Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Classical detour

You know how it is when you go back to a place where you spent a lot of time as a kid, and everything looks smaller than you remember it?

That is how it's been going back to the Creative Arts building at San Francisco State University lately, for rehearsals. This is strange because I'm not any taller now than I was then, and yet everything still looks smaller. Everything is right where it used to be...the McKenna Theater lobby, Knuth Hall, the band room, the Casablanca Room, the practice rooms, everything just like I remember it. Only smaller.

I'm rehearsing there because the director of the flute choir there, Gail Edwards, got a grant to record a new piece by Alaskan composer Richard Freeman-Toole. It allowed her to invite me and some of my colleagues to bring the ensemble to a full 16 players as called for in the score. I'm playing bass flute. Julie Burkert and Sarah Holzman are playing (who played in the "Remove Before Flight" premiere), plus Martha Stoddard and Diane Grubbe. It's nice seeing them and playing with them again.

The piece is called "Aurora", and it's about the Aurora Borealis (unlike my piece of the same name which is about a top secret aircraft). It's atmospheric and dreamy. I'm also playing C flute in "La Milonga" by Christopher Caliendo, and both pieces are in the second half.

So admission is free, and there's a reception with refreshments to follow, and it's all very informal except for the recording part. (If you have a cough, remember your lozenges.) The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, December 15th, in Knuth Hall in the Creative Arts building at SFSU.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Monday, December 01, 2008

Eleven months

The eleventh month has seemed much longer than ones preceding it. There have been a lot of difficult occasions in it to be weathered.

I'm only able to write this (somewhat) coherent post because I have the support of family, friends, colleagues, professional caregivers, Wiccan community, music community, online community, and strangers with their everyday sympathetic kindness.
It is all those people and their overwhelming kindness that I am most thankful for. I am also grateful for those qualities within myself that have kept me going. My relentless determination seems to be intact. I don't give up, even when it's arguable that I should. I'm perverse that way.

I am grateful that I am not living on the street. I am grateful that I am financially secure for the time being. I am grateful that I am not being shot at overseas or exploited or beaten.

I don't want anybody to go through what I've gone through and I pray that they don't. I am so sorry for the anguish of everyone who already has. If there is anything more profoundly horrifying than what I've gone through, I don't want to experience it. I don't want anybody to.

Paul made me feel like anything was possible. Now, I have to accept that "anything" is not possible (Barack notwithstanding). If it were, Paul would still be here.