I turned my calendar page to October and read the quote:
The person attempting to travel two roads at once will get nowhere.
This was not what I wanted to hear. I preferred the story of Joseph and his multi-colored robe, for the threads that weave through each of my days are many and varied, yet part of the same cloth. Switching the metaphor from thread to road, the roads that I walk are sometimes parallel, sometimes crossing, sometimes diverging but, I believe, eventually all arrive at the same place.
So as the month begins, I’m putting the finishing touches on publishing a book titled Orff Schulwerk in Diverse Cultures: An Idea That Went Round the World. It is a collection of articles by some 75 Orff teachers, almost of all of whom I know, representing some 25 countries, all of which I have taught Orff Courses in. Meanwhile, I’m still trying to attract a larger publisher’s interest in my new book recently retitled Jazz, Joy & Justice: The Stories Every American Needs to Know while writing a new one, Round the World and Back Again—a memoir of a year-long trip around the world in 1978-79.
Putting on my still-working-on-being-a-jazz-pianist hat, I have a concert mid-October with my group The Pentatonics and am booked each Friday to play at the Jewish Home for the Aged. Another neighborhood sing is on my calendar and I’m thinking about reviving the online Alum Sing with a Halloween song theme.
The teaching hat still fits me well and plenty of opportunities to wear it this month. Zoom courses for Rome, Massachusetts, Finland and a live three-day class in Oklahoma. Alongside my Monday night online classes with the Jazz and Justice theme. I have an interview soon with SF State about joining their Olli Lifelong-learning course offerings and followed a lead about teaching university classes at UC Santa Cruz.
So here I am attempting to walk not two roads, but three at once—writer, musician, teacher. My calendar quote tells me I’ll get nowhere, but on a deep level, maybe that’s the point. There’s nowhere to get to. I’m not walking the road to arrive at a specific place, be it counted in terms of fame, fortune or spiritual enlightenment. I’m walking for the sheer pleasure that each road affords me, the sense of arrival in each step while also feeling the beckoning horizon just out of reach.
Finally, it may just be that the apparent three roads are actually one road, different sections of the same path. And whether it's one or two or three, I've taken the journey that "has made all the difference."