Thursday, November 06, 2008

unprecedented victories

The CPO and Calgary Opera are opening a new production of Gounod's Faust this Saturday; this past Tuesday, we were in the orchestra pit at Jubilee Auditorium, about half-way through the 3rd act when news came that Barack Obama had won the presidential election. It actually came from Rob the violinist's cell phone, which was picking up a news website, and Jeff the bassist passed the message on to me.

It's difficult to really celebrate in the midst of playing a long French opera, but it was still an amazing moment. As much as I'd wished and hoped this would happen, it was such a validation to hear it become reality. Last night I watched both McCain's concession speech and Obama's victory speech, and I was impressed by both of them. However serious the problems we face in the US -- and I know they're incredibly serious -- for at least one wonderful day, nothing seemed insurmountable any more.

I haven't written much this week, since I started November with a short-lived attempt to write a novel for NaNoWriMo -- National Novel Writing Month -- and then quickly became too busy to even contemplate such a massive undertaking. It felt a bit like trying to run a marathon without any training, long, tiring, and increasingly painful. I have new respect for writers of fiction or any long form, which seems to involve a miraculous combination of imagination and discipline. Perhaps I'll try again next year, if I've written some pieces longer than a blog post by then. Everything seems impossible, I suppose, until you actually see it happen.

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