A new era

A decade is a pretend boundary, but we make up boundaries all the time. And we change them.

For me, 2020 will start with Pagliacci. A story I first saw told in a situation where the female lead had to manage so much, with no room for her opinions or needs to feel safe, can now be rehearsed and shared in a way that honors all the players. It’s a new era. I think of this a lot during these days in which the world feels so rocky compared to ten years ago.

Progression and regression happen simultaneously. That’s not easy to remember.

Personally, I have to give the last ten years major props for the wildest ride yet. MtMn and I lost three of our four parents, and my last grandparent. We both mourned the passing of a few cherished friends. We moved three times. We rode some epic professional seas (me in metaphor only, he did it for real). We Had our hardest crashes, and we played the best music of our lives.

My life looks completely different than it did when 2010 rolled up. And yet in spite of the turbulence, all of the things I love best are still here. Piano, podium, pen, and this porch. I’ve never been as scared or sad as I have been at times in the last ten years. And I’ve never loved my life as much as I do now.

All of these feelings will come again, maybe together. That’s not easy to remember.

I can’t go back and pay attention to the things I ignored out of stupidity or greed. But what a wonderful opportunity to walk into each day, into the living room or the grocery store, or online or in rehearsal, finally knowing that it isn’t too much work at all to listen to everyone, to care about everyone, to pay attention to everything. Music finally got that lesson through my head. We’ll never never do it perfectly – I know I won’t – but the entire job is to saddle up again and try.

We can’t leave our pasts behind, but we have something to say about how we walk forward. Sitting on my porch under a heavy gray morning sky, I hear birds and coyotes waking up in spite of the gathering storm. There’s still plenty of light even in a sunless sky to bring the detail back to the trees and hills.

MtMn walks out onto the porch he built us, carrying two cups of coffee. Roll on 2020. We are ready for you.

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