Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Remembering Nina

She was a modern day Miriam. Her timbrel had 88 keys and was somewhat less than portable, but every place she where she went and worked had at least one.

Life was all about music, meetings, collaborations and friendship. She lived the life of "music for awhile", where "awhile" meant all the time for her lifetime, and "music" meant any individual's sonorous contribution, from that person's level and heart. She loved community concerts, and led quite a few of them.

The twinkle in her eye was a gift from her mother. There was fabulous humor attached to that twinkle. But it was a quiet humor; sometimes meant to slide under the radar of the less adept listener.

Hers was a quiet revolution. Hacking into the community vibe with strands and strains and daisy chains of sounds from every era (even and especially new works), the magic that she worked was music, musical, and it was indeed viral. None of us who knew her will ever recover. And that is as it should be.

We, her many friends and colleagues, gathered on this cool morning, on a hill in the country. She was returned to the earth, and we helped to return her there, knowing that she has flown on to another realm, and that it is our own healing that will continue to require songs and stories, and even a little piano jazz, as salve for our loss. We received a heavenly gift in that the sun broke through the fog, bringing with it blue sky, light and warmth. Could that have been her smile, coming to us from another dimension?

The mother and the rabbi wondered that she had requested "Danny Boy" to be sung at her graveside. But, sung it was, by a large and familiar choir. When her mother heard the words, she understood completely.

I gave her mother a beautiful yellow winter rose from my garden, saying, "This flower is for you, because you brought to all of us a beautiful gift, who was your daughter. Thank you."

Nina was her name.

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