Writers write for the same reason readers read, to find out what's gonna happen.
By Betty Butler ©2000
Finding my mission, path, my life’s work
Was a gift from God, not a whimsical quirk.
A friend and I wrote a song called Healers of the Heart™
This is how our business names got their start.
Playing therapeutic harp has blessed our lives,
Conventions, hospitals, memorials and at bedside.
We’ve both traveled extensively, far and wide
But the why and how of this work is difficult to describe.
While my music will not impress a Broadway critic
I provide more than moody music for the sick.
My training in hospice and grief counseling,
Enlightens my intuition so compassionate service is fulfilling.
Alongside my harp with my poems and my songs
I am invited to journey along.
As a companion and a sacred witness
Of life’s passages of pain, joy, and bliss.
One Christmas a Rabbi came to my Christian congregation
Lecturing on the camps of Auschwitz concentration.
I played a lengthy prelude and then postlude too
Over and over, just the three Jewish songs I knew.
Rabbis said, “This Holocaust pains me, but I can’t forget
My goal is to pass on remembrance permanently set
In the minds of all, past wrongs and honored memories
These words and music will bring everyone to their knees.
The audience rose but did not applaud
Awe struck by the miraculous ways of God.
Tears flowed freely as they embraced
Sadness glistened, streaming down each face.
Many stood, arm-in-arm, swaying
Transfixed by what my harp was saying.
Grief stricken for hero’s stories untold
Grateful for the many sacrifices of long ago.
“His story makes my hurting heart cry inside.
I can’t stop the tears and I really have tried.
Please fix me, Mommy!” My baby girl cried.
My soul prayed the Healing One would comfort & abide.
Three Christian matrons approached: “We’ve toured Israel,
The lyrics of those tunes we know very well.
Christmas songs today would not do. We’re glad you are only playing Jewish songs
Rock of Ages, Amazing Grace would have been all wrong.
Another matriarch said, “Keep playing, don’t stop, keep going.
Your healing heart harp is steadily showing
How distance and difference can be moved aside
One-by-One, note-by-note, heart-by-heart, side-by-side.”
I’ve learned music is our common language
In our tears there is a sacred message
Our hugs are our universal vocabulary
For healing the heart to be an eternal emissary.
So what do I do exactly, you ask?
I’ve really been given a simple task.
I play only a small part
I attempt to touch each heart.
From birth through life’s journey to closure at the end.
I encourage acceptance and celebration of life’s transition...
Home-coming, Home-going, I try to set the mood for life’s reunions.
With sacred songs creating bonding communion.
Whether stateside, Oceanside, out or inside
No cure, but soothing comfort and healing besides
In the doorway, chair, bedside or side-by-side
I hope my Harpside Theraharpy will meet you Heartside.
Healers of the Heart Outreach
Heartside Theraharpy at Harpside
Are trademarks of Healers of the Heart™
More information contact Betty Butler
113 Velarde N.W. Albuquerque, New Mexico 87107
At a quarter to the hour, he and his driver arrived, having gotten lost, gotten off at the wrong freeway exit and turned around... He was elderly and frail and stressed. He looked around for the source of the music. The guide motioned to me, up on the stand, just behind the podium to his right. He smiled, nodded, put his hand on his heart and said, "Oh, you have found one of mine." As he passed in front of me, he patted the air above my head, above my shoulders and above my harp. I wanted to weep.
My Native American part of me wanted to say, "Thank you, Grandfather."
The Chinese Dragon Lady wanted to bow and say, "SheaShea"
The Kahuna in me wanted to say, "Mahalo, Aloha."
The city mouse wanted to salute and say, "Namaste"
The little country mouse did nothing.
She folded her hands in her lap, and looked at them thru out his speech, letting the tears drop in puddles in my palms.
The guide had to touch me that a closing prayer was going to be given, blessing on the refreshments (Bagels and Cream Cheese how cliche)...and then I was to play until the Chapel emptied and all had a chance to shake his hand in the reception line.
My littlest one would come and lay her head on my shoulder and weep.
A few days passed...One morning as I was going to drive them to school, she came in the foyer for what I thought was a cutsey Eskimo Kiss Goodbye but she leaned forward to touch forehead to forehead. Little crystal saddness drops landed on my chest. She begged to be allowed to stay home.
heartside to heartside...