More than one of my Marlboro friends has asked me about my "re-entry." And it's taken a while for me to process the whole experience-- something I'm sure I'm not finished with. (I actually assumed when I got there that I'd be blogging the whole time about it, and that just wasn't going to happen.) There was very little time for introspection, and so much energy spent only in the moment, which was delicious and rare for me.
I've been home for a week now, and it's great to be back. The best thing about it is that I think I managed to bring some of Marlboro home with me. I learned there that I'm not as introverted as I sometimes think I am, that I have powerful reserves of positive energy, even when (especially when) I haven't slept, that I am intoxicated by being surrounded by people who care deeply about working intensely and carefully-- and who love talking about that, sharing ideas and, yes, geeky thoughts about how it all works. I learned that chamber music rehearsals minus ego and plus laughter are the best, and I had a whole month of those to help think about how to apply and to re-enact those concepts here, in the orchestra. I've had only one CO concert at Blossom so far, and I came to work in one of the best moods I've been in in years. My colleagues have responded with warmth, and I am still thinking about how to maintain this feeling of euphoria.
It's luxurious to be in a place where everything from meals to schedules is taken care of by someone else, so that the main focus is on having fun, musically and then socially. And where the "next" generation of musicians takes what they do as seriously as I think I do. (That part is a relief, somehow, as well as a heady experience.)
At the end of the first week was the first organized social affair: square dancing, the thought of which horrified me until I decided to try it and which turned out to be brilliant-- what a natural way to expose us all to each other in a similar-yet-different, beyond chamber music fashion.... That's when we really got to know and to appreciate each other, when we learned to laugh with each other and to become comfortable with being vulnerable around each other. I looked forward to each communal meal after that night.