what have happened?
it is approaching end of another year and i cant help but to look back and how much life have changed in such a short time. as aforementioned, mr. banffmagic's been working nonstop here in the mountains, touching many people's lives. including mine. out of the blue, i had a small need to let him know that i have been touched and that my life in fact, have changed a whole a lot since i came to banff. perhaps though it is tad bit too dramatic, fateful may have the befitting word.
a year ago this time, i had no idea that i will be living among one of the greatest mountains of the world. or to play with such musicians and characters, to experience another phase, getting back into music, being able to enjoy what i do- playing music, communicating, opening up and creating a whole new life full of airlight spiderwebs. a year ago, i wouldve been still dragging my bicycle out at half past four, going down on yonge street, cold and dark, to get there in time for my opening shift at starbucks. then eight and an half hour of work- no surprises really, occasional music gig here and there and perhaps enjoying a low key wknd activities. and also watching some tv shows and trying to avoid anything that is way too interesting or provocative. a good solid worker of the society. dependable, expected and no variants.
i accepted the offer from the banff centre on the turn of the last month. in beginning of december. and i remember people asking- what would you be doing in the centre? well, i didnt know what to say- ive been to many different festivals as a pianist, but to go do a residency, would be different and that's all i knew. a residency. an artist colony. oh boy. i may be getting some good weeds. haha. but nicely enough, i wasnt too afraid or concerned about the exact tasks i would have to perform. it's playing the piano, what is the big deal? well, if i cannot do it, then i suppose i will be fired and that would be that.
but as we all know, you cant just do one thing. once you make an adjustment, everything else changes. and it did. i did.
the year of trial of a sort. going back and reconnecting with the idea of playing musician. getting back into the world of scores, rehearsals, headaches along with the deepest, most rewarding human connections. the first concert i have played here was on a wednesday, with bach fourth partita. it was traumatic in a weird way. but with such good people around, monkey slowly started to find a place, an identity. not a serious one, but the one that im still carrying with. from nothing, from void of performances and practices, i have started again, to build, connect, to consume the daily fires of life.
late night tea sessions with my favorite oz percussionist. late night youtube laughters and mindshattering comments and notes from the bookbomber. reconnecting with a very old friend of mine and realizing another piece of puzzle called my own self. the appreciative instrumentalists who came to rehearsals with smiles and unmarked scores. passing by my bosses and colleagues in the hallway, with humidifier water reservoir. being locked out from the building because i got there too early. the morning walks and the solitude winter. practice. piano. bach and debussy. enchanting. haunting. demanding. alluring. people who may have been simple passerby otherwise becoming major anchors in my life- julie, mr. salamander. dearest dani. commander horse lady. a little bird on wire. mr. banffmagic. then continuing into the summer, with lady lev, mad british violinist lady, and now, another term. more than half way over and it's already full, bursting at the seams.
the random bits of news i pick up from the great world wide web of my friends from old places- universities, cities ive been to, passing by towns. everything in between. to all these finest lightest shades of watercolours, i now add another layer. then another. some colours more vibrant and dearer than others. and i still get such a heartache when i really certain friends as i can almost recreate their presence with eyes closed. the laughs, pictures, their scent, little habits and nicknames. like the way my best friend javier used to tickle me on the side. like the way my favorite costarican would smile and dance in a graceful arc. like my favorite advisor in her cat-like behavior-friendly and soft all at the same time. the little kiddies i worked with- enthusiastic undergrads who laughed and gained a bit more confidence as they left the studio from rehearsing. the parties we have held, the cutting board that cut through many vegetables, sprinkled with salt, pepper and chatters. the icy road where we held onto one another to keep straight. the five in the morning gym bike ride in subzero, checking the bike rack to see if my favorite workout buddie have made it or if i had beaten him to it. the way days morphed to the gentle curves between human interactions. my adopted brothers who stood by me as i struggled through some rough times. my dear sisters who laughed and decorated my hairs with flowers.
and now end of another year close and i am feeling the fang of slight melancholia. but that's okay, it only exist because i have loved them all. all bits. the bits that i remember now and the bits that will float on the calm surface of memories when the times are right. and now with more things collected, i am richer than i think. and loved. yes. being loved for who i am. and also being able to love what i do. and being able to tell people thanks. as i mean it. every time.
spaceship ride of 2009 banff is still in its trajectory. and it's filled with thanks and smiles, yearnings and compassion, affections and generosity. and i am taking the plunge to soak myself through and through. breathing in and out. as if. it will be the last chance i would have to appreciate the presence. as it is. always. the last time. as the time never waits. with all bits from the past. glorious and warm, comforting, provocative and beautiful. thank you to you all.