Well, that was quite a month. Against all odds, the basic tenet of a still-functioning democracy— voting as the peaceful catalyst of change— actually worked. Interrupted by the desperate last (one hopes) gasp of a dying world view fed by a lunatic fringe that became briefly mainstream. And then the scrambling of those still trying to spin it all in their unearned and undeserved favor, with the jury still out on whether justice will be done and the FBI will fight against the real terrorists. And then that sad, sad man trying to find his way where even some folks in Mar a Lago are flying planes with banners ridiculing him.
All the while, the virus continuing its havoc but then cutting back in some places and the vaccine advancing forward. And then the extraordinary young poet uplifting us all amidst a few days of much celebrating and uplift. And alongside the so-long-awaited exhale, also the pleasure of hearing a new name next to President ___________ that speaks of someone who actually understands the job, cares about the job, takes it seriously and works on behalf of the American people. Like I said, quite a month.
In my tiny world, teaching workshops filled most every weekend. Board meetings looked ahead to the summer. Four different Zoom singing groups continued. I taught University students, 3rdgraders and one 5thgrade guest appearance, I gently challenged a poet to use his voice to connect the personal with the collective, I spent evenings with the delightfully and sometimes deranged dysfunctional families doing their “Last Tango in Halifax.” I read jazz biographies, kept up exercise on the piano keys, the city streets and the bicycle routes, enjoyed a new Friday night ritual dinner at my daughter’s house and started a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle. Oh, and I wrote 40 Blogposts. Some of which I liked!
And so tomorrow comes February. The plum blossoms are already beginning to show in San Francisco, my Jazz History Class resumes with be-bop tomorrow night, the theme for the month’s songs are Love songs (a few to choose from!) and more songs from black culture. On one hand, I firmly believe Black History Month needs to go. All of American history is black history and needs to be understood as such. On another, any excuse to continue the work of thanking all the black folks who have helped Democracy become an honest verb and continue to do so is welcomed. Along with the great music.
My hopes for February? Nothing much. Just impeachment, incarceration for insurrectionists AND their elected enablers, hundreds of thousands vaccinated (I already personally know 8 people!), rains for California, continued Executive Orders to try to clean up the mess left behind, a neighborhood meeting to slow down and make smaller the massive hospital expansion plans in my neighborhood, the birthdays of many close to me amply celebrated, continued pleasure in my scheduled workshops, mastering a few more Bach’s Preludes and Fugues. For starters. Is that too much to ask?
Happy turn of the month!
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