Inside his head…

I am excluded, locked-out, ridiculed
They glare at me with side-eyes, as though
I am some sort of circus freak
They seem to lie in wait —
Who will be the next to try to take me out?
I wonder…
Perhaps I will slide by them, unharmed, this time
He has already delivered me from so many dangers.
I know I am only here because of His saving grace
that protects me.
And I must shine on, shine on.

Hurricane Dorian and my family…

Hurricane Dorian has been stalled over the Bahamas, and is now moving toward the coast of Florida. Hopefully, it will skirt the coast; but it seems to be increasing in size. It was the most powerful storm of the year at one point…thankfully, now it is only a Category 2.

When I first heard there was to be a hurricane by that name, I said, “Uh-oh.” I had a bad feeling about it. Not because of the story, “The Picture of Dorian Gray”, about a man who remained young while committing criminal acts, while the painting of him aged instead, but for an odd connection. In my saga based on our family, Piper to the Alternative, Pamina’s father’s name is Dorian. His character is duplicitous and deceitful. He does come to a bad end.

To add to my concern, the monster storm Katrina, of 2005, was my daughter’s nickname. Her birth father called her, “Katrina, Katrina, ballerina.” So I was already on guard for a potentially devastating storm.

Dorian has so far wreaked untold havoc on the Bahamas — my parents used to vacation there, to play golf, before he became very ill. It’s headed toward Florida, where his condition allowed them to leave Flemington, New Jersey for a winter trip. They went to Cape Canaveral to witness a launch of the space shuttle. It was the Challenger liftoff, a terrible tragedy.

And so I am playing die zauberflote and joining many of you in sending prayers to all in the path of Dorian, in hopes that lives will be spared and property damage minimal…and all these odd coincidences without merit…

A dressage master, a ‘riding block’ and a 200-year-old mystery…

Some time ago “Miles” and I rode for a respected dressage master who had spent many years with the legendary Nuno Oliviera. It was a hot spring day at a barn south of the Twin Cities, and we trotted in 20-meter circles for nearly an hour. I kept tossing off layers of clothing, and “Miles” was pouring sweat. Afterward, JP said to me, “I think you can accomplish anything you want, but first you have to get through a riding block.” “What do you mean?” I asked. He said, “I can’t tell you that. You have to figure that out.” The following day “Miles” was trailored back (with horses they were going to ride on the eventing course) and JP went out of his way to tell our barn owner and manager the same thing, with great intensity. I was thoroughly bewildered by that time, yet extremely grateful. It seemed like a door had been opened, and even though I had no idea what was on the other side, it would ultimately be good. Little did I know that I had started on a course that has in some ways turned my life upside down forever.

Not knowing where to start, I continued taking dressage lessons. But I increasingly sensed that I was riding from an external place, not from within. I realized that I was not comfortable with that. It was mechanical. JP had also said to all of us, “Don’t be a mechanical rider.” I began to sense that whatever it was had to come from within.

I began to ride during the lessons of others, and watch how they were being taught. I began to observe the different teaching styles, and strengths of the teachers. I remembered him saying something to the effect, “Don’t bother taking lessons until you figure this out.” And so, gradually and reluctantly, I let go of taking lessons.

Some of my earliest childhood memories were riding cow ponies with my Father on our visits to the barren plains of South Dakota, sitting behind the saddle, hanging on for dear life. As these frisky quarter horses took off at a gallop, turned on a dime, and generated wild craziness, I had nothing but trust to work on, as I did not hold the reins. I realized that my childhood equestrian training was probably a bit different from most. I began to wonder if my Father was testing me. For that reason, I never refused to ride. I did, however, develop internal scars. That’s probably it, I thought.

As I began to get in touch with my roots, I said to myself, “that is what I know, that is what I need to get back to.” And so, recently, I asked for the help of a horse whisperer/cowboy who works wonders with all the horses at our barn and asked to learn to ride bareback comfortably. At first, it was just in the round pen. Then in the empty outdoor arena. Then the indoor. (You can imagine the eye-rolls, I’m sure.)

But slowly, gradually, with the help of the words of Nuno, faithfully transcribed for us, we began to grow together, “Miles” and I. We still have a lot to accomplish, but we are grounded and comfortable in the process.

My family, meanwhile, has been turned upside down. After the passing of my Mother I was at last able to connect the dots of the trauma generated by my birth family, which included my having to ingest toxic substances without my knowledge or permission. I told my husband about this and his response was, “You remember this?” I told my two younger children and they acted as though they had been caught red-handed. I told my sister, the only other surviving member of my birth family, and she was outraged at me. I had no other option but to refuse to have anything more to do with her.

So now we sit in a sort of limbo, as all that was hidden about these events comes to light. And in the process, and through it all, I came to understand what a mystery there has always been about what really happened to Wolf, and how many myths and false concepts (such as the limited hang-out version in “Amadeus”) have been foisted on the unsuspecting public, and I came to realize, in the midst of my horror and dismay at the behavior of my loved ones, how lucky I am to be managing to survive. And of course, all of this is because of the gift that he suffered and died for — his extraordinary legacy — die zauberflote…

Die Zauberflote and the “Mozart Effect”…a mystery?M4B*

There was a point in time, not so long ago, when it seemed that just about everyone was enamored with the concept of the “Mozart Effect”. Why, it helps children to be smarter! It’s great to listen to during childbirth! It’s good for stress! You name it, there seemed to be some lovely quality or another at work whenever one listened to a piece of Wolfgang Mozart’s music. And this is as it should be, as it is my position that his music is a gift of God, and generates shalom.

So, it would be only natural to expect that die zauberflote — which also has the “Mozart Effect” would be welcomed with enthusiasm. Why would it not? one might ask…

But no — people, upon hearing me play die zauberflote, tend to fall into two camps — either they weep tears of joy or they become silent and may also grit their teeth. Someone even recently suggested that I ask to have a study done on the effects of people listening to die zauberflote, as the responses seem to be so profound. In fact, I have a request in at the UofM, which, ironically, is where I did my flute performance major some time ago. Ironically, the response there was — you guessed it — completely bizarre.

It puzzles me that I can go into a worldly place, such as a school, and have someone call out, “Glory be, the great lady is here!” and I can go into a congregation, or onto the darkened stage at Orchestra Hall and find silence so deep you could hear a pin drop. And then, slowly, people may start to crawl out of the woodwork, so to speak, and behave very strangely indeed.

Just one of the mysteries of die zauberflote, I guess. I should know by now…

*M4B=Mozart For Believers

What do I mean by my being ‘locked out’ by the Minnesota Orchestra…

For the first time in almost 200 years the sound of new Mozart was heard on the stage at Orchestra Hall. But it was not heard during a concert, nor was it given a proper introduction. Instead, the man I call “Monostatos” enticed me and die zauberflote to ‘practice’ on the darkened stage. The sound was heard throughout the building because the sound system was connected to the stage. Week after week, during our captivity at the hands of Monostatos, I played pieces from the flute and violin repertoire. To what end? Colleagues of Monostatos, in effect, crawled out of the woodwork, behaving very strangely. Everyone knew what was happening. But have you heard the slightest bit of excitement about these extraordinary circumstances? No. Instead, Monostatos and his buddies have done everything in their power to slander my credibility as a musican and, yes, even cause me bodily harm.

During the recent lockout of the players, I began to wonder if their being locked out had any connection to their earlier ‘lockout’ of me and die zauberflote. So I wrote to Mr. Vanska and explained my situation. I asked for die zauberflote to be heard again on that same stage. I did everything I could think of to bring die zauberflote to the attention of the Board as well. I felt that this could be an opportunity to resolve both their issues and mine.

But, unfortunately, that did not happen. To this day, that letter has, in fact, gone unanswered…

What if Wolf never believed the lie?

Wolf was surrounded by people who were attempting to deceive him. Some were family, some were ‘friends’, some were colleagues. They flattered him. They tried to gain access to his inner circle. They tried to gain his trust. Why? Let me explain.

Wolf had been given an unusual gift, one that none of them had. It was a gift of perfection in music. To make a musical analogy — his gift was like a perfect fourth or fifth, whereas there gifts were like major or minor intervals. That is what made Wolf’s music incomparable. They hated that, and they hated him for that.

None of this is really new — it was alluded to in the movie “Amadeus”. Salieri was, in essence, symbolic of all the treachery and deceit that surrounded Wolf. But Salieri may have known a secret that he tried to use to gain an advantage — that Wolf had been a victim of being caused bodily harm through the administering of small doses of toxic substances. This may have started when Wolf was living with his birth family. Perhaps it was the jealous Nannerl who was secretly doing this. Wolf’s mother, Maria Anna, was unable to protect him. She died in his arms in Paris. Leopold and Nannerl tried to blame her death on Wolf. This added a terrible burden to Wolf’s own grief.

The ongoing administration of toxic substances without Wolf’s knowledge or permission could have been done as a means of controlling both him and his extraordinary gift. As a result, Wolf was supposed to be little more than a mind-controlled zombie. When Wolf married Constanze, the same thing could have happened by her hand. The antipathy between Constanze and Nannerl, in fact, led to them being buried at opposite ends of Vienna.

Were Wolf’s continual moving from one place to another, as well as his being supposedly ‘not good with money’ in fact connected to this ongoing pogram against him? If so, was he supposed to believe that it was God’s will that he suffer the possibility of bodily harm by those who broke bread with him? If this were to be the case, would that not account for perhaps some of his frantic activity to compose as many pieces as possible as quickly as possible?

But, in a worse-case-scenario, surrounded by a brood of vipers, a vortex of the evil eye, in fact, is it possible that Wolf never believed this lie?

I offer to you Wolf’s last major opera, Die Zauberflote, which defines with some clarity this great gift that he was allowed to be steward of during his life on earth. If so, he knew this gift better than anyone. He believed in the power of this great gift — a gift of brilliance never again seen in music — and a gift of shalom, no matter how trying his earthly circumstances were.

The Mozart ‘tornado’ concert…

After Monostatos left my children and me, after having held us hostage for about 666 days, I decided that despite the threats to my life and slander of my character I would not be silenced. And so, with the resources at my disposal — which were limited by having been musically ‘locked out’ by Monostatos and his cohorts at the Minnesota Orchestra — I booked the Art Room at the Hennepin Avenue Methodist Church for an all-Mozart concert. The photo for the posters was taken by one of their own. A poster hung in the stage entry of Orchestra Hall. It included a phone number to request tickets. My answering machine took quite a beating, as tens, if not hundreds of hang-up calls were made every night from that point on. I figured Monostatos may have had something to do with that, and did my best to brush it off.

I had found a very good accompanist to work with. That was surprising, as most pianists seemed to have only a limited understanding of how to perform Mozart. I was pleased and relieved — something good will come of this, I thought. Despite the answering machine omen, that is…

Everything was going beautifully. I gave a pre-concert at the Minneapolis Public Library during lunchtime a few days earlier, that was very well received. I had learned by then to trust die zauberflote — and also to expect a lot of twists and turns. Little did I know what lay ahead…

The morning of that June 14th was just gorgeous. It was becoming a bit humid, but that was to be expected at this time of year. I gave my darling children, who would be coming with me, a brief lecture on not running around and making noise while I was performing. I naively thought that would be the worst of my concerns.

Then the weather began to change. A friend called to tell me that it looked like there was a tornado atop the IDS building in downtown Minneapolis. Another friend called to say they would not be able to make the concert because a large tree had fallen across their driveway in the Kenwood area. I quickly assessed our situation — the weather was still good in Hopkins, so we packed up to head downtown. Then the accompanist called to say that a tornado had touched down on his apartment building and he was suffering a panic attack. Also, his ride had canceled due to the weather. I asked if he could take a bus, but he refused. I called another friend who lived nearby and they offered to give him a ride. Other friends called to let me know that they were stuck in the Har Mar mall, where another tornado had hit, and would not be able to attend.

Though tempted to give up in anguish at the sudden and frightening turn of events, I headed downtown with my children and flute. The Art Room was humid. As I warmed up, sweat was dripping down my chin, and my fingers were sliding on the keys. Great! I thought. What next?

But gradually people trickled in. Ashen, my accompanist finally arrived, looking like he had seen a ghost. The skies had settled. The flurry of tornadoes had stopped. My children were playing quietly, as a neighbor kept an eye on them.

And then the concert flew by. Literally, lifted on wings. The culminating piece was Wolf’s D Major Flute Concerto. The extraordinary shalom of die zauberflote was heard throughout the room, to delighted and at times even rapturous applause — as much for my gifted accompanist as for me…

Once again, the darkness had lost…and all was well…and die zauberflote had been taken out of the night of the darkened stage at Orchestra Hall into the light of day, and of the common people, the salt of the earth…

Would you care?

Would it matter if you were to learn that most of what you are being told about the death of Wolfgang Mozart is false? Would it matter if you knew that there were some who passed the truth down in a secret and occult manner? And that this was being deliberately withheld from the general public? Would it matter if the movie “Amadeus” was intended to put up a smokescreen to make sure the truth never came to light? If so, I may be able to help…

An as-yet undefined subplot in the opera Die Zauberflote as prophecy…

There are some straightforward characters in Mozart’s last major opera, The Magic Flute, that correspond to those in real life — my Mother,for example — the real-life Queen of the Night who managed to bewitch just about everyone (but me); my Father, who gave me my first flute; Monostatos, who is a player with the Minnesota Orchestra, and of course, my three children, who are represented as such. The reality, however, may be even more profound than the opera (granted, Wolf didn’t have all the time in the world either) in that the children who save Pamina from despair when Tamino is silent are actually her own children. Filled with fury, the Queen of the Night comes after the children and tries to use them in her machinations, attempting to leave Pamina bereft, and thereby contributing greatly to Pamina’s despair. Monostatos also goes after the children and attempts to enlist them to the Queen’s agenda…

…and so, all that is left for Pamina is the wondrous sound and assurance of die zauberflote…

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