Sunday, November 15, 2015

     Some interesting experiences this past week. 

     First of all, I have loved the fresh smell and leaf-crunching announcements of fall. The air is crisp, the sun still warms, and the holidays are already written all over peoples’ brows. It’s a time of change, a time of thanksgiving, and the season when Mr. Wonderful begins to moan. He is already mourning the shorter days and the cooler temperatures. What he mourns; I celebrate. Neither is right or wrong; we just differ. I love cuddling by the fire; he loves washing the car in 85 degree weather. It’s all good though. We see each other through each seasons’ challenges.

     Secondly, we have heard two magnificent concerts in the last 48 hours. The first took place at our gorgeous state-of-the-art concert hall which just opened a month ago. What a jewel! We are so proud and excited to have this marvelous new venue to showcase our local and state talent. Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique played exquisitely by our own North Carolina Symphony was breathtaking. The young Asian soloist who performed Rachmaninoff’s Third was absolutely phenomenal. Her energy, her strength, and her velvet touch was truly magical.
    Last night, we were privileged to hear two of our own concert pianists who performed an evening of two-piano compositions in Beckwith Hall, our intimate concert hall on the UNCW campus. Both Domonique Launey and Stephen Field outdid themselves with their selections from Gershwin, Bach and Rachmaninoff. Their technique and sensitive interpretation was impressive and made us all proud to call them our own.

     As if prepare for my one-woman show where I will play six compositions from Claude Debussy, I feel like I am way outclassed, but I am not trying to be a concert performer; I tell a storyteller through the music of a French genius. Hopefully, my audience will not judge me with the same criteria as one would those already mentioned.

    Now, Saturday morning, the mood shifts. History marks yet another horrific attack on one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Paris. To me, Paris is the heart and soul of Europe, and when Paris is attacked, not only is all of Europe attacked, but as Obama stated, “all of humanity” is attacked. I feel angry, powerless, wounded myself at this senseless act of cowardice. I mourn for the victims, I am enraged at the scars it has inflicted on a city where I studied French, befriended its people  and walked the streets feeling safe. A new “normal” has surfaced in so many cities in our world due to radicals who place no value on human life in the name of religion. I don’t understand. My French “maman” would roll over in her grave had she witnessed this unconscionable terror. Instead of understanding more as I age, I understand less, and I question more. 

     God bless the families and friends of these innocent victims. May music heal and prayers comfort.