The first thing I see when I look out my Motel One window each morning is a worker in the Merkur arranging the fruits and vegetables. Day after day she wakes early to make sure that the food is not only replenished to feed the world, but artfully arranged. All the different shapes and colors and weights of food that nourish our bodies and sustain us displayed to attract us.
And so I awake on the last of 10 extraordinary days with 16 extraordinary people in Salzburg for my own version of feeding the world. Planning how to artfully arrange the tones and rhythms and sonic colors that nourish the Spirit and sustain us through the chaos of the world by creating order, meaning and beauty. This morning is our Last Supper, but there will be no betrayal and the future sacrament of wine and wafers will be all the classes with children awaiting us.
There will be tears today, a watershed of deep feeling that already began yesterday afternoon for me as I showed photos of my teacher Avon, a video of my Mom, a letter from a former student and was treated by three students to a performance of the Barcarolle by Offenbach inspired by a poem I wrote years back about my dying father. As is my custom, I like to invite the Ancestors into the circle and their presence is part of which makes the meal more memorable than a fast-food feeding.
It is a strange life, this instant opening of letting strangers enter the market of the heart and pinch the fruits and peel back the skins and release the flavors and cook the feelings evoked by each song and dance artfully ordered. The price is the inevitable bittersweet goodbye, the reluctant getting up from the table and going back home where the bills and mortgage payments await, the gratitude that we shared these moments together and they’ve become an indelible part of our future selves mixed with the sadness that soon we won’t wake up to be greeting by these smiling faces and warm hugs. For me, already difficult in a short two weeks, for them, still three months after the six they’ve already been together and when that farewell comes, it will be an ocean of salty tears.
But this is the life that has chosen me and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The last apple is put in place and the Market is about to open.