last weekend, and one to dance among the cherry blossoms with my friends, were perfectly arranged to follow the death of my mother.

What was to be a celebration of a great performance turned into a chance to hold my child and grieve with her for the loss of her dear grandmother. To be able to be with her, see her for myself, and share tears and hugs and memories with her was healing therapy for myself as well.

And now, to have the chance to be among the trees and friends and art and music and all that is a part of Reya's city is healing beyond belief. Cherry Amour therapy, it certainly is.

In truth, the weather forecast calls for rain, but that's of little consequence to me. I feel that the three of us will be given all that is needed for our time together, be it rain, or snow, or sun.  I'm extremely grateful to Reya for coordinating this.

I'm not bringing my laptop, and I won't be posting until I get home late Saturday. Instead, I'll spend my time marveling at the wonders of nature (in whatever form), the wonders of friendship, and the wonders of these great synchronicities we all get to experience every so often.

Today, I wish you your own version of Cherry Amour therapy.

The music selection today was very difficult. Should I go with something Japanese? (Truthfully, most of it grates on my nerves.) Something about cherry blossoms? (There are a few, but they're mostly love songs...too trite.) I finally decided to stop wrestling and choose something from my go-to guy, Chopin.

In honor of the predicted rain, I have chosen Chopin's "Raindrop" Prelude in D flat Major, Op.28 No.15. It's the longest of all his preludes, and is a lovely study on the comfort of rain. 

Chopin wrote this while he was staying at a monastery, convalescing from what we now believe was most likely tuberculosis. Chopin worried constantly about his wife and son, but playing the piano offered relief from the anxiety.

He was reportedly hypnotized by the sound of the rain on the roof one day, and wrote this prelude as a result. It's quite beautiful...listen for the repeating constant A-flat eighth notes pitter-pattering in the bass, sounding like the rain on Chopin's roof tiles and downspouts.

This version is played by my favorite pianist, Vladimir Ashkenazy. I love his tempo, his expression, and the way he allows the rain to wash over us all. Enjoy. 


  1. jo - i know you'll enjoy your trip but i'll give you my wishes for a lot of joy and for the creation of sustaining memories in the company of the mighty cool and good reya!!! steven

  2. Friend therapy is the best. Enjoy your time away...I'm picturing you dance in the cherry blossoms as we speak.

  3. Chopin is never a bad idea!

    So excited! I leave for the airport in about 45 minutes. Meet you two, drop by the chateau for lunch and then we're off to the Tidal Basin.

    Rain just means more time at the Matchbox bar. That is never a bad thing!

  4. Beautiful post, painting and music... You three better have the time of your life. Rain or no rain. So wish I could be there but I AM in spirit...

    Sending love and fun your way...

  5. I wish you a wonderful time of respite and renewal with your friends. Our cherry blossoms are just coming into full, wonderful flower here, and the streets of Victoria are lined with them. There is nothing, just nothing, like standing under one of them and looking through the pink, to the blue sky. Enjoy!

  6. Thank you all, so much, for your comments.

    Steven, the mighty cool and good Reya was just that...and magical. Very magical.

    Delana, you KNOW it...friend therapy is the BEST. And there was definitely dancing under the cherry blossoms!

    Reya, I told you we'd see the cherry blossoms in sunshine. I love you, dear sister/friend.

    Vicki, you were there with us in spirit, and even paid for our first round of drinks! Amazing!

    Pondside, you are so right. It was exactly that...a time of respite and renewal. And there is NOTHING like the blue blue sky through the tres.

    Dubby and Jan, your joy says it all...YAY!
    xoxo ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥


Your visit makes my heart smile. Thank you.