I spent the break on the couch in the sunroom, working on the gallery review for Topics in Modern Canadian Art, reading the Nutcracker conductor's score (I'm up to the part where Clara dances with the nutcracker in the party scene), working on The Book and enjoying Tom's new CD player. On Thursday night I found out that Lynn had passed her final exam in her surgical tech program with the highest grade in her class--in the words of the email that I sent to her the next day, "I erupted with shrieks and cheers--and threw myself back into my dancing with a vengeance." The Met broadcast a performance of R. Strauss' (the Thus Spake Zarathustra guy) Der Rosenkavalier yesterday and I recognized some of the tunes thanks to the Met Opera Brass' second album, Waltzes, Songs and Festive Scenes--track one is a Waltz Suite from that opera and track ten is the Final Trio. Thanks, MOB! Although this is the second time that I have heard that opera, the MOB was still a few months away from releasing Waltzes when I heard it for the first time. Thanks to them, I was humming along with the familiar pieces. I also celebrated the fact that Lynn has been playing the violin for fifty years (wow). I don't know when the anniversary is beyond the year (sometime last year or this year), so I decided a few months ago that I would celebrate during Reading Week. I also photographed Mom for my independent project.
On Saturday, I burned my journal from when I was twelve. This is the one and only time that I plan to commit such an act--there were some things in that journal that I want to keep secret forever and I have been wanting to burn it for a year or two. I'm more or less fine with other people reading the other journals and diaries that I wrote--the one that I burned was the only one that, when I think about it, makes me think, "really?? I wrote that?! I thought that?!" While I plan to live to be somewhere between a hundred and a hundred and five, I admit that I think about that journal in the context of what will be found after my life is over. What will I be comfortable with people reading? Not that journal!
March twenty-ninth will mark the tenth anniversary of the day that I told Lynn that I'd been thinking about quitting violin lessons. She'd been away for a couple weeks and although I'd talked about it with Mom, I needed to discuss it with Lynn--both because she was my violin teacher and because I just knew that talking with her about what was going around in my head would make me feel better (sometimes, talking with a specific person is all it takes).
That day, almost as soon as we were in her music room I said that that there was something I wanted to tell her. I can't remember if I'd tuned my violin by that point or not (tuning was always one of the first things that we did), though I remember that I'd taken it out of its case, put the shoulder rest on and tightened the horsehair on my bow.
When was thinking about the conversation in the weeks leading up to it, I thought that it would just be a fifteen-minute thing--NOPE! We spent about forty-five minutes (my lessons were an hour each by that point) discussing what I was going through (half of me wanted to quit, half of me didn't, which made for a big mess in my head and I was very conflicted and upset as a result), and Lynn was very supportive and kind and held me when I needed to cry. This is one of those times when I wonder how the heck I ended up with such an awesome violin teacher (this local guy who my mom approached when I was begging for violin lessons when I was six or seven wasn't taking on any new students at the time but knew someone who was--Lynn. Just think if that guy had had an open spot...).
As I talked, my voice shaking the whole time, I paced back and forth between Lynn and the piano (a baby grand, if I'm not mistaken--I found out that there are more than two sizes of grand pianos a couple nights ago). By the time we moved onto cramming a lesson into the remaining fifteen minutes, I felt much calmer about the whole situation. Thanks, Lynn. (Though it was basically the eye of the storm, as I spent much of the next afternoon sobbing.)
That was the first of three (so far) difficult times that Lynn has seen me through--the other two were the death of my granny in '06 and my current struggles. Let's face it: she's awesome. I think everyone should have at least one friend like that: someone who they can be completely themselves around and to whom they can go with everything. I have a few other friends like that, but Lynn's the one who stands out every time.
The best part: not only is this a gush-about-Lynn-to-other-people situation (not uncommon)--but as she's a reader of this blog, she gets to read it (hi!).
Even with my boycott of the Sochi Olympics, some news has still filtered in--especially Team Canada's double hockey win (both the women and the men took home the gold). During this year's Games, I've really appreciated CBC's coverage: while they do have the broadcasting rights in Canada, they have also talked about the negative side of the Games, including Russia's treatment of the LGBT community (which is why I won't be taking in a performance at the Mariinsky or Bolshoi anytime soon: even if I left my pride pin at home, I still wouldn't feel safe in Russia) and the environmental impact of this year's Olympics (it's awful).
Today's bus was another direct-to-Halifax bus (though it stopped in Moncton to pick up more passengers), and was possibly the nicest bus that I've encountered. The only thing it was missing was a wifi connection (it had plugs, though, which meant that I could work on The Book). While en route, I finished the gallery review--all I have to do is proofread it, print it off and hand it in on Thursday. As a result of the bus being direct, I arrived in Halifax about two hours earlier than expected. This evening I'm going to go through the readings for tomorrow's Contemporary Indigenous Arts class, edit the photos from the shoot with Mom and do whatever other prep I have to do for the rest of the week.
While we're on the topic of a certain awesome violinist, I might have stumbled across the program for her M.Mus. recital. I'm hunting down the various pieces on YouTube, and the first one is way too awesome to not share.