I heard the sound of live guitar playing by someone else on Thursday. It was the first time in 19 months I had listened to anyone other than me. On the same day I took up other lost activities. I went for supper with friends, sat with students at close quarters, and strolled down a crowded street.
For 19 months I have been mostly cloistered in my Spanish village abode trying to avoid invisible Covid”s advance. Now this week quite suddenly I have been swept up in a crowd. That is how it felt.
The Istituto Bellini di Musica in Catania, Sicily, was the backdrop. I spent a most pleasant and stimulating 3 days hearing some promising young players guided by my friend and also their charismatic professor Agatino Scuderi, himself a very fine guitar player.
My renewed social life is quite a change from the many months I spent alone, during which time I devised a work schedule of fullfilling musical creativity. It has been a fair substitute. I suffered none of the daily irritations of cosmopolitan living. I was immersed in my world of music. Yet now I have been back interacting with the rest of humanity for only 5 days the past months already feel like a weird interlude and rude interruption.
In a short time from now I might scarcely recollect my pandemic isolation as a real experience – all 19 months of it – more a dream from which I have awoken. I have been jolted back into a familiar normality whose customs and procedures I have readopted without skipping a beat. I have to admit both surprise and alarm as to how easily I have done so.
Thank you for reading.
Frankfurt Airport en route to London