I can tell you in all honesty that I feel i was born with a target on my back. When I was quite little I saw a vision of a dreadful being — a dark angel that I came to call “Lermontov”, because its appearance resembled the character Lamar Waldron played in the movie “The Red Shoes”. This being seemed to have control of my birth family, taunting them, leading them into darkness. It was a frightening thing for me as a child to carry this burden of sensing that there seemed to be something supernatural and terribly evil coming at my loved ones and threatening our house. As you might imagine, nobody would listen to me. I was unable to articulate in a convincing manner the challenges we were facing. It seemed that my existence was what Lermontov objected to. I could not imagine why. It all seemed very sinister and strange. I never ‘saw’ Lermontov again, but could hear the energy connected with ‘him’. It was and is a dark energy, dense and threatening. As I would try to go to sleep at night there were times when it felt as though Lermontov was trying to literally shake our house apart. This dark angel used everyone in my birth family to try to cause me pain and do me harm. I do not blame them. They were just vulnerable and used for its dark ends.
My parents told me that I began singing at about eight weeks of age. When I was near a radio I would sing along with the songs or jingles that were being played and then sing them on my own. I was playing the piano and performing as a singer and tap dancer at age 3. I was en pointe at age 7. I did not begin to play the flute until I was 9. At that point, everything in our lives seemed to go into upheaval — my Mother became ill and had to have an operation, my Father’s closest sibling, his brother Everett, died by his own hand. It felt like we were sliding into an abyss, but in reality we had entered a kind of vortex where there was both good and evil. We just could not see that.
As Lermontov tried to use my family members against me I began to realize that there seemed to be something in the energy of the flute itself that was protecting me. I would fall ill dramatically and without warning (later determined most likely to have been poisoning) and then would recover just as quickly. I would find myself in dangerous situations, such as skiing and sliding down an Alp off-piste, not realizing that could have caused an avalanche, only to find that everything was fine. With all the persecution that I dealt with in my birth family (and a lot of it not very well) I managed to persevere and grow. I was able by some miracle to leave that house alive. My father was almost not as lucky, as he nearly died by his own hand a few months after I left.
I was so devastated at my Father’s situation that, although I had been a superficial Christian — my family was Methodist — that I decided to turn my back on Gd as I understood Him. How could He allow this to happen to my Father? Especially when it was my Mother who was cruel and vicious? I decided to put the flute away, and until I became saved did not perform with it or even practice regularly. My life turned upside down and became quite convoluted. I married a man who had great energy and abilities, but also suffered from the demons connected with alcohol, so the challenges were significant. But Gd spoke to me in the birth of our first child, who was the most miraculous individual I had ever known. All the pain and suffering I felt I had endured from my birth family melted away. Somehow, it had all been related — it was certainly all worth it. I came to know the Lrd Jesus Christ personally, and was delighted to discover that I was pregnant again. Our boys were only 14 months apart. One born in San Francisco, and one in Boston. We moved to Minnesota and our daughter was born there. The flute guided us all, even through the tumult of treatment, and, ultimately divorce and distance.
Next came our bout with the clique I call “Monostatos” and their Orchestra. Every avenue of success and substance was blocked off for us. They took food out of the mouths of my children. My birth family declined to help us. How was I to raise three children alone and provide for them while what I considered my main avenues of supply, flute performing and the book I was writing about us, were being blocked, ridiculed, and slandered at every turn? They had locked out Mozart. They treated me as though I was already dead and just waited for something terrible to happen to me.
Nonetheless, the energy of the flute kept the vortex churning. Locked out of performing as a musician, I found I had a talent for making computers break down. I tried to turn that into a living. I met a man there who was also saved, and who helped me become grounded in the Word. He became and is my longest best friend. He had also been caused to stumble and had been slandered. Gd supported him and used everything for good. I met my wonderful husband, who too came out of the vortex having been blocked and caused to stumble at every turn, perhaps due to the same mechinations of this dark angel Lermontov.
Then came an astounding series of events that may or may not have had anything to do with us and die zauberflote. 9/11 devasted my husband’s home town of New York City, where I had also lived for four years after growing up in nearby Fairfield, Connecticut. My Mother at that time lived not far from there, in Flemington, New Jersey. My sister and her husband lived in DC. Then, my Mother moved to a retirement community in DC. The day all of us flew to DC to celebrate her birthday and perform and her party the I-35 Bridge came down. We used that bridge regularly as my children and their families live on the east side of the metro, and we live on the west. My Mother then passed away, and all our family dynamics went into upheaval again. My sister left to teach in Africa. One child stepped away from the rest of the family. At the stroke of midnight of the day following anniversary of the first performance of the opera Die Zauberflote in Vienna in 1791 the Minnesota Orchestra players were locked out. October 22 of 2012 my hometown, as well as the entire NYC metro was devastated by Hurricane Sandy. A few weeks later, Newtown, which I had visited recently for high school reunions, endured the terrible shooting at Sandy Hook. Sensing that there might be a connection to the upheaval at the Minnesota Orchestra connected to their, in effect, through “Monostatos”, locking me out first, long ago, I wrote to Mr. Henson, then Mr. Sprenger, and Mr. Vanska. I asked for their help and asked for die zauberflote to be heard on the darkened stage where I had once been encouraged to practice. I was not even granted the courtesy of a reply.
But the energy of the flute has kept churning. We are in the center of the vortex, and we are safe from this dark angel. We are getting ready to begin our Locked-Out series of concerts. We are preparing our conception video for Piper to the Alternative called “Out of Night and Fog”. The main character of the video is, in fact the vortex. I have been granted my childhood dream — a wonderful dark horse i nicknamed “Miles”. His sassy silliness and warmth have helped me endure the suffering and trauma resulting from the realization that even my precious children had been used as a “hook of Lermontov” to cause me to lose heart and either die or take my own life. Exhausted beyond comprehension, I have let my horse be my strength, and let the horse be my speed. The Holy Spirit in this gift of die zauberflote refreshes me and keeps me moving forward, even with a target on my back that Lermontov keeps trying to hit.
And so I say to you with all authority of my experience, that Jesus Christ and the kingdom of Gd are real, that He triumphed over all evil on the cross, and that He goes to the uttermost to save us, and to make intercession for us (Hebrews 4:25). I can say this with the knowledge of having tried and failed so many times that His presence in this gift of die zauberflote has lifted me up, righted me, and set me where I need to be. This is a gift of shalom. I hope you will treasure it as I do. It will do the same for you.
*M4B=Mozart for Believers…