trudging along with music

gabe, did you know that there is a tree growing for you in the faraway land of israel?
there is. a young tree. hopefully. upward. green. living.

gabe, so many people have sent you good wishes. even more have send me warmest thoughts.  it's been a real long two weeks, picking after you, including insurance folks, sketchy rental agency and the infamous cred card people. who know who else is still there. but i did laugh quite a bit with your bowling ball and 23 lighters so far.  of your little stuffy toys and silly pictures of you and your friends.

i have not gone back home since last week. i didnt have much time nor i wanted to go back. i have decided that i also need to tend to things in my life, even with a great disruption. much like the recent volcanic eruption and the traffic logistical nightmare in europe. there are only so much one could do, but it still need to be done.

ive been talking to a few people, especially my bassoon-related and trumpet-related folks.  you see, i am busy this wknd playing for a bassoon recital, then another one next wk for trumpet. and i am super happy to report that ever since i got in touch with them about the project, it's been just a great ride.

one person is dealing with selling the house, tidying a personal life in midst of caring for a sick mother. another is a reasonably fresh transplant to the city, trying to figure out the future.  another is a father of two boys, working hard and smiling lots. another man just had a crazy fun fit trying to help organize a presentation for childrens' charity work in overseas.  one of the professors, i have known him for a long time and i know that he suffered a great deal couple years ago when he have lost his wife. you see, we all have our hardships.  i just happened to be the young baby of this particular group with a bit of catching up to do.

i ran into mr. b-shiffman today at the conservatory glass lobby.  he was always kind to me while i was in banff and without him, i would have been in a very different place, possibly.  the first thing he did after finishing his meeting (he was in middle seat of some important-conversation table) was come and give me a hug: how are you cecilia? i heard-  well, barry, i am okay- well, no it's not just okay...
affection from former boss, hopefully a long-time friend-to-be. what a bonus.

then the girl i was meeting up with at the con for small work, also loads of sympathy. words werent important. i am very good at reading faces.

and then there was an unexpected arrival in the mail. a hard envelop. i thought now that the spamming mailers are so desperate that they are sending something with different wrapping, great. but no. it was a gift. a gift of tree of life. it's been planted, all the way in israel.  for my brother. by a friend.

that mail brought so many emotions to my heart.

peter, my house mate, is very glad to see all these supports coming into monkey's way.  i am, of course, touched. but mostly, i am so surprised. like the banff family card that arrived one day, along with minnow's red flower, as if painted from the deepest drop of blood from his heart.  and prof d's card, blue with tinge of grace.

with all these thoughts and well wishes (which easily override the petty mad people who are hoping to make money off dead people), i have gone back to being a musician this wk. it wasnt easy- i havent played, the rep isnt easy, i wanted to do well, the reasons were endless. if i were to believe the reasons, i should not have played at all. i should have stick my head in fresh concrete and die.

but with music, it was easier. i was so happy to be back, to work with these particular people.  it is a meeting of people initially put together by necessity, but i feel as if i could trust them to no end. crazy you may say, you normal people. but in music, sometimes that does happen, fairly often- you find people who will get you. understand you. make you better by being with them, ever so simply so.

during music, i have flew higher than the sky, i have heard the noise of big bang.  i have saw the end of the world and have tasted the first raindrop in the dry savanna.  i have lived through the eyes of all points of life- old, young, gullible and cunning, hopeless, in love, in despair.  i have died multiple death in all situations. the suicide in brahms c minor piano quartet. the ethereal grave wind in prokofiev violin sonata 1, the softest, reason-less comfort in mother's embrace in brhams 1st violin sonata.  i have heard the lost childrens' mothers' mad silence mutterings in mahler's kindertotenlieder.  the dying yet singing children in the cattle trains going to their death camp and the devil dancing with glee in shostakovich's trio.   i have heard the loss of all loss, the lowest of the list being that short cry of jesus in st. matthew passion.  the list goes on and on.

as impractical as my job is, as practically useless my tasks are, when faced with such harsh reality, where a natural law of mother and son, brother and sister is torn apart with such violence of blood and bone-crushing pain, i can look it into the eye and say: i have been here. i know what you are. i also know what i am.  you are just life. and i am also just alive. you are only another manifestation of my own self. i have faced you in midst of the rush traffic and i have faced you in the most loneliest moment in my life.  i have not conquered you yet you have not conquered me.

you are music and i am a musician.
i live through you, as you pulse through my vein.
the pain and the glory of life you have shown me,
i have not forgotten. they are here, in my heart.
in times like now, where i could so easily break and wring my heart out, every once of my own life, i dont have to do it.  because i have seen you and i have understood you.  as happy as i could be, as low as you could bring me.

i am happy to be a  musician.
i am happy to have friends who are artists and musicians.
i am lucky but i did work hard for it.
i am who i am and i wont be failing to be what i have become.
thank you all for making music a possibility for me.
with music, such powerless tool it seems at times,
i am going to trudge through life,
and death.
love to you all.


  1. My god Ceci you write so eloquently.
    I love you, and think about you every day.
    I send you hugs in my mind, and hope you feel some of them.

  2. beautiful thoughts. music, people, such richness. and hearty good wishes for the tree. with care it will grow strong, as we do.
    love as always.