Making room for the good
It seems like just yesterday that I was scratching my head in front of my computer, coming up with resolutions that begin with an H. And here I am again, one year later, wondering what to wish for in 2012.
The year 2011 went by so fast, full of highs and lows, ups and downs, great concerts (too few) and disappointing ones (too many). At the end of the day, I guess the most important thing is to remember the happy moments, and let go the bad ones. A Chinese proverb comes to mind, which goes something like this: “If the bad does not go away, there’s no room for the good to come.”
So I’m letting go of the bad to focus on the good. I will fondly recall Piotr’s English Suites, and our moments together in Shanghai. Of the local concerts, Anne Sofie von Otter’s Grieg was a pure gem, and Alexandre Tharaud’s Scarlatti was of course unforgettable.
However, it is the moments I shared with loved ones that defined 2011. For me, one of the highlights was ballroom dancing lessons with my son, Gabriel. He’d overheard me telling a friend that I would love to learn to dance properly, but my husband is not into dancing and has no sense of rhythm, and I am not prepared to hold my own arms or get in close bodily contact with a little young thing who is practically my son’s age. What’s a girl to do?
So when I asked Gabriel whether he wanted to do something special over the summer, he suggested ballroom dancing, and I accepted with enthusiasm, of course (he then backpedalled a bit and added, “… maybe some hip hop too?”, which I of course declined). So we enjoyed something of a dance tasting menu, since time was limited by Gabriel’s working schedule. We did a bit of waltz, cha-cha, tango and rumba. Personally, I really quite enjoyed the cha-cha, which was easy and casual, while Gabriel’s favourite was the waltz. Tango was a definite no-no for a mother-son combination, being a bit too intimate and sensual (a tall, mature, dark-haired Latino would have been preferable, but they are not easy to find in Hong Kong).
Another highlight was a sweet weekend tête-à-tête in Milan with my daughter. As we shopped, dined and strolled in the streets, we exchanged bits and pieces on life, relationships and aspirations. And of course, since we were in Milan, we had to visit La Scala, where we enjoyed an exceptional performance of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette. We also stopped by the Santa Maria delle Grazie to visit Da Vinci’s famous Last Supper.
I later returned to Milan for another week with two childhood friends, for more wonderful girl talk (or rather, woman talk) about life, our careers and men we love(d). While there, we visited an outstanding Artemisia Gentileschi exhibition and ventured out to the beautiful Villa Necchi Campiglio, where the 2009 movie I Am Love was shot.
And of course, I spent an unforgettable week in Fukuoka with my mother. It melted my heart, watching her discover a new city, enjoy yakitori and teppanyaki with gusto, or simply admire the autumn colours. We exchanged girl talk as well, discussing life, achievements and the men we missed.
As I look back, it is these precious moments with loved ones that I resolve to define my year with. I consider each one unique and invaluable, every bit to be treasured and never taken for granted. With the sweetness of these moments on my tongue, I shall embrace 2012 in Harmony.
For 2012, I wish my readers a wonderful year full of Harmony, and of course, Music.
Two of my favourite men: Piotr and Bach
Harmony: Martin Fröst and Mozart