Every so often, I get amazing feedback. Feedback that reminds me why I am singing and why this journey is my life.
The following letter is one such example. It brings tears to my eyes every time I read this:
OK, so I've been meaning to write to you since Sunday. This is going to be a long post, be warned.
Not sure how much you know about pigs, but I thought I'd give you a little info about Eleanor. :)
So, Ellie is a Vietnamese Pot-Bellied Pig, she's 13 and a half years old, and we adopted her from a closing farm sanctuary two years ago. When we adopted her, she was significantly under-weight (only 45 pounds!), because she had been residing with three other much larger pigs, who would eat all her food and she wouldn't really get a lot to eat. She's a very slow eater and couldn't stand up for herself. She had also never really interacted with a family before, so when she came to live with us, she was very scared and frightened, and it took about six months or so before she really trusted us fully. She is incredibly intelligent; she learned all of the obedience signals our dog knows in only an hour. She's also incredibly mischievous, as are most pot-bellies. She learned how to un-do pretty much all of the baby-proofing we did in no time at all. She can open doors, screw-top canisters, cabinets, and the refrigerator. She'll do pretty much anything to get to a tasty snack. She's a very healthy 104 pounds now, perfect size for her frame. :)
Ellie has the most wonderful sense of humor. She loves slapstick comedy (Charlie Chaplin and The Three Stooges are her faves), watching pig videos on youtube, and will play tricks on you just to get you to laugh. She is incredibly affectionate, loves to cuddle and have her belly rubbed, and is convinced she is a lap pig. She's highly social, loves being around lots of people, and adores having her pigture taken. When she hears the flash of the camera she grins, showing her teeth, to prompt the picture-taker to take another photo. She's a ham (pun intended).
She has always loved music, but has definite likes and dislikes. She dislikes rap, country, and most popular stuff. She likes blues, opera and jazz. Yet I've never seen her have the reaction to music that she had at the Peace, Love and Wedrose concert where she first heard you perform. She was in. a trance. Not sure how much you saw or heard about afterward, but she raised her bristles in a mohawk (a sign that she is very happy) and tuned into your voice and wouldn't take her eyes off of you the whole time. At the end of each song, when people started applauding, she jumped out of her skin and got frightened each and every time. She had been in such a state of zen that she lost perception of what was happening around her. I have never seen her like that.
Brian D bought her your CD that day, and since then, she has listened to it dozens of times. She always gets so happy listening to your music. It's amazing to watch her.
When I first heard about your concert on Sunday, my only thought was that I had to bring Ellie. So, David was nice enough to agree to a piggy houseguest, and she journeyed the three hours to the burbs to come see you.
Something I left out of her story above... about a year ago, Ellie had a very serious back injury. She was being lifted into my bed, as she was demanding to cuddle with me, and she slipped a disk in her back and lost all ability to control her bodily functions. She couldn't walk, was in incredible pain and was crying hysterically (pigs cry tears just as humans do). Her doctor told me she would probably never walk again. Still he gave her some meds, and we did piggy chiropractic care, herbal salves, acupuncture, steroids, and physical therapy... and amazingly, about four weeks later, she took her first few steps. She definitely doesn't have full mobility, but I'd place it at about 60%, which is incredible considering that I was being told by everyone that it was pretty much a lost cause. She can't do stairs very well at all, has difficulty getting herself to a standing position, and tires very easily, needing to sit and rest. She can barely walk on slippery surfaces and is, justifiably, terrified of floors where she can't get traction (like the floors at David's house). It was difficult for her to get into the bedroom from across the house, as she kept slipping and falling. But, she barely complained since she heard your music coming from that direction. Once in the room, she walked past everyone sitting down and would only lay down in the very front of the crowd, where she could see you.
I tell you all this so that you know of how absolutely amazing it is that she not only willingly crossed an entire house's worth of slippery flooring to get a front row seat for your concert, but even MORE astounding is what happened when you left the room to dance through the house. I couldn't believe my eyes when she got up all on her own and, tail wagging like a metronome, FOLLOWED YOU across the terrifying floor and into the kitchen. She NEVER does that. I have watched the video I shot of it happening over a dozen times and I still can't believe it. She just simply couldn't bear to be away from you, or your music.
Thank you so much for your art, and for making my girl so very happy. I just really wanted you to know how grateful I am for you, and how incredibly loved you are by my porcine baby. We'll be in touch about a private birthday concert for her this summer, if you're willing. I know that nothing in the world would make her as happy as that. ♥ - Corrine DiLorenzo