Last week, I was in St. Petersburg, Moscow and Novobirsk. Now I write from the Ukraine, soon to go to Armenia, two places I have never been. And then stop by to teach in Verona, Italy on my way home. Just in time to be the guest bagpipe player at The SF School Halloween celebration.
This was the blogpost I would have written before the pandemic hit. I looked at my old calendar with those dates marked out with a bit of wistful longing. I’m pretty much adapted to this new reality and have learned, like all of us, to accept it for the necessity of the moment it is. But still, there is loss here worthy of some moments of sadness and even grief. My life as I knew it and loved it is locked away in some attic of the future, with no assurance that I can again open that trunk.
Meanwhile, I did a Zoom online class with the Russians and another short one with the Iranians who would have come to Armenia. Next weekend is the Verona workshop and a few weekends after, the Ukraine one. I can appreciate the fossil fuel saved, the bureaucracies of visas sidestepped, the ease of teaching from my own home. But still, it is far removed from the real deal in a circle holding hands with strangers who quickly become friends. I miss that.
But still the sun rises and sets and new opportunities abound—like Zoom teaching a Music Ed class at Wayne St. University who is reading my Teach Like It’s Music book, a class that never would have happened live with all the expenses of bringing me out in person. And instead of retreating to my hotel room after a workshop, I can take off on my bike through the parks of San Francisco in perfect temperature Fall days or walk through our colorful neighborhoods with Dickens’ Dombey and Son being read on Audible as I stroll. And then come home and cook my own meal without worrying about reading Russian menus.
As the saying goes, "it's all good." At least for now.