Album Release

Sunday, July 13, 2008

My great aunt Beverly wears Sketchers.

My great aunt Beverly wears Sketchers, but that's not the only reason why I like her.

Let me introduce you to this beautiful woman. Her name is Beverly. She's so many things..... a scientist, a poet, a mother, a grandmother, a widow, and a longstanding member of the prizewinning Sweet Adelines A Cappella Chorus, just to name a few.

She's also very human. She's a lover of people and things and information; she's fascinated by just being here on Earth, which makes her all the more fascinating to be around. I got to spend a very short couple of days with her as I passed through Louisville, Kentucky this week. I had met her before, but never had her to myself or been to her home.

I loved listening to her story and her stories.

My favorites were her stories related to love. I took away a lot from listening to Beverly....

Love. Once you're in it, you can't really fall out of it if its the real thing. Her eyes lit up and countenance softened with the mere mention of her one love, her deceased husband of more than 30 years. I saw just one picture of them together. It was obvious: she adored him.

Her husband was not who she expected to find as a companion. Her first impression of him: less than good. They ran into each other again 4 years later in the same restaurant (she took me to this restaurant for lunch). Second impression: very good. Long story short: they were married months later.

He was a charismatic, Italian poker player. She was a successful electron microscopist and mother of 3 boys.

I poked questions, subconsciously hoping that I could find some formula for managing to find "the same" in my life: "What age did you remarry?"

"I don't know. It doesn't really matter," she said with a smile. Things don't seem to matter when you're in love... age, timing, profession... What mattered was two people and their shared human connection.

What she loved about him was that they could carry conversations in all circumstances and at all times. No matter what, they would talk and talk and talk and talk and talk.

"He loved me. I had never experienced that before." They were only married 3 years before he died suddenly. I hope her husband knows that those 3 years changed her life... her past, her present, and her future. Love seems to be like that... it changes everything.

Beverly is a very young 70. She's into genealogy, libraries, working on her novel, and hanging out with her family. She has the same laugh as my grandma (her sister). In her life, she's been up and she's been down. She has faced depression. She has sung ("Breathing and singing is so nice!" she says). She has laughed and cried and learned and taught. She's courageous. She's real. This, ladies and gentlemen, is my great aunt Beverly.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Blue Lake Nerd

Just finished teaching at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan... what an unexpectedly fantastic two weeks!

It had been a while since I had taught harp so intensely, and I had forgotten about how nerdy I get about being in the teacher's chair. I love it; it puts me in an instantly good mood and gives me warm fuzzies. There were 9 harpists there ready for work and play, along with 7 complete beginners, all from different parts of the States. The words "rewarding," "fun," and "exhausting" just barely skim the surface here. I am a lucky gal, to have been there working with these energetic young musicians.

In addition, it felt a little like I was on vacation in Colorado: cabins, trees, mosquitos, s'mores, lake... What an inviting environment for focusing on your art! The camp encompasses dance, visual art, theater, and music, which is a recipe for some interesting faculty! I enjoyed spending time with them as much as I did the students.

So. Not regrets for sleep deprivation. And I'm glad I'm out of the mosquitos.

Other random thoughts:

I'm glad that my body is not my artistic instrument. Being around dancers and vocalists reminds me that I am happy I am not a dancer or a vocalist. They are constantly doing crunches (dancers) or avoiding campfire smoke and not eating cheese (vocalists). I don't think I could do it. That's a lot of pressure- to have your body be your art. Ya know? I'm happy lugging the harp around. Harpy lugging the happy around.

Marcel Tournier's "Sonatine" for harp... mmmm... love this piece.