My purpose is to portray the impression of an American visitor in Paris, as he strolls about the city and listens to various street noises and absorbs the French atmosphere.
This quote from George Gershwin comes from an interview in Musical America that was published in August 1928. He was speaking, of course, of his masterpiece “An American in Paris”, which was still a work in progress. But the end goal for this particular piece was in sight. Two weeks from today marks 90 years since he completed the orchestration of his tribute to the City of Light. It premiered at Carnegie Hall on December 13, 1928, conducted by Walter Damrosch, who had commissioned the work. You can read more about the history of the piece here. And, if you’ve never heard the full piece, take a listen here to this performance by the Moscow City Symphony-Russian Philharmonic. It’s about 20 minutes long.
Continue reading “Sunday in Paris with George”
Today is World Mental Health Day, so I thought I’d share something I wrote for Let’s Talk, a day in January when Canadians are publically encouraged to break down the stigma and talk about mental health. I wasn’t ready to share it then, but I am now.
While I haven’t received an official diagnosis of social anxiety, two years ago, I participated in a study for people displaying symptoms, and that has helped me a lot. This is just another bend in that road.
Continue reading “Stepping up and speaking out”
I am baking on a Tuesday evening. This is unusual for me. Normally my Tuesday evenings are tied up with choir practice or volunteer work, but in the summer, these things are on hiatus. And even though we have central air, baking isn’t something I do much of in the summer. But this evening is different as it’ll only come once. It is the 100th anniversary of my paternal grandmother’s birthday, and so I’m marking the occasion by attempting her signature cookie recipe once more. This time, I hope to get it right.
Continue reading “Cracking the recipe”
Owls have been my favourite bird as long as I can remember. I’m not sure what the root of this affinity is. It might be that I was drawn to its association with wisdom and the goddess Athena. Or perhaps it’s because their feathers allow them to fly silently, unseen until they wish to be seen. It could be their shared resemblance with cats, who are also favourite creatures of mine, or it could be that their facial discs resemble the glasses I’ve worn pretty much constantly since I was in grade two.
Continue reading “Owls and Okayama”
The other day, we went to pay homage to an old friend of mine. I hadn’t seen him in many years, and he died some time ago, but he left an impression on me. It’s only now that I’m really starting to comprehend and appreciate the unique soul known as Fred Rogers.
When I was a very young child, I visited him every weekday. I would wait for him to come through the door, give a cheery greeting, and come down the steps to the front closet. He’d take off his jacket and pull out and put on a cardigan. Then he’d sit down and change out of his outdoor shoes for a pair of sneakers, singing all the while, asking if I would be his neighbour, or announcing that it was a such a good feeling to know we were friends.
Continue reading “Exactly as you are”