• author
    • Cathy Speck

      Columnist, Photographer
    • May 6, 2019 in Columnists

    Life comes full circle again and again

    Cathy Speck sings at the 2010 Whole Earth Festival in Davis, CA.

    Thanks for the memories Facebook !

    This pic was from before I needed oxygen as part of my ALS survival ! I look naked without the cannula up my nostrils ! I’m pretty sure it’s the Whole Earth Festival in May of 2010, when Tami Talle was playing drums with us — Duval Speck & The Essentials. ( FB said this pic is from four years ago, but it’s older than that. Apparently, I posted it again in 2015 )

    Ennyhoo, I got pneumonia the following April and was unable to sing for several years. I thought my singing career was over and “suffered through” the whole grieving process. I finally came to peaceful acceptance about “losing my voice” and, after much encouragement by writer extraordinaire Debra DeAngelo, I decided to purse another avenue of creative expression.

    A million years ago, I was a journalist/ writer/poet, but stopped all that when I started songwriting and singing in 1990. So when I lost my singing voice in 2011, instead of singing on stage, I found my “writing voice” and joined other journalists at iPinion Syndicate. A couple years later, I even had a story about Mazie published in a book and did a reading with the other writers like Kate Laddish, David Lacy and David Weinshilboum, Debra, of course, and more at The Avid Reader in delightful downtown Davis. Geez, talk about life coming full circle. But wait, there’s more !

    In July of 2014 I was also diagnosed with metastatic neuroendocrine cancer and had major surgery. The surgeons got out what they could, but it was too spread out in little nooks and crannies. I was in Sutter Hospital (Sacramento) on the fifth floor for a week, and when I was finally able to sit up, stand up (OMG that hurt!), I gazed out the window, and something clicked. A new wave of inspiration swept into my body.
    The way I saw things shifted. I had an illuminating change of perSPECKtive, and that’s when I decided to share my new observations. But how? I’d never been an actual “visual artist,” but when I got out of the hospital, I decided to start taking pictures with my cell phone. After endless incredibly loving support — in real life and on Facebook — l had my first exhibit in July 2016, at Pamela Trokanski’s Performance Center. (Not that Facebook isn’t “real life,” of course.)

    And then…. wait for it… my singing voice miraculously, completely unexpectedly, came back! Holy Sheeyat! Another full circle experience! So here I am, singing, making Phoneto Art, writing, fully living while dying, and loving fully! I feel truly blessed and am grateful beyond words, even though I use thousands of words trying to convey my gratitude… Whew !

    And, oh yeah, one of the biggest things I’m thankful for is being able to ride my totally terrific trike! When I was in the hospital (again) last October, I had three gigantic goals, even though I had no idea if I’d recover with much strength at all.

    The first thing on my list was to ride my trike again, followed by having at least one more concert and art exhibit. OMG! I’m doing it all! And the best thing is that whenever I realize I’ve had my final concert or exhibit, I will be at peace. I will be filled with thankful acceptance.
    I’ve had so many, many “second chances” and every day is a bonus. A truly beautiful bonus. Life comes full circle again and again.
    I embrace it all.

    And here we go again :

    Cathy Speck has found her voice and is singing again!

    I have ANOTHER 2nd Friday Art About at the DCC Art Gallery on Friday May 10, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Yes, I’m pumping out new pieces like there’s no tomorrow. Why? Because, right now, I can! Live music provided by The Adapters (me and the talented Neal Hibbard) from 6:15 to 7 p.m. I’ll be giving a guided tour of my exhibit at 5:45, cuz I just love telling the backstory of each piece.

    Woohoo ! Art, live music, and refreshments FREE. All ages!
    Enter through the main entrance of the Davis Community Church on 4th St between C and D Street, in Davis.

    Please, please spread the word!



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