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2005 Journal

As I have gotten older and begin to pay the piper for my life’s dances I find that, though I still dance, the abandon to which I previously surrendered my movements has given way to an over-calculated choreography. My youthful beliefs in living forever have been disproved by the loss of loved ones, hair and hair color... the last of which can be masked... the first appearing as a hollow stare resulting from an inability to connect - like phoning a friend and hearing that the number is no longer working. . . . And as for being bald - I can see that as either a condemned posting or a diploma.

Life gets in the way of life. Time in itself may be infinite, but we are not allotted enough of it to understand why we were allocated any portion at all. Each portion is itself portioned and sub-portioned into smaller and smaller slices. Some of the cuts are ingested like bitter pills while others are savored like a bite of rich chocolate cake. And... each year represents a thinner and thinner slice of ‘the chance‘ that we call our lives- until we can see through one cut into the next.

2005‘s life-slice is a clear demonstration of the Chinese curse ie: ‘living in interesting times.‘ My yearly card with poem and original graphic- which no one received last year- is replaced this year by my attempt to reconnect with you in far less than 10,000 words. What follows describes Andy’s and my ‘chocolate cake’ with none of the pills taken to lessen the reaction to the dessert‘s caffeine, sugar, and fat.

We rang in New Year 2005 at 10:00 p.m. in Santa Fe as usual. After watching the ball going down in Times Square on TV, we all went to bed. Out of reach of his office, Andy finished Valse triste, a solo marimba work for a former Pre-College student, Simon Boyar. Andy and Simon asked me to write a poem to accompany the piece, which I did.

Later in January we hosted a large group of students from Seoul, in New York to take lessons from New York music faculty. In February sixteen officials from the Ministry of Culture in China visited us. We hosted them, toured New York together, and cooked a complete off-season Thanksgiving dinner for them at home. Their visit was truly one of the high points of the year.

We traveled to Nanning, China again in March over the Easter break. We are feeling more and more at home in Asia. Our guests from February became friends in March. We wish we could visit them more often. Andy premiered his new work for traditional Chinese instruments entitled Crane by the River Li It was received quite well. We visited Beijing, it’s music academies, and the Great Wall for the first time. This was a truly great experience. While we were in China, we continued to work on plans to present a new commissioned ballet for China due in 2007 using my story and Andy’s music.

Simon Boyar premiered Valse triste in late April. It is a truly complicated and difficult woek, but Simon is a champ and nailed it. Skipping May and June, July was time away from New York for us- back to Santa Fe, Andy had time to prepare two orchestral concerts with the Prime Orchestra for late July in Korea:

Richard Strauss: Prologue to Capriccio,
Max Bruch: Concerto for violin No. 1 in g minor, Op. 26,
Maurice Ravel ~ Concerto, piano, G Major,
LV Beethoven: Concerto for piano, violin, & cello in C Op. 56,
Andy‘s: Four Scenes from the Summer Palace,
Johannes Brahm: Concerto for violin & cello in a minor Op. 10‘,
PI Tchaikovsky: Concerto for Piano No. 1 in d minor Op. 23.

This was part of the Seoul Music Festival & Academy that he Co-Chairs with our dear friend Jeehyun Kim. The SMF+A faculty were the soloists. Our beautiful suite at the Chosun Hotel became the center for faculty get-togethers, and Andy’s TV and print interviews.

Oh yes, we preceded the festival with a hiking trip in Jeju Island off the southern cost of the Korean peninsula.

As usual, the fall was filled with guests from the US, Australia, and Asia. Within this time- a day after Canadian Thanksgiving- October 11 to be exact- Andy and I added marriage in Canada to our New York City, domestic partnership and Vermont civil union. We took my mom, Sylvia, along with us. This was most likely the last time we will be able to spend such lengthy ‘quality-time’ away together- on an adventure with her - though it was a small one. (Mom and I had a large one in 1980 a year after dad died, when she and I went to Egypt, Israel, and Greece.) In Niagara Falls, from our 38th floor hotel room, 700 meters from the Canadian Falls, mom was a signed witness to Andy’s and my legal marriage, observer to our love, and secure in the knowledge that she is both loved and valued.

Andy and I celebrated US Thanksgiving with great friends in Seoul after Andy conducted the Korean Symphony Orchestra at the Seoul Arts Center in an program consisting of

Frederick Delius: Two Pieces for Orchestra -
On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring &
Summer Night on the River,
Andy’s: Loving Mad Tom (concerto for marimba and orchestra) with Simon Boyar -Marimba,
Solbong Kim (a former student of Andy): Illumination (World Premier)
Johannes Brahms: Concerto for violin and orchestra.

Now, in December- we are back in Santa Fe to ring in New Year 2006 at 10:00 p.m. after watching the ball going down in Times Square on TV. All our energies will go now to our next project- the commissioned ballet for China.

So... at 66 and 56 respectively Andy and I will continue to eat a slice of chocolate cake when we can . . . Nevertheless, we take our pills several times a day. We wish you joy and happiness in 2006!