I’m Done

Photograph — Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

Rosemary and I returned from a three day trip to our older daughter’s home in Lillooet BC.The air was pure and very hot (over 40) and the people very friendly. I cooked so the food was relatively good. We slept well. Waking up in the morning and going outside in our daughter’s almost one acre property was a liberating kind of activity particularly when we stared at the mountains on either side. Her house is smack in the middle and parallel to the Fraser Canyon. The silence was palpable except when large trucks and 4x4s with their diesels roared by.

We went to an activity called We Love Lillooet and I met the mayor (a most pleasant woman) and the editor of the local paper (another most pleasant woman). It occurred to me that one day I might want to live in Lillooet except for one important vacuum that for me exists in most small towns of our province.

I was born in a large city, Buenos Aires and lived for many years in another, Mexico City. I am used to traffic rumble, smog and other negative amenities of the big city. But I am also attracted to big city culture — the arts. I like theatre, dance visual arts, large and very good libraries.

I was aware that Lillooet had lots of arts and crafts with a major on the second part of that — the crafts. But would I ever be able to see a Picasso exhibition or witness a Bach Mass with all the trimmings of period instruments? Would I be able to go to concerts of new music and music of the avant garde?

In Lillooet I would miss my Arts Umbrella Dance Company performances and all the other dance activities of Vancouver. I would miss some of the theatre (perhaps not all of those musicals). I would miss the culinary variety of an ethnically proliferated restaurant culture.

Netflix, and communicating with my friends with facebook would not be to my liking without something more.

And yet I have a troubling confession to make that has been made almost acceptable by the statement of my friend, Vancouver composer, John Oliver.

I told him at a recent concert by the divine cellist Marina Hasselberg (a solo cello recital) that I could not abide with one more performance of Bach’s Concerto for 2 Violins in D minor, BWV 1043. With a smile he said to me, “You are done with it.” That is true I thought. I further told him that if it weren’t for the fact that I would drive Rosemary crazy I would play all my very many Piazzolla CDs all day and nothing else. His comment (one I would concur with) was, “I don’t understand why so many attempt to interpret Piazzolla. He is and was an original.”

Last night I listened to a fine Lester Young record and one with Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz and Paul Desmond (all together!). It struck me that I want to go less to concerts, and theatre and dance, an art exhibits and very definitely any photography ones. What could be wrong?

I feel stressed out if I know I have to go somewhere on a particular day of the week or some near evening. I want to get into bed to read and enjoy the morning papers with Rosemary over a Spartan breakfast-in-bed.

Former Vancouver Magazine art director Rick Staehling may have been ahead of my time (and his) when in the 80s my rock columnist friend Les Wiseman and I would go to the Commodore (with all kinds of comp tickets) for really good punk concerts and to see bands from all over the world. Staehling would tell us , “I prefer to buy the CD.” I am beginning to understand.

Originally published at blog.alexwaterhousehayward.com.