Madison, WI


Dear Readers,

To set the record straight: This is not a blog. This is, in fact, a non-blog. Anyways…

I am up in a plane. Surprise! This time I have earplugs and am on my way out from Wisconsin. I had a little trouble this morning remembering where I was. I love Madison and have enjoyed being there for two days, but I have been in so many other places lately that I had to run through a mental checklist in order to confirm that I was indeed in Madison. There is a certain blissful feeling that comes from being in contextual suspense. It never lasts long, because curiosity gets the better of me. But it is liberating to be both anywhere and nowhere, for a few seconds at least. This morning, it was so sunny that I thought I might be in L.A.

Last night brought my first recital in the 2010-11 season. It is great to be back in the saddle. Afterwards I had a pleasant ice-cream-social meet-and-greet with students from the university, a good way to round out the evening. I am happy to report that a helpful stage crew member timed the concert last night, and the verdict is in: our program this season is shorter than is my wont, so it is verging on a normal length that won’t exhaust audiences. It is also a really fun bunch of pieces to play. We are currently working up some encores we haven’t performed in a while. That is the current challenge – as is keeping my strings in shape. Two of my strings were in the process of breaking yesterday afternoon, but they held through the concert. Today will bring fresh reinforcements.

This flight started bumpy and is apparently going to be bumpy when we land. A small, demure man seated next to me, in a jacket reading “Sharon”, was gripping the armrest half an hour ago. Everyone is pretty relaxed now, though. Many people are reading about the protests in Madison this week. From what I can gather, the governor has been trying to pass a bill against collective bargaining, and the unions are mobilizing to prevent it. I heard that 50,000 people marched on the capitol building today. Teachers have been calling in sick in order to protest, and lots of supportive car-horn honking has been ringing through the streets. On my way to the airport, I saw hundreds of people carrying signs.

Note: I have lost both my camera lens cap and my memory card reader in the past few weeks. “The road” is like a sieve. When I find or replace those items (the lens cap was last seen in a snow drift somewhere up north), I will post pictures again.

Hilary