17 de agosto de 2019

A conversation with Gary Graden

With Gary, during our conversation

A conversation with 

Gary Graden


For a long time I have wondered what this man would have for Javi Busto to call him "his brother". Gary Graden, an American-Swedish or Swedish-American (as much as he gives), who in Javi’s own words is someone who has most influenced his musical life.
In the process of writing Javi Busto’s biography, a few years ago, it was when I was struck by the idea of locating all those people he spoke of that way, special people, influential, models.
Gary was exquisitely kind then, but he didn’t call my attention either, because the "commission" (to talk about Javi) could be appealing to him in light of that fraternal affection that both profess. The text with which he contributed to the biography was precious and very meaningful. 

Gary Graden and Javi Busto, during Tolosa's 50th edition (November 2018)

I wouldn’t know how to explain it, but I saw clearly in my imagination the experiences that he told: his participation in the Tolosa contest, his meeting at the further reception, the Swedish landscapes, the warmth of the fireplace and the light of the candles, the shared glass of wine. Everything was especially close and very "visual" to me as Gary narrated it in a document he sent me, accompanied by some photos from that time. That text, which was very emotional,  made me cry at that moment. 
Since the emails exchanged with Gary in those days, we have written ourselves a few times for several reasons, but we have never seen each other before.  This year I knew that Gary would be at the Tolosa Choir competition, in the special 50th anniversary edition, and I was happy because we were finally going to meet. Javi told me: "you could take advantage of this situation and interview Gary. He’s a very interesting person". And since Javi is always a good advisor, I took good note of this, and sent an email to Gary to arrange an interview. Of course he said yes.
When I stood in front of him and identified myself, I immediately found myself surrounded by his arms: he embraced me and separated me from him again to look at me: "We have finally met each other in person, not just virtually!" And he would hold me in his arms again and then separate me, like when you don’t quite believe that the person in front of you is really there. We have been in virtual contact for almost eight years, but the chance finally arrived.
Once the contest started, thinking of all the programmed activities that the members of the jury followed daily, I thought that the interview was not a good idea, that it would be impossible for him to find a space and in fact I proposed to leave it for another occasion. I would have understood it perfectly... But Gary insisted on looking for a gap and we squared a 30-45 minute one. I suppose that for a "professional" interview it is more than enough, but I did not finish seeing it. I was afraid if he would expect something that I would not know how to do: he was probably thinking about an official and professional interview of a journalist (something that I am not), because what I wanted was something else.  
In "The Lectern" conversations do not take a closed minute, but we just talk: conversation comes up by itself. I always start from a few questions, of course, but the important thing is not what is previously written, but everything that emerges spontaneously afterwards, because that is where the essence of the person I like to have in front of me is captured, that is how you really know someone.

The beginnings: Eric Ericson

After changing the moment three times, we found our own, as well as the place. And it started to work...
We started talking about the relationship between the choir S:t. Jacobs Kammarkör that he directs and the S:t Jacobs Vokalensemble that participated in the contest in this last edition, a relationship that he explained in detail.

–The relationship is very close, very close, think that we work in the same church. I had the opportunity to start a youth choir ten years ago, and that is when I asked Mikael Wedar to start the project. Mikael had been my student at the "Stockholm Music Gymnasim", a top choral music conservatory where I was a professor and where I met Mikael when he went to study there at the age of 16. At that time, I created a choir, the Stockholm Music Gymnasium Chamber Choir, a very beautiful experience. The choir stayed for several years and Mikael was one of the really brilliant young people who sang in it. He was singing there for three years and since then we have maintained our relationship at S:t Jacobs Kammarkör for years. It is a very close relationship, as I say.
–The "original" question now: what does an American do in Sweden?
–Well, I studied in the USA, yes. We are a family of Swedish-Americans. My grandparents were Swedish and emigrated to America. I grew up, then, in a very musical family, although they were not professionals. We celebrated and surrounded ourselves with all Swedish traditions.

When, in any type of conversation, I have a choir director in front of me, in a compulsory way, I always notice a lot in their hands, because they also speak. Part of the expressiveness of a director is in the movement of his hands, not only when he directs but also in conversations or day to day moments. Gary, without anyone being able to question it, is a conductor. He draws with his hands while speaking. Permanently.
I also observe how my guest is behaving, because it is essential to know if he feels comfortable or not, if you have to change the registration or end the conversation. And small gestures are great signs for this. I do not know if Gary had at some point the feeling of "Bah, another interview!", I have no idea, but of course that was not what it conveyed.

– I studied direction because I was always very involved in choral music and finally I did my degree in the USA. That was when I felt I wanted to follow that path and doctorate. I had the huge need to listen to what I then considered the best choirs in the world. On my list was the Eric Ericsson choir in Stockholm, as well as the works of Helmut Rilling in Berlin and Niccolas Hartnoncourt in Vienna. This happened in the early 80’s, when Hartnoncourt was a real revolution in the interpretation of choral music.
I made a small stop (or so I thought) in Stockholm for a few months and what I found out is that Eric Ericson’s work was a very pleasant experience for me. I always had a good voice, I was a good tenor, which opened many doors for me and that is why I could also start singing with Eric. But I needed to know more, and I wanted to be an active student in his classes. He told me that if this was my desire, I had to enter his classes through an audition for the conservatory. The audition took place in March of that same year. I was accepted and remained for two years.
At that time I met my wife, who is also Swedish. I did not leave, since I stayed directly in Stockholm; therefore I did not get to Vienna.

Eric Ericson

I sang a lot and also directed. Very soon I had the opportunity to lead in S:t Jacobs church as an assistant. In 1984 they asked me to lead their youth choir and I told myself: "This is the opportunity to fully develop a choir, this is my choir". That happened thirty-five years ago. Unbelievable!
–What did Eric Ericson have? Javi has told me about him many times, about his way of making music, the sound of his choir ... Was it really special?
–Yes, of course it was. He had a great passion for choral music. His particular way of working and his behavior somehow managed to get the singers to sing in an especially beautiful way. He got an important position in music very early, as a young director; he developed the Swedish Radio Choir, started his own chamber choir at the conservatory and his famous male choir Orphei Drangär ... I always wondered how he could organize his time. How could he do daily rehearsals, start new projects, attend to everything. He was really a wonderful man, very humble. A great pianist too.
He used the piano in a very intelligent way, not only to give support to the choir but also to give ideas. He was extremely strong and well organized, very curious about life and about the repertoire. His task consisted mainly of promoting music. He was the voice of the composers through the Radio Choir, which at that time had sufficient financial resources to be able to commission works from Swedish composers and from the rest of Europe.
The combination of his position in history and his own personal attributes made the change of Swedish music somehow possible. He was at a point that made possible this kind of explosion and revolution.
Before him, in Sweden, in both big and small choirs, music was until then a romantic experience, a social experience, but at this moment in history, after the end of World War II, somehow it was necessary to be redirected. It was necessary to consider what could be done with the choral movement and achieve a choir with a certain standard, to turn it into a professional instrument in a way that the composer wished to compose for the choirs. They would be the voice of contemporary composers.
Sometimes the opposite may be true, a negative spiral: the composer does not really appreciate the choirs, he writes complex things to sing, the choirs do not like these works ... this has a negative effect: it disintegrates. But in this case a new positive spiral emerged in which composers practiced new genres, new techniques, new opportunities. Pieces that we could now say are not so difficult, but then ... it took months to learn some works!
Eric Ericson became the personification of the choral movement in Sweden. He was not the only one, of course, there were many choirs, incredible recordings, but he was at the top, at the top of the pyramid. For the historical context and also for his personal qualities, he was a kind of pinnacle, and worked very hard for choral music in Sweden.

I do not know how much time had passed at this point of our conversation, but I swear it had already caught us absolutely. There was nothing but that almost whispering voice that transported us to a glorious and unique moment of music in Sweden and probably in the rest of the world too. A voice that made us value the memory of the maestro, Eric Ericson, because even if we had not known him, the way in which Gary talked about him was full of admiration and affection, something that he immediately conveyed us.
In general, I suppose that in a conversation between two, and more when they have never spoken in person, it could be said that if the conversation tone is showing greater energy and enthusiasm, then it is on the right track. You can, but in "The Lectern" it is different.
I know we are on the right track when the opposite happens, and with Gary it happened: his tone of voice diminished as we talked. It was as if he were entering more personal, more intimate moments, scenes of memory, in that atmosphere of peace and tranquility that is a conversation with him. It catches you immediately. The silence around us was such, and the concentration so intense, that the immersion in his conversation was complete. It was captivating to hear him.

Somehow you follow that line too. You have won several awards for your work for Swedish music. That has to be very important, I suppose. 
–Of course, and I continue to do so. The following generations should do it too, all of us should be involved in knowing our composers, commissioning new works, giving voice to the new music, trying to be in the best choir we can be ...
It is not just about working different styles, because Eric Ericson was a church musician, he was a great Bach music player, this is sometimes forgotten, and he was at S:t Jacobs for 25 years. He was a wonderful organist who had inherited that part of the Lutheran tradition of great music: Bach, the Passions, the Cantatas, he knew everything very well ...
I think something similar happens with you too. I know you have recorded several CDs with different music styles. What kind of music do you prefer?
Well, it is not like that exactly. I prefer a broad spectrum, we could say. I really like to work a cappella repertoire and suddenly I adore working with orchestra, I think this is a kind of balance.
You are a singer. You like to sing too. In what proportion do you sing / direct?
–No, I am really a conductor. Sometimes I sing with my choir or with other choirs, but only for my own enjoyment. I have sung for many years in an ensemble, a wonderful male quintet Lamentabile Consort. I learn a lot when I sing with them, they are great professionals. I also love spiritual singing. When I am with the choir, I turn to the audience and sing for them, but it is just to do something different.

                                                        A certain nostalgia

From now on, perhaps the interview took another look, more personal and more experiential. Gary’s tone of voice became more intimate. But there were intense and frank laughter too, no laughter contained. There were silences, memories, precious images.
I must remember this conversation starts in Tolosa (Gipuzkoa), in the days of the 50th edition of the Contest where he was invited to be part of the jury.

Tolosa. When was your first time here?
In 1991. It was the first time of the choir. I started in 1984-85, and our first contest was in Tours in 1986, where we won the second prize. We were completely delighted with that second prize. In 1986 we went to Debrecen, Hungary, and there we achieved great success too. In 1990 we were in Arezzo.
In ’91 we came here and it was magical, fantastic. People were so generous, so frank, so funny. I remember those days as if it were yesterday. The people I see now, 27 years later, are the same ones I met then and I remember them as if it were yesterday, the things they told me, what I told them. I have very good friends here since then. It was also in that year when I met Javi Busto, of course.
There is a very funny anecdote about how you met him, tell us please. You told me about it years ago, when we were talking in order to write the book.

–Yes– The slight smile of the memory, which is what he is talking about these beautiful moments of nostalgia, now becomes a huge smile, one that illuminates his face. –In the contest we were going to perform the Gloria of his Missa Brevis. I think I had seen him before, at some point in the contest, but during the post-contest reception, someone told me: "Look, that is Busto". I approached him timidly and greeted him: “Mr. Busto, I’m Gary Graden. What do you think?”. He looked me up and down, in a very severe, very serious way and I told myself: “Oh, God, no!”, but then he smiled broadly and said: “It has been too good. Very nice, but I’m angry because my choir could never have sung as you did.”

This is, without a doubt, the funniest moment of our conversation. See him live again, with many gestures, those seconds of anguish in which he should have felt analyzed by the composer is really funny. And his relief. And imagine the monosyllables conversation both should have exchanged. I find it endearing. The director could be satisfied with his interpretation and receive, haughty, the composer’s remarks. The humility of the one, the humility of the other. A whole lesson.

–There is another nice anecdote that Javi tells sometimes too. He suggested making some changes in his work. Their choir would sing right after us, so they were behind the stage, waiting. He was leaning on one side and when it was time for his suggestion, I looked at him out of the corner of my eye and saw him nod. It filled me with satisfaction.
We became very good friends. But friendship is not something that emerges immediately. We have met on many occasions, it has been a whole process.  

Gary and Javi, some years ago

He always talks about you as a brother, not just as a friend. 
–Yes, we are more than friends, we adore each other. Javi is a special man. What I feel is what many people feel, it is something that I share with other people. All of us feel privileged to be his friends. We all feel "the chosen”.
I do feel like this!

We laugh. We both share that feeling he says: that idea of ​​feeling chosen, privileged by the fact that Javi counts you among his own. We share an immense affection towards this special man, who makes us feel so special.

–We had many opportunities to meet through music and choirs. He spent a vacation in Stockholm with his choir, and I arranged some concerts for them there, and he did the same with us here.
At first we had communication problems because his English was terrible, –he says, laughing–. The only thing we could do was look at ourselves while we were sitting with a drink and we made several gestures (he does them here, without stopping). We only looked at each other, but our eyes communicated between them.

All this piece of conversation, which takes place between our laughter, is a succession of gestures, barely without words, something logical, since Javi at that time spoke little English and his communication had to be quite gestural. I already knew it, but at this moment I appreciated Gary’s comical sense of humor, it was all that huge gesture that was narrating a complete story only with expressions of his face .... It was very fun to relive it.

–Now we communicate perfectly. I know Maruchi and his children, his grandchildren, I have spent time in his house, I have performed a lot of his music and I can indeed say that it is a really very special friendship.

–Following with Tolosa, when the 25th anniversary of the contest took place, in 1993, we were invited to return and we also won. We were in the 25th anniversary, now in the 50th ... Incredible experiences.... 

Huge silence here. Memories ... It is his moment, so I will leave him in it for a few seconds.

Is the Tolosa contest more special than similar ones? It is different in some way. 
–Each one is different from the other. I have felt very close to Tours, in France. Arezzo is very important for us too, same as others, but here everything is very intense.
–Do you think there are many similarities between the way of being, thinking or singing of Basques and Swedes?
–I have always felt that way. I am not sure now, but I always felt that there was a kind of affinity in the way that Basque and Swedish choirs sing, and the same thing happens in Slovenia. The choral music that is made here has its own identity, perhaps different from what is done in the rest of Spain. There is a very beautiful way of singing, a great tradition in choral singing, great composers, many choirs, and I always felt a special connection, maybe the spirit, the way of singing, I do not know, something that could explain why exchanges work so well between Sweden and the Basque Country. Sweden could be an example, a school that maybe Basque composers could have appreciated, but somehow our way of singing could also have been mutually attractive. I have always been very impressed with singing here.
Certainly, in Madrid, where we live, this tradition does not exist, we do not have these choirs or composers. Everything is changing, but nothing here is similar.
–Exactly, perhaps in Catalonia this tradition exists, and in fact a very powerful choral movement is being created, good composers, good choirs, but it seems that there is something completely different with respect to the choral experiences seen in the Basque Country.
–Have you ever worked in Madrid?  
–No, and I would like it. 
You will do it. With us. Next Spring. 
–Do not wait! Let’s go for it!–he says, laughing openly. 
I have been in Madrid and surroundings. I have also worked in other places, alone or with my choirs, in Ejea, for example, in Barcelona, but not lately. 
–You have to come. 
–I will do it for sure. Sounds really good…

And yes, it will be so, because if we have been searching and giving shape to the idea of working with Gary Graden in Cantate Mundi, as a result of this conversation it is definitely settled. We will have him with us shortly, that is for sure.

Stars in the sky

Do you like to improvise? What do you get from the choir or from the singers when they improvise that can not be found when it is sung in a more traditional way?
–The small things that I do are not the main objective of my work, but rather they are precise improvisation exercises, very simple, aimed at getting each person to participate in their own particular way. Not everyone has to do the same, but it is about creating a kind of opportunity for each singer to sing a small part, his own melody. 
–We are afraid when we sing alone ...
–Right that’s the point. If you can do a simple exercise of this type, you are in a position to take that leap to cross the threshold. These are simple but very important exercises, basically because we sing on scales, we decide which, D Minor, B Minor, B Major and we sing on that scale, changing vowels or sounds. First, a solid relationship with the scale has to be created and understood, capturing the feeling of that scale.
–The feeling of the scale? I like that idea.
–Yes, because each scale has its own character, its qualities. B minor is very different from B minor flat, D minor, etc., there are many differences between one and the other. That is why Bach wrote 24 preludes and fugues in 24 keys, 12 + 12, C minor and C major (at this moment he starts humming one of the preludes), whatever ... Because it’s not just knowing whether it is minor or major, but also if it is D to D, C to C-sharp;  C-sharp to C-sharp, for example is a very beautiful scale, F to F, etc., so what you do is capture the feeling, understand each scale and an individual relationship is established, "singing here", which creates independence and makes each singer have the courage to do so. It is a wonderful and very pedagogical tool, especially for amateur singers, but not only for amateur, because it develops independence and security and it is very nice if you do it alone or with the group or with instruments.
It is fantastic with the organ, with the marimba or any other instrument like this. Recently, at a concert in Italy with an orchestra, I made the orchestra improvise. They were surprised, but they loved it.
–I am sure it has to be a great experience. We are always afraid when we sing in choir, we need to be surrounded by our mates.
–Exactly. We hide behind the score. I use the improvisation from time to time. We use very nice, simple melodies, fragments of Gregorian, for example.
–Yesterday, or I do not know when, when I was preparing this interview, I heard a song that I fell in love with: Den blomstertid nu Kommer …
–Yes, we have a video of a festival in Germany, "Sacred Music in Bavaria". We did it with candles, each singer placed in a different place in the room. It is a simple but wonderful melody. 
–It is a beautiful melody and an incredible version.
–This is the question. We can make a complete program with all kinds of music and if we do some kind of improvisation, however simple, the audience always says: "what was that?". It is always what is stronger, more than any other type of music, and it happens even with the simplest improvisations.
–The atmosphere that is created is different if you are among the audience, you feel part of the music. 
–Exactly, because you listen to all the voices, each voice individually; you see each face individually ... it is like seeing many stars in the sky or many suns in the universe. A face is like a sun, a world of expressions, and this is what we want to create with a choir, not just read music.

Stars in the sky. That was the feeling. There, in that hotel dining room where our conversation was taking place, my partner Yola and I were absolutely immersed in it. At that moment I realized how blond are Gary’s eyelashes, they were an invitation to go beyond them and search that inner look that forms in his blue eyes, very clear, "stars in the sky". My glasses bothered me tremendously, somehow they were an impediment, so I took them off. A very strange sensation of living in that world of expressions that he was talking about right then.
I understood that brotherly relationship between Javi and him and that he did not need words or, as he says a few lines above, "our eyes communicated with each other". Gary’s eyes are light. And if I am allowed this synesthetic and absurd image, the tone of his voice sounds like light, it is light too.

Music talks to us

Javi told me about your way of working with the choir, how you organize the rehearsals, he told me that everyone goes in time before the rehearsal begins. Here there is a tendency to be late to rehearsals–, I tell him, jokingly.
–I do not know exactly what he is referring to, Javi, we would have to tell him to explain it to us or perhaps to remind me ... We started with vocalizations in my choir for many years. I have a good choir, they are all very good singers. We meet at 18.30 hrs. and at that time they have been talking all day, working, not singing, they are amateur; their voices are already in place, they do not need many vocalizations, so we start directly making music. I think they prefer it that way. "Gary, do not annoy us," you know… We started at that time directly. It is very frequent they come earlier, they have to be prepared, but of course there is a logical issue: my singers are all very busy, more and more, with their families, children, with jobs that are very demanding, many activities ... I am not very strict. I am glad they want to come and I only ask them to let me know if they can not do it.
Some essays are correct, sometimes you think: well, it was not a great essay. Maybe you miss those who have not come and the results are not what you expected, but in those cases you have to say: "Ok, next week will be better", and always keep working. Sometimes, however, when there are missing people in the rehearsals, those who go have the opportunity to take the initiative and that makes the rehearsal with a smaller group very interesting.
–In those situations you know your singers individually, but when you prepare a choral workshop where you do not know the participants, how do you deal with the first two hours of work, for example? Are you testing the singers?
–Maybe like in the rehearsals, but with a new group I do vocalisations, so I can listen to the voices, men and the women separately, and I then think about how I can help in some way: singing, with voices or physically with bodies, which can be a sounding board to achieve human expression; how can we keep our mind and our voice connected to our whole body, so I like to do exercises, breathe, control the body, sometimes even dance to remind us that the body is there. And then, depending on what the musical ambition is with the group, we just start singing, once we have selected the repertoire that we like. You immediately evaluate what we can do together, how we can find interesting ways and what this repertoire can bring to us. It is not something very mysterious, actually.
When you choose the repertoire for your choir, maybe not in a workshop, but with your choir, what does a score need? Of course, sometimes you will have to do a concert on traditional music, for example, but when you simply choose what you want, what do you search in that work?
–I understand, yes, good question. Each time is different, but choosing a program for a concert is a big responsibility. I like the programs that are interesting for the choir, which are opportunities for them. My choir likes to learn new things, it is not too attractive to stay with the same repertoire for a long time. Once we make a program, we go for new things.
Sometimes I compare it with a "study circle". I must give them something interesting, so it resembles a group of people that meet once a week to visit a museum together. Imagine, for example, that we go to the Ufizzi Gallery, in Florence, or to El Prado and we have 5-6 weeks to work in this room at El Prado, spending three hours there and studying the repertoire and the paintings together. Let’s look at them, learn from them and then maybe we can go to another room, the next project. Or maybe we do not want to stay in El Prado, but do something different, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, for example.
–But you choose the painting. Do you want to teach them that music or do you want to show yourself acting through music? 
–No, I want the music to talk to us. I want the music to paint the paintings, the music to be revealed. Of course, I have to study the work a lot in advance, and if we all study honestly, doing something new is an opportunity. I do not know all the secrets of a work and we have to do it together. Sometimes I have to say: "I am sorry, I can’t, we have to do this together, let’s do it". And then together we find what the music is telling us.
–Do you discover new things by listening to your choir singing? 
–All the time, this is the beauty of this. It’s that: music reveals its art to us, it is not me, I’m not that interesting, surely not: music is interesting ...
Or not. Sometimes we have an assignment, you have to sing that, all right, we will always do the best we can, we will try to do the best, always to improve.
It is clear: I am not an artist, I am an administrator. Somehow, I manage the time, the sound, I try to do what is in the score in the best way I know, in a very honest way. 

I already knew it before, but at this point it is when you confirm that you have an artist in front of you, say what he says, feel what he feels, because an artist is the one who makes art, and he does it.

The time of our conversation came to an end. It is obvious that I was longing to continue the conversation, but obligations came first. Magic, it felt. But we are left with the promise to continue this conversation at some point.

After the lectern

After the lectern I leave a little story, one of those that I love, and of which Gary was the protagonist, both in these days and 27 years ago.
In the group of friends and choirmates who traveled to Tolosa in this edition, there is Karmele. At the end of the interview with Gary, I discussed with Karmele and the rest of my colleagues a detail, as Gary remembered as if it were yesterday all that he had lived 27 years ago, when he was in Tolosa for the first time. I suppose this was the comment that led Karmele to tell her cousin Khristina, who lives in Tolosa. At that time, she was one of the volunteers who accompanied the choir during the celebration of the event in Tolosa. A person of reference for them, someone to communicate with and who served as a guide and liaison. That is something that is still happening.
On his first visit, the choir S:t Jacobs Kammarkör was accompanied by Khristina. The closeness of Gary and her spontaneity made those days very pleasant. When S:t Jacobs Kammarkör returned on the 25th anniversary of the event, Khristina asked to repeat with them but it did not happen. And now, on the 50th anniversary, so long after, that comment of Gary’s memories aroused in her the need to greet him, to see him, to say: "Do you remember me? I accompanied you on your first visit! "
And neither short nor lazy, Khristina showed up at the theater door with her poster "Mr. Gary Graden ", hoping to recognize him among the people who came and went. But she did not see him. One more attempt without result and the contest was coming to an end. But she was not willing to miss the opportunity. The event closed with a formal lunch, so she went to the place where it was held, with the idea of ​​asking to enter, only to see him and then leave, and I saw her decided, walking fast street above.
Meanwhile, Gary appeared from behind, he was not eating yet, so I yelled at Khristina and she turned around. The reunion was beautiful. Maybe he did not recognize her at first, 27 years are many years, but when  they exchanged two or three  sentences, we all saw them embrace each other. It was not a greeting by commitment, no: it was a tremendous hug that I undertook to immortalize, thinking that for both it would be a beautiful memory. An endearing story.

Gary and Khristina

And behind the lectern is that special personal feeling that has remained since our conversation. You can not imagine that the next day, when you meet again and say hello in the theater, minutes before the contest begins, he will thank you for the evening we had spent the previous day, for how good it was. That he insists on keep talking, that we should find a gap that day or the next, or perhaps that we talk on the phone later, to finish something that certainly, and because of time, we had left short.
As I commented the other day to a very dear friend, in order to have this kind of conversations in The Lectern, you place yourself in a special point, you get rid of the superfluous and it is from that moment when you start to approach the person. I need a time to "return to my being". It is as if you walked inside a person that is not you and you have to go back to your place. And in that process of relocation of the following days, it seems like someone is playing with you, sending you winks, not letting you go back, and sending you signals that prevent you from leaving that point where you temporarily live. 

Gary and me, after our conversation

And as if it were a signal coming from some strange place, when I put the end to this conversation, the doorbell of my house rings. From the kitchen, where right now I am writing, I see a white van parked in front of my door. I guess it’s not very common to deliver orders on Sundays, but today is Sunday, and what I get is just one of the S:t Jacob’s Chamber Choir CDs that I have ordered these days. Own and other people’s gifts. Absolute connection. Bode well…
Will be continued for sure….

Elena González Correcher ®