I’ve just had the pleasure of spending a couple free days in Paris between performances with the OPL at the Opéra Comique. Our Sunday show fell on my birthday, so Kerry and I stayed afterwards and indulged in an Ethiopian feast at one of our favorite restaurants in the Latin Quarter. We found a very cute studio through the airbnb website (if you don’t know it, it’s a bit like Craigslist, but you are better protected from scams.) The view out our window (7th floor, luckily with elevator, which is by no means a given here!) is lovely – a double rainbow greeted us upon arrival, crowning the Jardin des Plantes right across the street. Yesterday the master craftsmen at L’olifant Paris whipped my horn back into shape and gave me the opportunity to try some beautiful horns and mouthpieces.
It seems a good place and time to bring a little perspective to the goings-on of the past and future couple of months, especially because I haven’t written a blog for a good long while. The “doing”/”being” ratio has tipped more to the “doing” side, as it often does when I don’t pay attention to seeking the inner stillness and reflection necessary to feel whole. Mind you, I love pretty much everything I have been doing lately – playing great music with the orchestra every week, preparing and presenting concerts with the American Horn Quartet, taking Pilates lessons, going to plays and dance productions, and all the normal bits of everyday living. A huge bonus lately has been to have so much time together with my husband, sadly lacking this time last year with all the traveling.
Lately, though, I’ve found myself walking around in a bit of a daze, not taking everything in. Other than while playing music, when the habit of years of laser-like focus kick in, the edges seem a bit blurry to scenery, conversations, even the taste of food (for those of you who know me well, that’s a clear sign that something is amiss!) Even this morning, I had originally planned to go to a museum but feared just drifting by the exhibits without appreciating them. I go through this cycle often, not realizing it’s happening for a while. This classic Far Side cartoon says it beautifully:
The trick – the art – to living is in balance (being married to a Libra will teach you a thing or two about that as well!) – especially that between the inner and outer life. The next few weeks are just as activity-laden as the previous ones, including more performances in Paris, an AHQ tour to the States, Götterdämmerung on Wagner tuba when I return, then brass quintet rehearsals and a Britten Serenade performance etc…. But I am going to do my best to find the inner stillness and perception to be fully present in the big and small moments, including the ones that don’t have a website link attached. But there just may be a double rainbow in the offering.
I’ve been haunting your blog, hoping for a new post. You are so ahead of me when it comes to finding that balance between “doing” and “being.” But I can’t complain. I built up a huge savings account in “being” during my Europe trip last year, and I realize how incredibly lucky I was to find you and Kerry during a rare break in your travels. Weasel your way into the string-heavy Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival some time. I’ll work my tour schedule around your visit if you do.
We haven’t met, although I know your colleages from years ago in Gainesville, Tallahassee and Bordeaux.. Just stumbled on your post while seeking AHQ tour details. Wishing you more balance. I related so completely to your obese actions about feeling full. Perhaps you would enjoy Michael Singer’s book, The Untethered Soul. If you visit my little village of Oriental, NC, I can promise you sailing and bike rides, all you need, plus time to sit on the porch. Happy travels.
I was trying to type “observations”, not “obese” Different kind of full!