It is finally time for my two-week vacation – and for five weeks of non-home, non-routine life. I love my well-established patterns and I love being comfortable in my own home – I already miss my early morning coffee and journal time alone at my porch table – but I really think that this next month will be fabulous for me. I was needing a shakeup to restart my productivity.
All last week I was teaching at the Dake Academy – the SBSO’s summer chamber music camp for highschoolers – and it was completely all-consuming. Monday I devoted every spare minute to preparing for my Tuesday seminar and solo performance on the faculty recital, and Tuesday after the recital I spent a couple of hours preparing food for the faculty party which I hosted Wednesday after the camp. Thursday was the long day which included the big performance at night, and Friday I was the bus leader as all of the chamber groups toured South Bend. During the camp I was busy coaching my chamber trio (in which I was also performing), teaching masterclasses, rehearsing with the faculty quintet and in the student orchestra, and generally being visible and available to the students. I love teaching, especially in this very intensive festival where in four short days I can see enormous improvement in the music we are working on and in the students’ attitudes and abilities. That said, I haven’t practiced since last Monday, nor exercised since Tuesday. (We spent Saturday and Sunday driving to begin our VACATION!)
So now I am up in Northern Vermont with Steve and Zoe and my mother. My sister and brother will be joining us later in the week. And I am completely ready to steal some time for myself and get my legs back in shape for running, and my face back together on the oboe. We travel directly from here to Michigan to play La Traviata, and straight from there to Ohio for two weeks of orchestra and quintet services. I can’t wait. There’s something about NOT being at home – as inconvenient as it always is – that makes me think I can approach the instrument differently. Be more relaxed, and more attentive. I am ready to try.