So many times, great inspirational high points are followed by stretches of the comically mundane. As long as they’re somewhat comic, or interesting, it’s bearable.But last night, I was truly moved by a force of nature. A force I live with every day, one that can seem quite mundane out of familiarity, but one that sheds its shell, its Clark Kent anonymity, and reveals itself: a glorious cataclysm.
Today, I’m sitting in the mundane. In a building that used to be a castle, next to a long line of fans lined up for autographs, on a long pew, in a long row of composer’s wives.
We resemble “ladies who lunch” though we don’t actually know each other very well. There’s something very Donna Reed or something about this – all of us lined up looking fine, supporting our husbands. There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s a positive thing, we do support our husbands, but I can’t help but feel a little like another in a row of paper dolls.
I’m sure I’m the only one. I’m still getting used to being a girl. If you believe in past lives, and you’ll allow me an inch of meta-philosophical license, I’ll admit I don’t think I’ve ever been a woman before. It takes a lot of gumption, a lot of personal strength.
Being a chick ain’t for sissies.
But here we are and here I am. In all honestly, I am still so proud of Bear. Last night, with a flick of his wrist, he filled a palace atrium with passion, such that the worn stones themselves brimmed with full-heartedness. Some cried. Girls made eyes at him. I’ll allow it, they should.
When I met Bear at school, I was drawn to him because he was the only person I could find who was possibly more ambitious than I. We understood the insanity of our goals, and the impossible odds only propelled us. We met each other at the beginning of our mutual leaps, and here we are still, in the mid-air of our inspiration, under candelabras and oil paintings of kings. The path of life is not nonsensical, but it is beyond prediction.
I wonder if watching Bear is like watching me. Later, I asked him how it felt to conduct an orchestra, and it was hard for him to answer. I understand that. It’s hard to describe the way it feels to sing; it’s a thing unto itself, and I am other than myself when I do it – really, more myself.
But the Human Target Suite premier last night was enormous. When the piece began, I wanted to comment to the person next to me, but I don’t know how to say “Things jus' got REAL up in here!” in Spanish.
When Bear conducts, it’s as if his arms physically reach into the bodies of the orchestra, and together they unleash the full current of their combined vitality. A tempest in sonorous sway. An affront to cowardice. A dance on the surface of water, his shoulder tension drops to the French horns and rises to the tics and crashes of percussion.
Finally, open palms turn downward – slow decent – slow vibrato – hands of creation moving slowly over the ocean of a world of sound. It’s the End Of Days for just a moment: “turn out the light” echoes in my mind – down to the original singularity, quivering in all the potential energy of the cosmos…
Bows frozen. Hands mute strings. Brass holds its breath. A man in the centre with his head pitched forward, arms parted like low wings, tendrils of dark hair hung like web over closed eyes.
Then a voice from the audience shouts, and the rush of applause begins like a monsoon.
A chorus of chairs react in squeaks and shifts, as asses…300+ asses fly upward from their seats, in support of their attached vocal orifices. I’m not saying the people are asses, I’m literally talking about their asses. The castle atrium was on their feet and Bear turned to bow. He is smiling, he brushes the hair from his face. Bows again. No asses in seats yet, everyone is still standing. And this was only the first piece.
So here I sit among the wives, the next day. Watching my man sign pictures and CDs for fans, but it’s ok. He deserves this lush spilling of adoration. He deserves more.
Last night, I was truly moved by a force of nature. A force I live with every day, one that can seem quite mundane out of familiarity, but one that sheds it’s shell, its Clark Kent anonymity, and reveals itself: my glorious cataclysm.