Tag Archives: Esme

Edgeness. 3 funerals and a birth


I have heard it said that in 7 years, a person’s whole body – every bit of it, down to the cellular (and perhaps beyond) level – is replaced in that time by a new set of cells, ready to take on the task of the day to day life of being human.  But what of the soul?

I’ve returned from some magical travels to a more equatorial part of the world with my beloved, and have landed amidst the mud and mire of early spring back home.  Normally a joyful season for most folk, what with the coming of green things and the promise of new fawns in the bulging bellies of the local mama deer, early spring has, in fact, proved challenging for us over the years.  This year marks the 7th anniversary of Esme’s death which was a sea change in the lives of both of my children, in our own lives as parents, and in the collective life of an entire close-knit community.  Not to mention, her dear family.   Everything is now measured against this tragic event.  And in March, we are called back to the season to take stock, re-visit ourselves and our losses and re-calibrate our lives to a certain extent.

And so we did.


Es’s weeping cherry tree in Spring Grove Cemetery is thriving.  Under the now formidable presence of the tree, little offerings of love and memory are present….

IMG_3213 IMG_3215

We were glad to see them.

Madeleine and I drove around the cemetery just to take in the beauty and the years of memorials present there.  It’s breathtaking, the number of stories held by this place.  Just the names and birthdates alone get you thinking, ‘ Why did this person die so young?’  Or maybe even, ‘wow, that guy sure lived a long and hearty life for the time!’.  There seems to be no rhyme or reason to any of it.


There really doesn’t.

It was strange that M. was home for Esme’s anniversary as it was only to mark the passing of another family friend, the loving mama of a dance friend of her’s.  Lucinda, a wonderfully witty, thoroughly engaging fellow dance mom I’d known over the years, passed away from cancer, leaving behind a kid just a year younger than my own, amongst many others she loved and whom cherished her.


We are all heartbroken.

And so from memories of one to memorializing another, March seems to be funeral season.  We are all glad we have each other.


Amidst all of this funeriality, I was called upon to play some music with friends at the wake of someone dear to them.  And so we did.


It was fascinating to me to see the effect of the presence live music has in the environment of grief.  Music, especially live music, seems to punctuate the moments of celebration of a long life well lived, while simultaneously allowing for the pauses for tearful acknowledgement of great loss to a tune perhaps more in the minor key, or slowed down enough to capture the depth of that loss.  I was honored to play a small part in all of it.

And today, M and I attended Lucinda’s funeral.  And then made our way back up to Columbus to plant her back at school where she belongs.

Like I said, it’s been a heavy season.

But every edge has two sides.  Alongside the grief in recent days, was a fair amount of hope-full worry in our family, which has thankfully come to  a bright and beautiful homecoming.


Our nephew, wee Frank came to us on Monday, just over a week ago.  He arrived early, amidst some worry as to The State Of Things regarding how he was faring.  Sure enough he had a bit of a struggle for a number of days as he caught his breath from his early oncoming.  Eventually, thanks to the tremendously brave parenting and caregiving he was fortunate to receive, Frank went home to get to know his siblings. Things, for perhaps just one wild moment, seemed completely right with the world…. (though in this shot, Big Brother Harry might not be so sure.  I’ve heard he’s come ’round in the mean time. )


This is the crazy balance of it all.  Walking the knife’s edge of life’s beauty and heartbreak.  Making time for all of this Big Life Stuff, while trying to fit the work of Making a Living, or perhaps even Getting a Little Art Made, into the grooves of life’s floorboards.

Even though I didn’t feel quite up to it with these recent heavy days, I met up with some fellow sketchers to challenge the blustery breeze of Esme’s day with some drawing downtown.  Christina had invited a few of us to join her while WCET filmed her segment for a show on her work.  I can’t wait to see it, and of course share it with you, as her work is fabulous.  Sketching is a strong part of her work and we all enjoy sketching together.  In spite of the chill, we all managed a sketch of Music Hall, as well as some lively conversation…



Why is it always a lesson?  That making the time and effort for some music and some art, are the things that make sense of a difficult season?  Perhaps because I am only human and by that I mean, I have still much to learn.  This is the development of the Soul.

It is March.  I have many hours to make up at the Shop and many, many more hours to make up to my own solitude and writing and sketching of new ideas.  In times like these when life comes at us reckless, I wonder, how do they do it?  The successful ones.  Those produced, published, and promoted.

Perhaps they just stomp the work into the floorboards of life, between the moments of birth and grief.  I have heard that music happens between the notes.  Perhaps I am onto something…


More soon…




Walking the line(s)

I’ve been thinking a great deal about lines lately.  Not just the drawn line, of which I am overly fond, but other lines and how we toe them….

train lines, airlines, bus lines, online vs. offline, lines of code, wrack lines, Irish Dance lines… lines lines lines.


In the past couple of weeks (possibly longer, though I am not entirely sure of the timing) you may have come to this lowly little blog and found offers to buy, ahem,’ v!@&ra ‘, if you catch my drift.  Yep, I was hacked.  Which had me and my already over worked husband combing thru lines and lines and lines of code to try and figure out the issue.  We had some help via my server and their email service, which in the long run, worked – combined with our just-enough-to-be-dangerous skillz on the computer.  That said, there will be some changes in the coming weeks.  I have hired a gatekeeper, per the recommendation of my bloggety friend out in Colorado, Rachel at 6512 and Growing.  This gatekeeper has techie skillz to help keep this virtual space up to date and protected and she works with a server that is, get this, wind-driven.  This appeals to my luddite soul and while I am all for blogging and online this and that, I like my feet firmly on the ground.  I am thrilled to have folks who feel the same way on my team of awesomeness.  Welcome MB  and the folks over at Canvas Dreams who will hopefully be hosting this site soon.  I think this will be a beautiful partnership, if Rachel’s online presence is any indication.

Anyway, the timing on all of this craziness online, while I’m sure never good for anyone, was just awful.  Here I am trying to get my Taos trip up and running and anyone who might be new to me or the blog would arrive on my virtual doorstep and, well, you know.  On top of everything, as is usually the case, the smalls had us running hither, thither and yon with their activities, which have been slightly more worldly and otherworldly of late….

Early March will forever be a difficult time for our family as we mark the passing of our friend Esme.  This time is especially tricky for my youngest who still has 6th grade memories of a terrible time, that she now grapples with as a young adult.  So we just do the best we can.  We are fortunate to have a special tree to visit planted in Esme’s honor by her family, and we were doubly fortunate that on this particular afternoon, we had the place to ourselves.

esmes tree

The tree is growing beautifully and I am hoping to see it bloom later this spring.

esmes tree message 2


Sometimes only messages left to be delivered by the fairy folk will do…..


esmes tree heart

The ties of friendship are indeed beautiful and if nurtured, can be strong enough to span the globe.  Below are two old friends in the Jazz tradition, Isi (who is better know as Dr. Rudnick at SCPA) and Kas (who runs a fabulous Jazz program at the Zelenski School of Music in Krakow, Poland.  These two came up with an idea that brought our two countries and schools together for an exchange of students and music this spring.  A group of students came over to visit in March and we quickly came to call them family.

old friends

jazz kids

mum and the boysHere’s me, mama Bogard, with our boys who stayed with us, Olav and David.  Jack, there on the right, is now over in Poland visiting them!  The magic of the student exchange process cannot be underestimated.  The logistics of managing it all can be exhausting, but all families I have spoken with seem to agree, it’s worth the effort.

the boys speaking the same language

While David spoke little English, he excelled at just about any instrument he touched, and while officially here to play double bass in the jazz band, he wowed us at our weekly Irish music session with some fabulous traditional tunes from Poland.  It was so fun to speak the universal language of music with our new friends.  I wish we could have kept this group of kids around longer but they had to head home.  And of course, our kids had to get over there to explore Poland!  I am sure they are all having a fantastic reunion there together!

You might think, with my track record for travel, that I would have gone with them to Poland… and believe me, I thought about it.  But there was a different trip to take.  My little Irish dancer, who was just learning her over-downs yesterday it seems, was due to go to Boston for the World Championships in Irish Dancing with her ceili and choreography teams.  So I went to Boston and did the dance mom thing, applying stagey make-up and watching the kids do what they do best.

irish dancing linesThe McGing gals placed 5th (in the world!) in the Sr. Ladies’ Choreography competition, which is no small achievement.  And it was wonderful to witness their hard work come to fruition.  On most days it looks a lot like this:

lines practiceBut for the teams and solo dancers who work their hardest, it can wind up looking like this: (below is Maddie’s friend Katie who is a world class solo dancer! Just had to share this picture as it really shows the athleticism and poise these kids have.)

air time


I am still amazed at times at what the extra-curricular lives of my offspring look like.  I couldn’t have predicted any of it!  But for as worldly as they are in the pursuits of their passions, they are still woodland creatures at heart.  Mads is off for spring break and is spending the day in the Red River Gorge with Tony, her cousins and one of the dogs.  Not a bad way to shake off the stress of a world competition.

And while everyone else is hither, thither and yon, I have chosen to hang out at home for a few days.  Trying to get caught up here on the blog now that the code is clean,  doing some drawing, in which I am sorely days behind and spending a little time outside.
my familiar

Hoping that I can trade in the airlines, train lines, lines of code, standing in lines, etc, for some lines of newly planted seeds and maybe a new story line….

veggie lines

story line