“ Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.” – Kurt Vonnegut
Warmer air amid the lingering light herald this early rush of spring, showing up in lush masses of white snowdrops, the royal purple and golden hue of crocuses as well as the odd patch of nodding canary yellow daffodils. Another welcome sign of the coming new season came in an email from my Mom, letting me know that the free vouchers for some of the upcoming spring concerts arrived on the bulletin board in the lobby of her building.
On a recent cloudy Sunday, Mom and I made our way downtown eagerly looking forward to the concert performance of “Symphonie Fantastique” at the iconic Orpheum Theatre just a short walk from her apartment. It was a lovely afternoon filled with the sounds of love, obsession and heartbreak layered in a veil of steampunk richly interpreted by the Vancouver Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra. The pieces that transported us came from the works of Benton Roark (b. 1977), Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) and Hector Berlioz (1803-1869). The presence of 5 harps as well as 2 bell ringers added another musical dimension to the soaring sound of the many violins and cellos. This particular joy – finding ourselves among like-minded people seeking culture and exquisite music is a wonderful balm, smoothing out some rough edges that have crept into my world.
The topography of the land I usually walk upon has changed dramatically – for the last 6 weeks or so I have been traversing foreign soil, helping my father as he recovers from a hospital stay that has somehow left him fragile and unsure of himself. There is shopping to do, dishes to wash and phone calls to make – my father does not have the strength or interest at the moment in returning to his former life. He seems bewildered by this sudden change and frankly, so am I.
My days pass so quickly, I have to remind myself to breathe, drink water or have lunch among the extra tasks that have blossomed like giddy spring flowers in what was once a tidy garden. Thankfully, with love and support, we are making our way, drawing a new map with the help of his family physician, our local health unit, dear friends and of course, family. We are adjusting to the new equipment and medication that now shares his space with the hope that he can continue to live independently – happy among his books, moving confidently once again through his world. As his daughter, I’m aware that these moments are occurring in real time, meant to be held close and cherished.
This post is dedicated to a talented local musician, Bob White (late of the cool band, the Bobcats) who was here one moment and gone the next, he passed away suddenly on February 3rd, 2017, I will dearly miss his shy smile.