Im not trying to tell you about all the little adventures we had.
I want to tell you about our greatest adventure. Because, some time after
we performed An Evening of Fluff, I decided to move East.
About the same time, Celeste fell in love with Edward, a conducting student,
and decided to get married. "Married?" I said. "Why?"
asked myself, she said, if I were looking back on my life
from the end, what would I regret not doing. And I realized Id regret
not having a family, not having kids, not being married.
But that's so different. That's not at all what I want to do. What
I'd regret -- I'd regret not pursuing music as far as I could go with
don't care about music in that way, Celeste said. "I love it,
but it's not the end-all and be-all for me."
is for me," I said.
by then, we were friends, so we came up with a plan. She would have a
family and I would have a musical career and we would share the experiences.
We would share a life.
we did. For more than twenty years, now, we have shared our lives. She
swears I have the best advice about raising kids. I KNOW she has the best
advice about dealing with the stress of a solo musical career.
twenty years we've rarely seen each other, but we've talked, sometimes
hours a day, sometimes once or twice a month. We've used the phone, the
postal service, and email to connect. To share our frustrations. To ask
for help. Sometimes there's barely any time. "I just need you for
two minutes, she'll say. Just tell me Im not crazy.
seconds," I'll call and say, "give me just one piece of advice
-- about ANYTHING. Or... Or ... Just tell me I can get through this. I
just need to hear you say that."
write to each other at length about responsibility. We talk about how
to organize papers. We talk about how to manage ice cube trays. We talk
about how to raise children and how to be honest on stage. We talk about
teaching and rollerblading and ice skating and how the key to going fast
is going slow. About counting out loud, how to use your eyes to help your
hands, how to ask questions, how to be human, how to connect.
speed our lives gallop in what seems like wild dissonance, a "housewife,"
an "artist," a "mother," a "performer" ...and
then there is that moment, that cadence, when the notes coincide and we
realize, whatever the sound, no matter the number and extent of our mistakes,
together. We are playing the same piece and are together
in the music.
is our duet. And that cadence is so surprising, so triumphant and unexpected
that still, after all these years, I laugh with delight at the moment
lo and behold, after twenty years living thousands of miles apart, last
year Edward was named musical director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra
and suddenly Celeste has moved within driving distance. Another cadence.
Another surprise. I can actually SEE my best friend at any time by getting
in my car and driving for two hours.
we are closer.
all these years, I never noticed the distance.