Who She Was, Who I Am

Originally posted to FB on May 15, 2023. 

Unplanned travel changes allowed us a brief drive through Altenburg, home of the now defunct East-West International Music Festival in which I played the summer of 2000. Economic abundance seems to continue to pass by this far-flung village. My German language skills were much better 23 years ago. The hotel for the orchestra has fallen into decay but the town's historic charm remains. My heart is filled as I recall the young woman who walked these streets, her dreams and goals. Incredible how different it all turned out. A year later the whole world changed, my aspirations with it. I was 19 turning 20 the summer I came to Germany, brave, naive, hopeful. I had no idea how capable I was, how powerful I could be in my own life, how narrow my vision was for possibilities beyond the one sacred path taught to conservatory students. There are so many words I wish had been spoken to me. Those are the words, the messages, the wisdom I give to my students now. Sometimes I fear obsolescence as I go about my work as a bassoonist in the isolation of eastern Idaho. But the juxtaposition of the woman I am today with the young woman of 2000...lìfetimes have been lived. There is so much to give, to share, to teach, even if only a fraction of it, if any, is absorbed by students. Perhaps this moment is the most important moment of my sabbatical.


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