Just a thought....
Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

The potpourri of life

Today, our internet has been more down than up. I think it showed some life only when I went out to teach. I think it's hiding from me.

My one blog friend, Susan, is a music teacher in China. I love when she posts snippets from her classrooms. This was my early morning smile today:

Later in the hour, I allowed them to come to the piano and "create" a song. On the spot. This was interesting ~ and showed so many different aspects to the personalities in this class. For some, it was a way to transcend their struggle with learning a new language. For others, it was a way to show off what they already knew, what they've already been studying in private piano lessons. And for others ~ it was simply impossible to do. They were too shy, too new to a very foreign place from native lands such as Sudan, Yemen, and Finland. They need to watch and wait awhile.

One little boy from Germany confidently approached the piano with a knowing, expectant smile and played a lovely, sensitive piece he was obviously making up. I knew he doesn't take piano lessons ~ and what the piece lacked in musical structure was compensated for in emotion and peace.

As he walked away from the piano, I said, "Justus, how did you think of such beautiful notes to play?"

His bright blue eyes sparkled with light and life, "I looked at myself in the wood of the piano. I saw my heart. I saw my brain. And then the music came."

I've been a little quiet here. I had, on top of my other students, a new student who wants daily, sometimes twice daily classes on Skype, Monday through to Saturday. She suggested Sunday too, but... ! Each class is an hour and half long. It has been a juggle trying to fit her in and boy, is she hard work! Her English is fairly basic, but she needs advanced business English for some deals she's trying to pull off with an American company owned by Chinese business men who communicate in English. If you've ever heard the Chinese speak English, you may realise the challenge. Of course, not all Chinese speak challenging English, but my experience of them is that their English is hard to understand, especially for those not familiar with it. I have more options for students through Skype. I'm going to encourage it.

I spoke to my mom. It sounds like such a simple thing to do. The last time I spoke to her was briefly in 1994 when my gran died and I called to inform her and before that only in 1988 at the time of Ceinwen's funeral. She sounds old. Apparently she's not being cared for, not that it surprises me. She's stubborn too and refuses to go into a place where she can be cared for. I had so many questions to ask her. Perhaps I'll try when I call her again. Her speech, at times, was hard to understand. She's wheelchair bound now with Parkinsons. I don't know much about Parkinsons. My brother says she'll still probably outlive us. I'm half inclined to believe that is true. She's one tough old lady. My sister... it is so weird thinking of her as a woman. My mental image of her is as a innocent child of 7 or 8. She sounds confident in herself. I am now on a self-appointed mission to find her two kids. As my brother pointed out... "so there are more van der Merwes wandering around out there."

Tat has a student, a child, 7 years old. Her mother takes her Barbie dolls away because she messes the dolls' hair up. Some people are just odd.

My one friend wrote a very beautiful poem some years back. She put it on the net. It is now all over. Sadly, people have been passing it on without her name attached. Many are distributed as 'Author unknown'. Now someone has published a book with her poem in it as 'Author unknown'. The book has a massive copyright blurb in the front, but they took someone's poem without getting permission. Sad and so unfair.


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  1. Hi Tint,

    Children, it seems, have no fear and can be very creative at times. Now if we can only bottle up some of that talent. I have worked a person fromt China for almost 8 years and initially, the English was a little hard to follow. But, it took more patience on my end and learning on his end to find a perfect balance.

    In regards to your mother, judging by the timeline, I would venture to guess that there have been issues between you and your Mom. At least you took the initiative to call her. Parkinson's is a very debilitating disease and only gets worse. I've known some older people who have had it.

    It doesn't seem to matter whether there is a copyright symbol or not on a piece. If people think they can make money off of it, they figure the odds of being caught are worth it. I have written some stuff in the past and have posted on my blog, regardless of any copyright symbol, if people think it is good enough, they will make it their own. Except I have the oringinals with dates.

    You have some very beatiful pieces here too I might add!

    Take care for now.

  2. It's a weird world at times, isn't it? Some day the weird seems poetic and meangingful. Other days it just sucks.

    To cheer you up, I have an award for you :-)AND it came via an African blog, which makes it even nicer. Some better weirdness for a change! ;-)



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