A Retrospective of the Retrospective

Sometimes it's good to look back, it helps us to better understand looking forward. Perhaps a six-week retrospective is a little long but I'm very happy to have had the chance to take this trip; Amsterdam, Lausanne, Riva del Garda and Firenze are places that are rich in my memory. Now, at 37,000 feet over Siberia flying at 850 KPH toward Tokyo, it seems almost inappropriate to dwell too much on the views of my past that I've experienced on this sentimental journey; the future is the way to go, the only way, and I will land in the future in just a few hours. Any experienced traveler knows what baggage to take on a journey to make the trip enjoyable and what to baggage leave behind.

It looks like I may be back in Europe sooner than I expected, but if so, it will not be another journey of retrospection; that's done and it was great, but there is no need to repeat it. It seems now that March 2008 may very well be a concert and masterclass tour that will include Amsterdam, Italy, and Greece; I hope so, working is great but vacations can get long.

But the immediate future is the thing I look forward to the most for three reasons:

  1. I look forward returning to my classes and my second full year at the Musashino Academy of Music in Tokyo, a great school with great students.
  2. The Masterclass DVD that I have been organizing for the past year will take place this May.
  3. Third and perhaps most importantly, is to apply all my resources to learning the Japanese language. This has to be done to make the most of the opportunity I've been given in this extraordinary country. I've never been a good “studier” on things other than when there is clear connection to a musical end.

Do I have to ask myself what it all means, this retrospective journey? Not really. Time supplies us answers best when there are no deadlines, no exams, no concert dates. Knowledge comes to us at its richest without due dates. Unlike an exam or a concert, the real beauty of life is in the learning process itself, not the answers or a performance.

For the time being I know that my passport is American but I also know that in my heart I'm also a little bit Dutch, a little bit Italian and I'm starting to be a little bit Japanese. So what am I really? I think “teacher” is the answer.

I will be very happy to be home and get back to work.


March 24, 2007, Virgin Atlantic Flight # 900, London to Tokyo

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