birthday gift for a practicing man from practicing monkey
my life is often full of last-minute things. sometimes, only thing that's left afterward is singed self with hint of sanity; however, once in a while, the event fills me up, recharges, enabling me to look at the world afresh, with gratitude.
at the faculty, we have many amazing profs; prof nimmons is a person who i have been looking up for-ever, since i came to faculty. his drive, wild personality (loads of cheeks i must say) and dedication for self-improvement, especially, i find inspiring. at the ripe age of nine-ty, he still practices every morning. because he wants to get better.
often, when this little monkey feels like jacking around and do nothing, i think of prof. nimmons. gets the shoes on. and marches (if somewhat reluctantly) to the work bench.
this year, he turned nine-ty. actual b day was in june (we share the same birthday! this made me squack with joy for some reason. may be i can share hint of his genius and drive, haha. i would believe anything if that gives me hope, i suppose. augury, anyone?), and the bday concert was scheduled for just past thursday. i was to do backstage and was all hyped to see this event, star-studded performers filling out the programme (juno winners, order of canada recipients, geniuses etc)
came a short comet question from ignitor:
'someone dropped off the prog; can you do it?'
'what, like next week?'
'surely, you can? '
i didnt know but prof nimmons also had whole whack of written out music ('classical' compositions). his late lady was a great pianist and as they were both studying as students, he wrote many things, with her in mind. i remember the time when she passed away. his shadow was tinted with much sorrow...
the music looked difficult enough though. haha. naturally.
however. this was not about me. this is not about the compositions either. this was about prof nimmons reflecting, presenting and thanking people in his life- ninety years of richness that touched countless people. a proper celebration.
right. put that ego aside, monkey. dont be so silly.
i agreed. and put my butts to work. and played.
did it go okay? it's always okay, thankfully.
but it wasnt about me 'delivering' the work, i thought. it is a chance to express my admiration for him (building up to this point, after years and years of observation), and having a chance to be part of the world to express (our) gratitude for phil nimmons' contribution to our lives.
he was pleased.
ignitor was pleased.
many people said such nice things.
i was- somewhat apprehensive (why did some 'things' happen in performance? how did it get there? what can i do to fix that?), bit surprised (so many 'spontaneous' events! haha! my own performance should not have that much surprises for self...), hopeful (may be next time, it WILL be better?) and most importantly-
if im a small tool that was part of this larger composite image of a great man, and i managed (thank the lord) to express part of him, of the stories of the audiences (that resonated somewhere in their hearts) and of me (all those feeling that woke from the depth of days of my own life), then what could i possibly want more?
haha, may be to execute it better.
and that's what drives prof nimmons to practice at his age. i suppose it's only natural to want to be better! so with grace echoing from the event, i embark on a new stack of things... only to see the glimpse of beauty. now, to chase after it. life can be wonderful. being able to grow is wonderful.
HAPPY B DAY PROF NIMMONS!
i will play better on your 95th! i swear!