Music is a Vessel for Meaning

Lake, Neuchatel, Switzerland

Lake, Neuchatel, Switzerland

14 July 2013
7:37 am

Neuchatel, Switzerland

T. —

Andrew went exploring yesterday while I was in rehearsal for the concert. When he came back, he said The lake was your favorite color, and as clear as glass. He took some pictures to prove it, but only two — because then he jumped in and swam away the afternoon in it.

Neuchatel is as beautiful as I was expecting. There’s a quote somewhere that the yellow-gold color of the buildings led the author to assert that it looks like it has been carved from butter:

Neuchatel, Switzerland

Neuchatel, Switzerland

When we got off the plane on Friday, Andrew asked Where are the mountains? I thought Switzerland had mountains, and this feels quite flat. I was expecting the same thing, but then I know that the Alps don’t run throughout the whole country. We’re in the lake district of Switzerland instead. And the lakes are friggin gorgeous. I could definitely live here.

Things we have been discussing during our trip:

  • Strollers for children (bulky) vs. Babygami (more natural? more intimate?)
  • How “Karis” is Andrew’s new favorite girls’ name.
  • That we would like to retire to a tiny town in the middle of a beautiful country, with a small house and a friendly community.
  • The Flinch. This book is amazing.
  • Exploring, how we explore, when and why we explore.

I kept saying, I am so happy right now. Partly to note it, and partly to name it. The sun, the water, the buildings, and the music — We walked around town hearing strains of people playing the accordian, guitars, saxophones, singing. We said Maybe this city would not be as poignant if there wasn’t music playing. When we were rehearsing in the Chapel for the concert, a lot of people walked in and sat down to listen. It brought tears to my eyes in a few different moments because the music was beautiful and because I was creating the atmosphere for these perceptions. I was adding, in those moments, to what made the Chapel so beautiful. Music is a vessel for meaning. It deepens experience. I so firmly believe that.

And the fountains — T.! You can drink water from the fountains! Any fountain is potable water unless it says non potable. We filled up our water bottles and it was absolutely delicious.

Fountain, Neuchatel, Switzerland

Fountain, Neuchatel, Switzerland

Today, we’re singing the morning service at the Chapel in Neuchatel, then getting on the bus for 4 hours or so, and this afternoon we’ll be in Freiburg, Germany, singing at the Sankt Peter Basilica tonight. I hope the internet situation is as good as it was here =).

Good morning,
M

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Something Transformative

Rochefort, Switzerland

Rochefort, Switzerland

13 July 2013
9:01 am
Neuchatel, Switzerland

T. —

Good morning! We are officially loving vacation. Yesterday was a long travel day — lots of flying and bussing and rehearsing and moving. Today, we’re going into Neuchatel to explore, and then later a rehearsal, and then later a concert. We’re on a pretty tight schedule until Monday at least.

But, ahhhh — the sun! The sky! The heat! It is so beautiful here. I can’t wait to take more pictures of the town. We took a few in the village of Rochefort where we went wandering yesterday (or, Andrew went wandering. I was rehearsing), but Neuchatel looks so picturesque and beautiful. I’ll take a camera-full today.

I went out swimming this morning before breakfast:

Swimming Pool at Ibis Hotel

Swimming Pool at Ibis Hotel

I told Andrew I don’t care about the size of our house when we finally settle somewhere; I just want a swimming pool. One of life’s little luxuries. I want to learn to swim much better. I want to be able to swim in the mornings for fitness, and to relax and unwind in the water at night. I want to have this, a pool to glide and float in, almost more than I actually want a house. There’s something entrancing about water, something transformative.

It’s always interesting travelling with so many people. Andrew and I were 10 minutes late for the bus yesterday afternoon, and now I’m anxious to be everywhere early. It’s a balance of trying to have alone time with my husband, and trying to be social. But today, I’m working on trying less, breathing more, and soaking in the sun and the aesthetic beauty that is Switzerland so far.

I would move here, maybe.

Good morning,
M