Aisslinn Nosky and the Handel and Haydn Society performed this weekend and I was overwhelmed!
I took a quick demographic survey of the audience and clearly, classical music performances are not most of my peers idea of a good time; I think they’re missing out. This ensemble is brilliant! I saw the group perform for a holiday concert in December and the concertmaster of that performance, Susanna Ogata won my heart. She is a spirited and involved musician. Apart from the mastery, technique and precise interpretation of the orchestra, what I loved most about watching her play, was that I was watching her with the rest of the orchestra celebrate a love affair.
So, I came back for more this month only to have a new beau. The principal bass player models this same finesse. Anthony Manzo expressively sang his solo and smartly complimented the melodious refrain for the violins. The performance of the overture to Lo Speziale<–listen! made me dance in my seat. What exactitude! Moreover, what joy! When Nosky lead the Violin Concerto in C Major, Hob. vila:1, I wanted to be invited to the party. Her leadership, her smiles, the pensive glances between her and Ogata made me want in on the party. There were smiles, furrowed eyebrows of intense concentration, and more smiles. There was intensity. At times there were supportive roles, a bystander approach and other times center stage with fireworks.
Watching this group perform was a great honor. Hearing them play a gift, but watch the dialogue, the interaction and the commitment of each musician to the totality of this theater of performance won my heart. They had fun playing and also terrific respect for their leaders. How could you not, Nosky has loud hair and a punk fashion sense. Take that #cashmereandpearls! (read Carol Christ’s response to the movement) There was bow waiving and feet stamping and gratitude in the faces of the performers. Appreciation for their hours of practice and their mutual commitment to such exactitude.
And of course, it was me watching them perform and so I thought of birth. (you knew that was coming, right?!) But I also thought of training.
Another recent night, someone offered to run part of an upcoming marathon with me to keep me company. If you know me, you know this is exactly what I don’t want. My husband tried to “run me in” my first marathon and I just wanted to trip him for having the energy at mile 23 that I did not have. I didn’t trip him and I tried to remain gracious but really, I wanted to be in my own space. My husband did run our friend in the last miles of her marathon and she loved it. She said she couldn’t do it without knowing someone had her back until the end.
To that end, we’re all different, we all need different things. When I trained for my first half-marathon, my friend and I did it together. Together, remotely. She was in Wisconsin and I was in Massachusetts. We checked in during training and then took off from the start together 8-weeks later. Two years later, when we trained for our first marathon, Millie ran one in WI and I did one around the same time at home. She is an awesome training partner. I had another running friend, who we’ll call Katie (because that’s her name). She was my rock. We actually did our long runs together on the same morning, in the same city. We were training for different races but we supported each other, pushed each other further and laughed. We really laughed! Even when I didn’t think we could do another mile, it was so easy for Katie to talk me into it. She never pushed the pace, she never let me overtake her. We were truly always in stride on the asphalt. We talked or didn’t talk. I said I need a break. We took a break. I said let’s push the pace. We did. We said, let’s do a tempo run on Tuesday and we did. We added hills to our route and we roared at the top. #xcHabitsDieHard
I love my husband and I realize he had the best intentions of supporting me during that run. He wanted the best race experience for me. But, what would have helped him in a race, did not help me. He’s my best friend and I don’t hold this against him. He did his best and I was doing mine. What I really needed, was a doula for that race. I needed Katie to just show up and be there and not explicitly ask anything of me. Its AN ART to be present in intense silent, pacing, inter-conversation. As a support person, (an orchestra to the soloist), (or a training buddy), there’s respect, support, moving toward and backing away. We do that during parts of a marathon course and we do that during a labor and the first days of motherhood.
In Sum, support the H+H Society (tickets are cheap!). Find a doula you like. Find a running buddy, remotely or nearby. And then express yo’ self!
This post is for Millie, Hans, Annalee, Katie and all the new Moms and Dads, especially those who have adopted recently (go Kristin! Yah Smithies!), and in memory of Mr. Hofreiter (best conductor ever) who gave me confidence and Nneka who inspires still.
Love and Peace, Yogis.