Happy Thanksgiving

by Yule Heibel on November 25, 2004

We’re celebrating Thanksgiving at our house today, still unable to commit fully to ignoring the opportunity for a 4-day weekend, as well as being unwilling to celebrate Thanksgiving as early as Canada does (in October on the day that Americans call Columbus Day: Mondays are just not the right days for this sort of holiday!). There were still the obligatory lessons for the kids this morning, though, which reminded me that last week at this time I watched Pinchas Zukerman arrive at the back parking lot of the Victoria Conservatory of Music. I was attending to the last 5 minutes of E’s piano lesson and could watch Zukerman’s black limo drive up. He jumped out of the car, all energy and purpose. He’s a very attractive man, a study in shades of grey and black. Tall, bony, but not sharply angular, as though all that inside energy, pushing outward, had bulged and rounded whatever might look cutting on someone else. Lots of energy. He had come to the Conservatory that morning to teach a master class as part of the National Arts Centre Orchestra‘s pedagogical outreach program. In the afternoon, the kids and I managed to catch the last part of Alexina Louie‘s piano and composition master class. She, too, brought a terrific sense of energy and love into the auditorium, offering helpful critiques of the student compositions. I especially liked a piece written by Philip Barwin, a VCM student, called Perseverance String Quartet (first movement). I’m musically illiterate in the sense that I have no training, can’t play an instrument, or read music, but my responses are intact, I think. It never ceases to amaze me when 12-tone music can be so emotionally intense, so challenging and so evocative. So, I’m thankful today and every day for all the wonderful aspects in my life, and continue to be amazed at the diversity of experience that having children in one’s life can introduce.

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