It’s been a rough week or two. My fledgling relationship ended, Omicron hit, classes in January are remote (after being announced as fully in-person for the first time in 2 years), and everybody’s Christmas parade of visits has gotten rained on. But! I am also in preparation (fingers crossed) for the Canadian premiere of Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers, scheduled to go ahead in Winnipeg in mid-January, a production that was originally scheduled for April 2020. These preparations, while somewhat stressful for a gal of my age (the memory isn’t what it used to be, among other things), have also been very joyful. I am in love with the character, and with the words and music. There is so much that is relevant and touching, balm for our troubled spirits in this challenging time.

One of my favourite lines in the show is one of the last ones my character Maddie sings: “all in all, isn’t life simply grand? I’m so awfully glad I showed up for it”. And I’m reminded again and again this week (in spite of everything) of the truth of this statement for me specifically. Life is messy. Feelings are hard. We make mistakes and screw up. We hurt people we love. But at the heart of a good life is forgiveness and gratitude. Compassion. Humanity. Art, language and music. And so in spite of everything going on at the moment, both specifically in my life and in the rest of the world (where, quite honestly, in context–my problems are vanishingly insignificant), I can safely say that I am very glad that, all in all, life really is quite grand, and I’m so grateful I showed up for it.