Music has a way of moving us forward. We have music to learn, concerts to give, students to teach, events to organize. These are all activities that require imagining the future. And yes, music is a temporal art form but much of the activity around it is future oriented. We plan, we do, we remember. I have been considering what does remains constant in all of this. It’s laundry. Yes, no matter what happens, it continues. Life, death, taxes–laundry is still there. You can’t really put it off. My father died some weeks ago and I thought I was coping about as well as to be expected. But today I was faced with an enormous pile of laundry and I broke down. How can it be that when a beloved father passes I still have to wash those clothes? Skip cooking, the mail will wait, who care about bills, friends and family are on hold.
So I paid my taxes, I taught my lessons, made dinner, got those bills paid, but the laundry? For today, it will have to wait. The memory of my father, a nearly perfect human being, is with me. He was an entrepreneur, musician, academic, and most importantly, a mentor. He guided and encouraged everyone that came across his path. He was my most important mentor, and he taught me how to help others—that’s real empowerment. Moving forward, even with the laundry, seems quite daunting. It will be his music, his laughter, and his unfailing wisdom that will carry me forward.