On a whim I started going through boxes of stuff. I meticulously kept every school paper, every drawing, every piece of photocopied music, every certificate or award, every letter and postcard I received. It added up to something like 4 file boxes of stuff. I think I've managed to pare it down to about 1 1/2 boxes, all of which fits safely into our filing cabinet. I still don't know how much stuff we are leaving behind, but now in our closet I have 4 boxes worth of space more than I had 2 days ago.
|A doodle my stand partner and I did on the back of our music in middle school orchestra (Jarod the bassist was my best friend)|
|I rather like this guy. I call him "green coffee bean man." I'm pretty sure I painted him in the craft room at that same summer camp, because I didn't do much painting anywhere else during high school.|
I love chamber music and Bach's unaccompanied cello suites. I especially love chamber music because of the rehearsal process--a small group of musicians shares ideas with each other and works closely to present a performance which reflects the group's interpretation, while allowing each of the individuals to express their own voice. As an orchestral cellist, my duty was to blend with the other cellists and not to stand out. Still, being part of a good orchestra is an unbelievably powerful experience. Every member contributes their own sound to make something so much bigger. I think I took this experience for granted. Now I don't know if I will ever have another chance to play Brahms or Mahler or Rachmaninoff symphonies. I guess I had always been clinging to the hope that I would play them again, but yesterday as I put my carefully archived orchestral parts in the recycling bin, it felt like I was killing that hope once and for all. I have moved on. I'm a chamber musician, a missionary, a student of Japanese language; I don't have time, or space, or opportunities to be fooling around with orchestra.
I also listened to Rachmaninoff's 2nd piano concerto during the sorting process. I guess there's a Rachmaninoff piece for each of my major life transitions--this one became important to me in the last year while we've been waiting to go back to Japan. I played it (as an orchestral cellist, of course) during college, but it was brought to memory, oddly enough, by a wildly popular Japanese TV show about two pianists, which Keith and I watched last year. The Rachmaninoff 2nd piano concerto is a recurring theme throughout the show, and it is the piece that causes major life changes for both of the lead characters as they rediscover the joy of playing the piano. (We highly recommend this anime for our fellow music dorks--it's called Nodame Cantabile. We both loved it.) I rediscovered the joy of playing the cello while I was in Japan. I am excited to be reunited with my musical friends there, and to work on my Japanese so we can communicate better.
I found a lot of other great stuff while I was rifling around through my old papers. I was amazed to find a little slip of paper among my elementary school stuff with Psalm 37:7 written on it--on one side in English, and on the other side in Japanese. I have no idea where it came from, but it's been the theme verse of my life this last year, so I tucked it inside my planner. I also found evidence of my first efforts at learning Japanese:
We hosted a Japanese exchange student, Ayumi, the summer before I started middle school. She diligently taught me hiragana and a few kanji, which I promptly forgot. I am amazed yet again to see the way God wove Japanese people, language, and culture into my life, even though I was completely unaware of it. Among other things, I was reminded of what a great teacher my Japanese-American 3rd and 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Mise, was. I was a little snot with a big head (there was ample evidence of that among my papers), but she didn't let me get away with shoddy work. She always expected me to do my best work in every subject.
|We got to try Japanese brush painting in Mrs. Mise's class. I call this one "Flower painting with faux Japanese." If you don't know what I'm talking about, look at the upper left corner.|
|I liked to write little "poems" like this on my dad's new computer when I was about 6. I wonder if I would like something called "pizza rice casserole" (or should I say "caserole"?) now that I am snobby about rice?|
|There were many little notes like this one. I think my parents were very proud of me. My mom is good at encouraging, even for small things.|