I don’t usually post anything on Thanksgiving (I’m more into Advent calendars, to be honest), but this year has been a special one, and I think it’s worthy of a word or two of gratitude.
First off, I’m grateful for my readers. You guys are so inquisitive, so smart, and you care so deeply.
I’m grateful for the knowledge of teachers, and how generous the best are with their very selves.
I’m grateful for technology. I’m grateful I can write and publish long essays on Rebecca Clarke or Baumol’s Cost Disease while curled up on the couch. (Keep an eye out for those.)
I’m grateful that sarcasm is a thing.
I’m grateful for sound, and especially the layers of it I hear in Orchestra Hall. You can spend a lifetime in that sound and never tire of it.
I’m grateful to live in a place that values, treasures, and loves its symphony orchestra so intensely. It would have been so easy for Minnesota to give up this past year. You didn’t.
I’m grateful for those dreamers back in 1903 who said, “Let’s start a symphony orchestra,” and a community that said, “Okay!” I’m grateful to all those board members who raised so much money over so many decades, and to the musicians of the past who played on to achieve the highest levels of musicianship, despite all the economic uncertainties surrounding them.
I’m grateful for the modern-day musicians who had the courage to risk their health, their careers, their homes, to save an institution.
I’m grateful for the people I criticized so harshly during the lockout, because without them, I wouldn’t have you. Without their myriad of muck-ups, the Minnesota Orchestra would be in a much weaker position than it is today.
I’m grateful for strong, wise leadership – for Osmo, Kevin Smith, the heads of Save Our Symphony Minnesota. They’ve married professionalism with passion, and the results are deeply moving and deeply inspiring.
And most of all, I’m grateful we have the chance to begin anew, to embark on a process of self-invention. The thought of it is simultaneously terrifying and exhilarating, and also terrifying. (And exhilarating…)
The Minnesota Orchestra posted an adorable picture on their Facebook page of musicians holding up signs of gratitude. Mine isn’t nearly as wonderful, but I did just sit down at my desk, scribble my own handwritten sentiments on a notecard, and place a sprig of holiday sparkle next to it.
Happy Thanksgiving, all! And…