I’m walking again, almost. “Almost” means that I’m cleared, medically, to put weight on my broken leg, and can gimp around without crutches — but only for a little while. Then my not-yet-fully-healed leg begins to ache. And it’ll swell up. Neither the ache nor the swelling are medical problems. They’re not a sign that my leg isn’t healing. But they’re uncomfortable. On Sunday I gimped around quite a bit outdoors, crutchless, trying to jump start our second car, which we neglected while we were preoccupied with the leg break. The battery died. This was too much; I ached the next day, and had to cut back.
But this is progress! One thing I’ve learned is to be grateful that my situation is, in the end, routine. You break your leg, the doctors do their job, you go around on crutches for a while. You’re weak, but you get stronger. And in not too long, you’re back to normal. Other people have it much worse, starting with a loyal reader of this blog who broke his leg much more badly than I broke mine, and on top of that lay for quite a while in horrible pain, with no one around to help him. And then I think of the rookie Yankee pitcher Phil Hughes, who needed to prove himself, and took a no-hitter into the 7th inning, only to pop a hamstring, and go on the disabled list for four to six weeks. That’s a worse story than mine.
The South Dakota premiere was a heartwarming success, both with the audience (in three South Dakota cities, and in a town in Minnesota), and with the orchestra. Parts of the piece were harder than I’d expected (I get a big “duh” award for that), and the orchestra worked hard to get everything right. Any composer will know how I felt when, from time to time, one of the musicians would come over to tell me how much he or she liked the piece, and how hard they were working to nail [fill in the blank: the viola triplets in the first movement (which cut against the rhythms in all the other parts); the devilish place for the first violins in the finale; the high horn craziness in the scherzo...]. The playing got better and better, and the musicians absolutely got the spirit of the piece, playing the second movement (just for instance) with a lilt I’d be thrilled to hear from any orchestra. I was proud of these people, and grateful for their devotion. Nor could I say enough good things about the conductor, Delta David Gier.
If the musicians allow me, I’ll post the performance on my website, so anyone interested can hear it.