Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Some Thoughts and Photos for "Our World Tuesday"

I'm posting to Our World Tuesday today, with many thanks to ArijaGattina, Lady Fi, SylviaSandy andJennifer  for hosting.

Of hills and piano lessons 
This is the top third of a hill that assumes quite a lot of importance to both my physical and emotional well-being.  I normally make my way up it on Mondays when I cycle to UBC for a piano lesson, but there have been periods of my life when I did it every day.  For new readers, I am 68 years old and taught piano for many years before becoming a band/choir teachers for many, many more years after that, so you may wonder why I would want to be taking lessons at this stage in my life.  All I can say is that I found a young teacher who is not only a supremely talented performer on the brink of a concert pianist career (and I hope, lecturer, because he has talent as an orator as well), but he is able to articulate for those of us with less natural talent, more about music than I managed to learn in all of those years. Best of all, he willingly shares what he has learned in a spirit of generosity that makes every lesson a gift.  But, back to the hill.  It's a tough one for me.  When I give in and walk a portion of it, I struggle with fear of growing weaker.  It is important to me, as I guess you can see, to stay strong.  When I ride it all the way, I am on top of the world in every sense of that expression.  Last week, Bill made his way up that hill too.  He walked a portion of it with me, but I suspect that was more for me than for him.  He is physically stronger than I have seen him in a very long time, and that does my heart good. 
Bogdan Dulu, my piano teacher, performs the first movement of a Ravel concerto below.  Some of you may enjoy listening to it as you scroll through the rest of the post.
There is a beautiful park at the top of the hill.  Bill was the one to notice this swirling clump of grass.  It made its way around and around the field, sometimes flying into the sky and sometimes rolling across the ground.  I was only able to catch it once in a photograph.  For some reason, today, it represents an accurate picture of my life, as it moves along in ways that I struggle to catch and make sense of.  Ways that are wondrous and confusing and sometimes terrifying and always stimulating.
After our hill adventures, Bill and I spent a little time in Jericho Park.  The sun caught the tips of the reeds by the pond.
Bill settled Black Jack on a bench for a few minutes when her senses got the better of her.
She was looking towards the rabbit bushes :)
Flowers are hard to miss in Vancouver these days.  
They are everywhere we go.  
These four photos were taken during our walkabout in East Vancouver..
before a visit to the veterinarian a couple of days ago.  
When we look out our apartment window, we see cherry blossoms..
and this Magnolia tree.
It is reaching a peak of beauty right now.
The Jazz Vespers performances at St. Andrew's Wesley are another important part of our world.  I posted about that yesterday, but will add a few thoughts here.  A specially angled..
trumpet reminds me that each of us is unique and though there are standard ways to train almost every skill in life, in the end, we can only examine those ways, and then adapt to fit our own bodies and minds.  Though I haven't talked with this musician, I am guessing that he feels his sound and range on the trumpet are best when the mouthpiece is angled downward.  However, that would result in the bell of his trumpet pointing toward the floor, not the best option for having that sound reach an audience.  So, an adaptation that works for him.
We couldn't help but notice this young trombone player.  I'm pretty sure she is the youngest member of the band and she was one of only two females in the ensemble on Sunday.  We noticed her for another reason as well.  She smiled a lot, responded to the words of the liturgist and there was always light in her eyes.   
Here are some of the other members of the trumpet section.  The gentleman shown on the unusual trumpet is not playing flugelhorn.  Note the tilt of each head is slightly different.
What I can tell you for sure, is something was working as it should for this band on Sunday. It was a lively and stimulating performance.  My pulse was still racing with pleasure as we walked home afterwards.
And back we go to the street in front of our apartment.  During a walk two evenings ago, we saw this cat on a roof.
The cat watched us calmly.
I felt s/he was well satisfied with a perfect location from which to contemplate life :)
This is the lobby of the music building where I go for my lessons.  I love the way the light comes through stained-glass windows.  On Monday, even the floor turned blue.
I also love the sculpture in the corner.  It is by artist, Cliff Vincenzi, and is titled, "Artist's Struggle to Reach His Goal."  In this post, you can see a larger photo of it.
And, I come back once more to Vancouver's blooms.  
We saw these Magnolias as we walked near the Cambie Bridge yesterday after my lesson.
As we looked at the magnolias, a gentleman came by with his pug in a sort of race-cart.  I only caught a fleeting glimpse of them, but it seemed the pug had racing goggles on.
I feel quite certain the pair have a story to tell and I'm really hoping we'll see them again. 
After our walk and daily visit to Harrison Galleries, we stopped by a local vet's office, hoping to find the supplements suggested by the holistically trained vet we had seen a few days earlier.  (She didn't have a supply herself.)  We have decided to go with Dasiquin and were able to order them.  Yay!  I'll let you know how they work out.  In this local office, we were rather excited to discover the work of Zbigniew Kupczynski.  I have blogged about him and his wife, Eva (also an artist) before.  This post has several photos of them and of their sweet dog, Frankie. 
Many, many of Mr. Kupczynski's paintings feature his beautiful wife.  They have been together for a very long time, but he remains fascinated by her, and I think, by Frankie too :) 
Bill had to take Black Jack outside the doors of the vet's office while I ordered the supplement for her. 
 She had suddenly noticed.. 
a cat behind a window that led to a room where people can board their pets.  I must say, this cat is a great advertisement for that boarding service.  S/he looked absolutely at home and not in the slightest bit concerned about Black Jack's interest.
And that is where I will leave you for today.  As always, I deeply appreciate your visits and comments.  Sharing our world with you enriches the fun.  I hope you are having a very happy Tuesday!


  1. cute kitties! beautiful blooms. adorable bunnies. :) so glad you enjoy your piano lessons!

  2. Hello Carol, you must be in great shape to bike up the hill. I would have to get off and walk.. I love all the pretty blossoms and flowers, we are way behind with blooms nothing.. Cute shots of Black Jack and the bunnies..and the cute kitty at the vet.. Have a happy week!

  3. It always amazes me that once spring arrives everything seems to burst into bloom all together. Beautiful tree blossoms.

  4. I recognize that hill, close to my house so to means I am almost home, but still a good distance from UBC. Enjoyed all the beautiful colours in your post, thanks Carol.

  5. Your photos of the flowers are just beautiful. I admire your determination to tackle that hill every week.

  6. What a pleasure hearing the concert while visiting today, Carol. Your piano teacher is certainly talented and by the looks of it charismatic as well. About the hills … there is no harm in walking a bit and then riding as well. Sometimes my body thanks me for not pushing overly hard.

  7. There are so many flowers, and they are *sooo* gorgeous, Carol! Love your photography! I'm sure Black Jack must have been tantalized by the smell of those rabbits! I know my dog Ginger would have loved to chase them. She's getting up in years, 12 now, so she probably couldn't catch them (unless city rabbits are slow); but she would love the chase! Looks like you've had the opportunity to listen to some great band music. We just saw the Army Field Band the other day, and they were so talented, a joy to listen to!