Friday, November 15, 2013

Bear Has Cancer

My Friend, and one of my Loves, Bear, got cancer. Bummer. He is 60, and from North Haven, ME. He lives with his beautiful wife and my good Friend/Sistah, Pat. I assume they still have dogs; maybe cats too. It's been many years since Larry and I visited them at there home in Somerville, ME. Bear and Pat are mostly dealing with his disease and its treatments alone.

I was Primary Caretaker for my Mother and my Sister-In-Law. Caretaker is a hard, challenging, emotionally Sacred, painful Joy. I am blessed to have been of service to my Beloved. I would do it again if needed.

It is in my old Boyfriend, Bear. I call him Bear. Pat calls him Arthur. Pat and Bear attended my wedding to Larry twelve years ago, and drove to MA to attend my 60th birthday party. I met Bear in about 1983. They are Family to Me. I met his two children. I knew his ex-wife. I brought fancy sipping booze to the Island for Margie, Bear's Mother, to share on Her front porch in Her fancy, little glasses. We have History. All of Us. It's all good.

The week after Thanksgiving, I will visit Bear at Dana Farber (DF)  in Boston. He will live in DF-affiliated discounted housing because he lives forty miles or more from treatment. Pat can be with him as much as she can. She weighs being Superintendent of Schools in ME, and care of her animals and property. They are good, hard-working people, and I love them dearly. That they are now challenged by all that comes with Cancer, pains my heart. They need my help, and I am happy to be there for Them. We will work out what support I can provide. He will be there over the coming Holiday Season! Does that suck or what???!!!

We hope for some limited Family support in ME for Bear in Boston. Let's see what God and The Universe have in store for us in the coming months to the New Year. This Time is an opportunity to experience the true meaning of the Season: Love. Service. Joy. Satisfaction. Contribution, and Compassion. But most of all, Love. I do it for Love. That's it.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


My neighbor and friend, Nancy, has been talking about a brilliant wind ensemble called WindSync for a couple of years now. Every time they play locally, we are not in town. Last night, I was and went to Bristol, RI for one of their concerts. They are currently on a fourteen-day tour, culminating in a performance at Carnegie Hall on November 19th. The bassoonist of the group is her daughter's best friend.

Her husband, Mike, also invited a friend and colleague, Glenn, who plays harpsichord in their baroque musical trio, The Greybeards. I met Glenn for the first time last night, and he echoed about Mike what I just said about Nancy, "He's been talking about this group for years!" He had also never heard them play. We all had the pleasure of meeting a lovely family from Illinois, whose son, Tim, just got married and landed a great job teaching at Roger Williams University. They were visiting their son, and were just looking for something to do last night. They saw the sign in front of St. Michael's church, and listened to a few You-Tube numbers by Wind Sync. So, they decided to pop into the concert. Before the performance, we all had a lovely time sharing our stories and getting to know one another, in as much as one can get to know another in the course of an evening, of course.

Wind Sync was invited to play after performing in Tiverton last year. They were introduced by Sandy, Chair of the Community Concert Series at the church, and a good friend of our choral director, The Greater Tiverton Community Chorus, in which Nancy and I sing. Sandy made a point of describing the group as very young, "None of them look older than seventeen!" But assured us they were very professional.

Soon, the performance began with an introduction by Tracy, the Bassoonist. Her short speach was articulate and confident with a twist of humor. She joined the other four, and began to play "Wind Quintet in E-Flat Major, Op. 88, No3" by Anton Reicha (1770-1836). The next number was "Quintet for Winds, No. 3 (1999) by David Masianska (b. 1943), described as a modern composer and one of their favorites. It was by far my favorite movement. Their playing was fluid and mature, and they moved their bodies as they played, leading me to do the same. The group had wonderful rapport with one another, and their sound blended beautifully to completely fill the accoustic space. It was a magical performance. We were all just wowed by it.

The second half contained four pieces that most of us recognized. "Bolero" by Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) was beautiful rearranged by WindSync (I heard Tracy being given credit). Each member took turns playing the snare drum as they also each in turn played multiple versions of their instruments: more than one flute, oboe and clarinet. The bassoonist also play the saxaphone. It was a wonderful performance.

My other favorite besides "Bolero" was their most performed number, "Peter and the Wolf, Op. 67" by Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953), excerpted for wind quartet. For this performance, each member dawned the minimal costume of woodland creatures and the grandfather: the cat had ears and a tail, the duck had a bill on her head and a call around her neck, and wolf wore a mask, and the bird had a feathery mask on his head and a pink feathery boa around his neck. Grandfather wore a hat and a large beard. The horn player narrated the story, and also played the wolf. The ensemble danced around the stage and into the audience, engaging us in a very interactive performance. It was energetic, very entertaining, and beautifully played. The reason this was my favorite is because when my son was very young (he was a latch-key kid at six years old), he played his 78rpm LP of "Peter and the Wolf" to keep himself entertained and company while I worked. He loved this record and this song always reminds me of him, even if my heart aches a little each time I think of those days.

They replaced "Histoire du Tango", with their arrangement of Billy Joel's, "And So It Goes". Here we discovered that not only do these very talented young musicians play their instruments expertly and beautifully, they can also sing! This rendition was accapella and beautifully harmonized. Needless to say, at the end of the night, everyone jumped to their feet to give a rousing standing ovation. It was one of the best concerts I have heard in a long time. I bought their first CD and asked each to autograph it. I really enjoyed supporting their tour and their careers, just a little.

If you get a chance to see WindSync (check out their web site for their very full schedule), or are near Carnegie Hall on November 19th (I sent Billy Joel a message about it on Facebook, hoping he'll attend -- why not?), I highly recommend paying for a ticket. You will be very happy you did. Enjoy.