Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Swiss Bliss


As the past few days have proved beyond a reasonable doubt, gather a circle of people together anytime, anywhere, to play, sing and dance and I’m in heaven. Not that I needed further proof. But even I am surprised by teaching in Salzburg on Friday, Munich on Saturday, Nuremberg on Monday and Tuesday morning and Switzerland on Tuesday night (two countries in one day!) and Wednesday and loving every minute of it. And then Saturday in North Carolina and next Wednesday in Malaysia and so it goes. Insane by any standards, but that sense of home in the Orff workshop is so potent that it’s a joyful lunacy.

But this morning, the good sense to get out on a bike in the Swiss countryside, revealed another home that I should never forget. How to put this? Riding through open fields ringed by Matterhornish mountains, a slight wintry chill but warming sun and a few pansies popping up, a lone church on a hill and a blessed silence colored by bird song, I arrived at that older, ancient form of traveling. The wanderer footloose and fancy free embraced by a big wide world expecting nothing and promising adventure. I used to sing lines from some old Incredible String Band songs when these moments struck: “Farewell, sorrow, praise God the open door. I ain’t got no home in this world anymore.” Or rather, everywhere is my home and beckoning me to partake and embracing me with belonging.

The workshop gives me another sense of belonging and contributing and I think I’ve done reasonably well avoiding the trap of adoration and self-importance, but it does take a lot of will and work and confidence that some people (they’re wrong!) think is arrogance. But to be nobody in particular biking through a landscape that sweeps you up into its arms is a different sort of glory.

And so Switzerland. Swiss cheese. Swiss watches. Swiss fondue. Swiss muesli. Swiss-kriss (Louis Armstrong’s favorite laxative!). Heidi. The cuckoo clock. William Tell. The Swiss bank account I’ll never have. In the village of Eschenbach hosted by our Fall Intern Melanie and so sweet to see her in her homeland. (The photo the view out the windows of her house!). About to awaken that willful workshop self again for another course in Basel, but just wanted to name the pleasures of the day before they fade away.

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