Today is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. I saw a hawk this morning as I walked. Even though it has been unusually warm, even for North Carolina, I have a primal desire to pull the covers over my head and stay in bed. Indeed, it was almost six before I got up, dressed, and went walking. I find this time of year depressing in general -- too many days without mail, without the regular affairs of the world to distract me. This year is a bit harder, because my eightieth birthday approaches. Exactly six months from now, we shall be in Paris for fete de la musique on the longest day of the year. That is a very much more cheerful time.
Next week I shall play Mozart's great violin/viola duet, K423, with a violinist I found listed in the Amateur Chamber Music Players' membership catalogue. The ACMP is a world-wide organization of amateur musicians who enjoy playing chamber music. One is required to self-evaluate one's skills and list oneself as Professional, A, B, C, or D in skill [with pluses and minuses, to boot.] I chose to list myself as Viola B, which is certainly not an undervaluing of my skills. I have been practicing K423 for days. My secret hope is that I do reasonably well when we play and that she in turn talks it about in the Triangle musical world that I am OK violist, thereby perhaps making it possible for me to get into a regular quartet. A bit like an old-fashioned version of Internet dating.