don’t get me wrong

Date: February 24, 2009
Subject: another update …

Don’t get me wrong. Ramping up one’s emotions, strengthening one’s body, re-girding one’s loins is no fun or easy or simple process. There is a chronic and diminishing fatigue to not escaping the need for treatment. However, this is my lot, for whatever reason, our lot in life at present. We pray for chronicity of disease and we’ve had that for 2 years now. We neither put our heads in the sand nor dwell in despair.

The truth is that my chances of cure are small, but my chance of living well and longer are good. This is our reality. Mary and I are optimists by choice and necessity, though some days don’t jive with this positively-minded model. We have always been excellent communicators with one another, even when she is wrong (oops … I am now receiving some clearly-communicated feedback here), but there is an undercurrent of anxiety that we share. It oscillates underneath our life, occasionally splashing through and dampening our spirits, but even as we cope well, have fun with our kids, and live life, the undercurrent is there, often unspoken of, coursing along, unwanted but recognized.

So that is us at present. Reconnected to the structure of treatment, a vital blend of down and up-side. My focus? Aside from Theo and Henry, always wonderfully grounding, I look forward to the April 4th Tactus concert. We’ve commissioned our dear friend Barrie Cabena to create a choral work for this concert: “The many masks of Mad Matthew, the mummer”, maybe might manifest a multitude of meandering meanings (sorry), but is actually a stunning mini-oratorio for choir, organ, and narrator. It is a deep pleasure for me that my dad will be narrator for this, along with our great friend Michael Bloss on organ. Aside from Barrie’s work, we will be exploring our usual treasure trove of Lenten masterworks, including Bach, Purcell, Mozart, Tallis and Byrd, as well as the Oscar-winning song from Slumdog Millionaire (as Borat would say, “… not!”). Actually, Peter Gabriel’s “Down to Earth” is a much better song. Actually, WALL·E is a much better movie.

I look forward to scurrying off to Niagara this weekend for our annual Peirson family scurry-off-to-Niagara-weekend. I look forward to travelling to Nova Scotia with Theo and Lukas (my nephew) with Guelph Youth Singers in April. I look forward to Theo and Henry performing at Kiwanis just before that. Perhaps most of all, I look forward to a break from treatment and perhaps a summer where I can truly spend some restorative time at our cottage!


It seems that his very soul
was formed
by the sparse and shapely chant,
and the austere polyphonic weavings
of mass and motet,
which he sang with innocent and infectious joy.

(from The many masks of Mad Matthew, the mummer …
tacit permission from Barrie Cabena)

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