Wednesday, April 23, 2008

3 rather unconnected thoughts

e vremea lalelelor!
meaning .. it's the season for tulips! (that's romanian, if you weren't sure :) they are all over the city. in the garden we have in front of our center, in all the middle of the big roundabouts, in many yards, in almost all the parks around the city. bunches and bunches of them. all sorts of different colors. beautiful!

a rainy day
there was storm last night and it hasn't really stopped raining since then. when much of the population walks, it makes for some interesting interactions. probably about 50% of the people outside have umbrellas, and when a number of umbrellas suddenly become close, there's the quick adjustment of some lifting higher or lower or moving slightly one direction or another, or tilting this way or that. like a game. and some people aren't very good at playing.. :) but fun to watch and be aware of.

i'm 'fascinating'
okay. this sounds really proud to say. but there's a story behind it. so .. i went to visit my language teacher (aka romanian grandmother) today, and a good friend of hers also came to visit. who is also a grandmother. and she was recently helping her granddaughter with homework, and she's supposed to think of a person who is fascinating to her. she said most people will pick an actor or actress but she didn't want to. so she asked her grandmother. and her grandmother said, 'well i know this young woman who could be out at all the discotheques with boys and having fun in life, but instead she chose to leave her parents and come to romania to help people. that's fascinating to me.' wow. i'm praying and hoping that somehow as i stand out to her as 'strange' and 'interesting', i can point to Someone bigger and much more fascinating and Good. made me smile, anyway.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

what can you get for 9.60 lei*?

*equivalent to about $4.25

well, this last sunday, it was worth the following:

2 hours of beautiful music at the philharmonic

a chance to hear a stradivarius violin (aka the most expensive kind of violin, because of the maker and because they make such beautiful sounds)

a reminder of all sorts of words i learned when i was studying the violin .. pizzicato, not having a swan wrist, double stops ..

getting to watch a violinist who loves playing the violin (and let it show!)

watching his facial expressions as a way to understand the music better .. and a way to see what is a bit more difficult and what is just fun to play (i find that violinists (and other musicians?) often have very expressive eyebrows and lips when they are in the midst of deep concentration to play something they love)

three encores .. if the audience hadn't been so antsy, they might have kept at it for a few more hours

a refreshment for my soul, and a good way to celebrate beauty on the Sabbath