Can you imagine if every gesture of conservation and kindness received such a welcome? Do it anyway.
Full disclosure: I raised this amazing composer. And I would still love his music even if I hadn’t.
Drew Nichols is a “third stream” composer, combining classical and jazz, so to experience a piece of his, you’d better stick around for every note! Here he is conducting “Initiation.”
Text © Gwyn Nichols 2011. All Rights Reserved.
Between sharing two of her own polished pieces, poet Sarah Kay shares her own creative emergence and that of her students. She suggests listing ten things you know to be true. Try it. See what you could write that only you could write.
Sarah’s also a great example of reaching out for mentoring and passing that on.
I loved the premiere of this animated short by David Salin.
I’m just home from a university choir concert, aptly named “Waxing Poetic.” Several well-trained choirs from Arizona State University prepared sacred and humorous works, performed in a sacred space, and sent healing sound waves through my soul like a medicinal hot spring. Two of the pieces made me cry:
- “Song for Athene” by John Tavener, combining text from the Eastern Orthodox funeral service and Shakespeare’s Hamlet
- “There Will Be Rest” by poet Sara Teasdale, set by composer Frank Ticheli
We’re so spoiled, listening to recordings of music whenever and wherever we want–and naturally, we need those, too–but we can forget how long it’s been since we were nourished by live acoustic music.
If we want to write musically, there better be some music in our souls.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backwards, so you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something–your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever–because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path, and that will make all the difference.” Steve Jobs
Can you imagine this decade without Steve Jobs? You’ve heard of Apple? Pixar? iTunes? Are you old enough to remember when our computers wrote in one font: computer?
What if Steve had never been born? Did you know he was adopted?
Steve tells three personal stories in this Stanford commencement address, one illustrating how following his passions (such as calligraphy), contributed to his adventures–and our collective global artistic/technology landscape. And he observes that we can only connect those dots in retrospect.
On the way to that story, he mentions his adoption story as a preface–it’s not the main point for him. He’s just explaining that his working class parents had promised his grad student biological mother that he’d go to college–which he did do for a while.
But my favorite part is that adoption story. Half of my two children arrived that way.
Abortion/adoption–how close the words, how different the result. As a teacher who warns students against logical fallacies, I get frustrated when both sides fall into the “either-or,” “horns of dilemma” logical fallacy, as though each child’s life and each unwed mother’s future are sworn enemies, locked in a literal battle to the death–as though there could never be a loving option to save them both. Every day, I bless the name of the young woman who chose to give our mutual son his life and a family.
I’m also struck by the story of a lawyer and his wife who decided at the last minute that they’d rather adopt a girl. The baby boy they declined grew up to be Steve Jobs.
Text © Gwyn Nichols 2011
Photo: Stanford’s YouTube post, screen shot easily captured by a Mac.