I have a little problem trying to position myself into teaching gigs. To quote a former president, to unclench the fist. I liked my dad’s hands, how they looked and their shape and tone. And one day they became mine. I look down and there they are, his hands on my wrists. The view is different than when I was a kid.
He didn’t play an instrument, he was the only one in our family of 6 who didn’t but had an ace up his sleeve. According to his mother we were cousins to Jasca Heifetz. In certain circles that would be like saying you were cousins with Drake. I grew up impressed with the mystical connection to a famous musician until we entered the age of Youtube and I could watch old footage of him giving abusive master classes. Beware the person who teaches by humiliation. My dad was a nice man, glad he didn’t do weird numbers on my head like Jasca Heifetz or the father in the Parkdale Community Centre change room.
We were helping our daughters into bathing suits for swim class. His is a 3 yr old. Everything she did, trying to befriend a new kid, sitting on the ground, playing with goggles – he would interrupt with warnings buzzing around her ears. Poor kid has a mosquito for a father. In my memory banks my father enjoyed me just being me. It feels like both a long time ago and as close as the drive to Stratford yesterday. Picked up Ron’s book to sell in Tranzac silent auction. He bought a nice old house 15 minutes from Shakespeare, likes mowing the lawn. Feels like only a moment ago we met downstairs at Sneaky Dees when it was across the street from Honest Ed’s and he sang Ring of Fire and was instantly of interest to everybody.
Life whizzes by, poof we’re dead and there is no point. Anguish for many when you say it out loud and matter of fact. They want somebody to answer the “why” but probably the wrong question. Like learning something complicated musically, “how” is more useful, who cares “why” you can’t play it, “why” you find it impossible, “how” gets you there. Had coffee with another professor who made the same warnings all the previous ones did, as if their degree is dependent on supplying negative hurdles to discourage people like me. I wear them down eventually. They don’t understand, I’m not interested in explaining the “why” just the “how” of little problems.