After two abdominal surgeries and a combined total of 23 days in the hospital, my husband Carl Crosier has returned home to hospice care. We are both discovering what that means — what the possibilities, and what the limitations are. It took two hours to meet with our assigned hospice nurse, Stacy, to go through the admissions process — and throughout the day there was a steady stream of “official” visitors to bring medical supplies and equipment, plus a trip to the drug store to pick up prescriptions.
But Carl is not one to let grass grow under his feet! Already in last night’s meal preparation, he was showing our son, Stephen, how to use the chopper to mince onions, and he was barking out instructions to his sister Carol and me on how to prepare the dinner.
And last night he spent a couple hours in preparation choosing repertoire for the Early Music Hawaii concert scheduled for September 19th at St. Theresa’s. (For a description of this upcoming all-women’s concert, click here). That meant listening to recordings of music as well as studying scores. While in the hospital, Carl had me retrieve his concert binder for a program he put together on December 6, 1998: A Symphony of Praise; Music of Hildegard of Bingen.After searching in several places in our condo, it was more than amazing (in fact, it was a miracle!) that I found the music he was looking for — which I discovered in the trunk of his car!
Here was the hype: A Woman as Old as Methusela!! Music of 900-year-old composer to be performed at LCH! Saint Hildegard of Bingen was born 900 years ago, in 1098. Hildegard was a very busy woman, but she still found time to write poetry which she set to music for her nuns to sing during the liturgy. Hildegard’s many liturgical songs are a perfect blending of words and melody, often soaring to ethereal heights of ecstasy. She called them “the symphony of the harmony of heavenly revelations” and linked them to her visions wherein she encountered “the reflection of the Living Light.” Hildegard is also credited with inventing a new musical/dramatic form, the medieval morality play. In her play, Ordo Virtutum, all the parts were completely sung, except for the role of the Devil, who she felt was incapable of song!
The concert was sung by The Hildegard Ensemble of Honolulu, and the singers were: Karin Brown, Katherine Crosier, Georgine Stark, Vicki Gorman, Mary Kubota, Susan McCreary, Jane Boyle, Olivia Castro, Janet Dubay and Charlotte Miller. Instrumentalists included Susan Pang, recorder; Esha Neogy, viols; Claire Rivero, harp, and myself on organ. Kathryn Klingebiel read scripture and writings of Hildegard in between antiphons, psalms, and responsorials. Those of you who were there may remember that the concert was sold out and standing room only. I also recall that bunches of people were sitting on the floor (!) and we in the choir processing had to step over them! (Those of you who know Carl know that choreography is always a part of the program. Remember double figure-eights?!) If you would like to view a PDF, click here: Hildegard Program.
Many people have asked me about visiting. Since we live at Fort Knox with 24-hour guards and secured elevators, please call or text me first so that I can arrange a schedule which will allow Carl to finish some of his projects as well as to get some rest.
Thank you again for all the cards, letters and emails as we travel this journey.