*Missing In Blogging
I realize that as of late I've been not just remiss but downright negligent in my blogging - posting sporadically over the past few months and then not at all for the past two weeks. The excuses are many and probably spurious so I will dispense with them. The reasons are fewer but of a more personal nature. I can confidently say that one of them is laziness: lately I have been struck by a severe case of indolence - sadly not of a romantic Chekhovian nature but born out of something perhaps a little darker.
When I look at all the files, photos, brochures, programmes, books and memories from the past few years I realize I have a lifetime of things to write about. However I am finding that though the ideas are there both the ability and the will to write coherently isn't. I have approached things with a sense of loss and, dare I say it, regret bordering on avoidance. A colleague told me it would take a year for me to get over leaving Italy - it appears she was right. I am still regretting my departure - on so many levels - and find I am pining for what was. Perhaps sensibly Laurent returned to Rome for a brief visit last month and has realized that though you may return you can never go back! A lesson it would seem I have yet to learn.
It is not that life here in Ottawa has been without good things. We have reconnected with our oldest and dearest friends and spend high days and holidays with them. We have a lovely apartment overlooking the Rideau Canal and located within walking distance of most things in town. I enjoy going to work in the morning - for the moment I have a good job and work as part of a team in the best sense of the word. I have the Hounds from Hell - as annoying as they can be - the joy of coming home at the end of the day to a hero's welcome or just sitting quietly with Nora or Nicky - and sometimes both - curled up on my lap. I have a caring and loving partner who puts up with all my many mood swings.
In the past few months cultural opportunities in Ottawa, though not as rich as what I have experienced in the preceding four years, are very much present. In a fine season the NAC orchestra has presented an exceptional reading of Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky and Angela Hewitt breaking our heart with her Ravel. The Cantata Singers gave us a lovely welcome to Christmas and along with the St Lawrence Choir soared in the Rachmaninoff Vespers just before Thanksgiving. The theatre season has had its ups and downs. The ups were memorable: Blood on the Moon - a one-man tour de force by Pierre Brault based on the trail of James Patrick Whalen was an exceptional performance as was Ronnie Burkett's latest puppet show Penny Plain. Dark and threatening as advertised it was definitely not a show for children but confirmed Burkett's place as a Canadian National Treasure. Equally dark was the Brecht- Weill Three Penny Opera but in this case Opera de Quatr'sous as it was part of the French theatre seasons. It had an audacity that as I remarked to Laurent "only a French company could pull off." The appeal of Marie Chouinard as a choreographer and and her group as dancers was lost on me but coming up this week is the Alvin Ailey troupe doing, amongst other things, Revelations which I have been wanting to see since my friend David wrote about it last year. And the coming year is promising good things for music, dance and theatre if sadly nothing in the way of opera.
I found myself at the peak of melancholy Easter weekend and as I enjoyed lunch with one of my oldest friends in Ottawa, and someone who has brought so much to my life, I found I was longing to somehow combine my "family" in Rome with my "family" in Ottawa. Much like Macheath in the ballad "how happy could I be with either" - though happier with the richness of both. But deep down I realize that is greedy on my part. And though I still have my friends and loved ones in Rome it is time to move on, as painful as it may be.
So how do I move on? With all the good intentions in the world I'm planning to start blogging again - a vow easily made but perhaps less easily kept. I am hoping that sharing my undiminished passions for what I have seen and loved and see and love will make the closing of a chapter less melancholy and help me understand the good fortune that I have around me.
April 15 - 1755: Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language is published in London.