Friday, March 30, 2018


1990. That's the number of blogs I've written since I began this 8 years ago. But it also was a significant year in my life. Starting some 40 blogs ago, I noticed that the number of blogs I’ve written  correspond to the dates in my autobiography. So each number I see reminds me of significant things from that year. Getting born in 1951, going to Antioch College in 1969, starting teaching at school in 1975, traveling around the world in 1978, the birth of my daughters in 1980 and 1984, graduating from Orff Level III in 1985 and so on.

And so 1990. That was the year I taught in the Symposium and Summer Course at the Orff Institute in Salzburg and met most of my wonderful international colleagues and friends (including Sofia Lopez-Ibor, who I’ve taught with at school now for 22 years), people who opened the door to my international Orff teaching and years of memorable comradery.

It was also the year I started meeting once every two weeks with 9 men to figure out what it meant to be a sensitive male supporting feminism while also claiming a positive masculinity. 28 years later, we are still trying to figure it out. It was the year that both my daughters were in elementary school at the same time —1st and 5th grade—and I saw them every day in Singing Time. It was the year I taught an Intro. Orff Course in the Santa Cruz Orff Training that I had graduated from, the course that is now in the Carmel Valley and which I direct. I was 39 then, on the cusp of what I imagined was SO OLD when I was about to turn 40.

On the world news front, Nelson Mandela was released from prison, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania declared independence from Russia in what was called The Singing Revolution, East and West Germany were united. The Internet officially began, smoking was banned on cross-country flights, JW Rowling began writing her first Harry Potter book, the first McDonald’s opened in Moscow and Leonard Bernstein died at 72-years old. There was no shortage of human squabbles escalated to terror and war, in Rwanda, Haiti, Kashmir, Sri Lanka, Israel, Lebanon, Iraq.

In short, the world, back then and still now, was being shaved by a drunken barber and amidst it all, doors opened and closed in people’s personal lives while the world kept spinning on its axis. Autumn leaves fell, snow came to the northern climes, Spring followed through on its commitment to re-birth and blossoms, Summer offered some time at the beach and long, leisurely days with ice cream. These things that happened to me that year were significant to me only, but also set things in motion that helped open (or close) doors in other people’s lives who I have touched. In the big picture, nobody cares and it means nothing, but these little tidbits of significance are what we have to work with if the daily round is to be graced with some sense of purpose and meaning.

So a salute to 1990 and then off to school to teach my next classes.

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