In Chicago this past weekend for my umpteenth Bear Pride - somewhere along the way I lost count. It was fairly muted for me this time. I only interacted with the bears a little: randomly at the hotel, and in Boystown for a couple hours on Saturday. Other than that I did the flâneur thing, hit the museums, got buzzed at Touché late at night. Of the restaurants I stumbled upon, I liked Blackbird
best. At the Art Institute I made a mental short list to keep the visit reasonable. One was to seek out any Zurbarán's. And Zurbarán's there were: a crucifixion
in the grand Spanish manner to mirror the Prado Velasquez
, and a sublime still life. Close by was the blazing resurrection
by Caravaggio's little brother
Sunday, I flew up to the Twin Cities for John's remembrance on Monday. Sunday evening there were hamburgers at Glenda's nephew's house, replete with husky daddies at the grill, incredible potato salad, and toddlers. The daddies and the teenagers took off to a Twins game, while I took Glenda and John's daughter Megan to the airport to meet a nephew.
Monday was almost a perfect day. John had said he wanted nothing like a memorial but rather something like a Christmas party. Perhaps 150 people were there altogether, it was a come and go event. Highlights for me were witnessing the gracious, successful, and caring person Glenda has become; conversations with John's Chinese relatives; slipping away with Megan to a coffee shop for a quiet break; and a placid ride around the lake with a group of five - each person astonishingly different from the others.
Toward the end of the day, a small group was left in the living room: me, Cindy - a grand daughter of John's sister Mary, and two nephews - Jonathan and Ben. Glenda and Megan were in the kitchen talking. Jonathan asked what music John had left on the piano. There was an old book of Christmas carols, and under that a copy of Schmann's Carnaval
and the Kinderszenen
. Jonathan asked me to play something out of them. So I opted for the first piece from Kinderszenen
, and then Träumerei
. His old Knabe was the ideal instrument, and the Schumann pieces were the ideal medium for a chance encounter with his spirit.