Thursday, March 12, 2009

Carmina Burana

Last night, Arielle's high school chorus and orchestra performed Carmina Burana together with the Ithaca College chorus. They did a very impressive job and the soloists from Ithaca were extremely good.

Throughout the performance, I couldn't help but thinking what a wonderful experience it must have been to be on that stage. In high school, I participated in both concert band and chorus. I went to a small midwestern high school that couldn't support a full orchestra, but I was very dedicated to my participation in band and especially enjoyed when we performed "serious" music. I would have loved to have had the opportunity to be in an orchestra, playing the piece we heard last night. It had to be a real thrill. I'm delighted that Arielle had that opportunity.

I'm sad to think how that part of my life has slipped beyond my grasp. I can't tell you how many years have passed since I picked up a flute, yet the soloist last night moved me so that I ached to play like that. I know that if I were to dig it out of the closet, I wouldn't get that beautiful tone and fluid expression out of the instrument. I think I might still be able to squeak out a B flat concert scale. Yeah...that's probably still with me.

I was not raised to pursue visual art. It's ironic that my energies are so intensely directed that way now. I WAS raised with a lot of musical encouragement. I don't have a lot of innate talent...but I loved to practice so I wasn't half bad at the instruments I pursued. But in my adult life, I haven't had (or made time for) making music. At least not much.

After my dad died, I bought a piano. I went back to taking lessons and was getting into practicing again. It was all starting to come back to me. I prefer playing the piano because the music I can make is so much more full than playing the flute alone. Then, when Meg was killed, I just stopped cold. I'd sit down and play a bit and it all just felt wrong. I can't explain it...I felt nothing and too much all at the same time. The piano seemed to call to me, but I couldn't approach it...I just couldn't.

It still feels that way. I see the instrument sitting in my living room and I'm drawn to it but I can't bring myself to put my hands on the keys. I don't know if I'm more afraid of the emotion it will evoke or the fact I KNOW how rusty my skills will be and the frustration and disappointment that will come from that. It's a roadblock I can't seem to break through but after last night, I think I should try. I know it's all part of a bigger issue I'm having with clinging to pain and not allowing myself to feel joy.

But, I've decided that I'm going to call a tuner and get it in shape. It's a step...a tiny one but a step none the less. Then we'll see where it goes from there. I'm not destined to have the experience of playing as part of an orchestra, but after last night I realize that I need to try let musical expression back into my life.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

A Whirlwind Trip

I'm back in NY after a quick but wonderful trip to Sedona, AZ. I am absolutely IN LOVE with Sedona and I'm ready to go back NOW!

We had three days in the area and we tried our best to make the most of them. We did as much hiking as we could and I have so many photos....well, I'm embarrassed to admit how many. I have some work cut out for me.

I returned to somewhere around 15 inches of snow and it was no easy feat. I was aware of what was going on weatherwise on the east coast and I was certain that my flights would be cancelled and I'd end up with a day to explore Phoenix. But, my flight from Phoenix to Philly took off on the complete disbelief of everyone on the plane. My luck ran out in Philadelphia as my flight to Long Island was was the only later flight. After standing in a line for an hour to rebook, I learned that they couldn't get me on a flight until Wednesday! I really didn't think that renting a car and driving was an intelligent option, so I continued my sojourn by train. Five hours...three train rides and a cab later...and I was back safe and sound. The same is not true for my luggage. I've got my fingers crossed on that one.

My car is still at the airport and the driveway has not been shoveled so I definately have my work for the day cut out for me. The snow is beautiful and I was not sorry to have it greet me. I'm finding the weather contrast, each breathtaking in its own way, uplifting and spiritually invigorating.