This morning, I grab the computer, and see all of these new photos saved on the desktop titled: beard, long beard, long blended beard, realistic beard, huge beard, huge beard blend, etc. I new exactly what it was. The Artist was photoshopping old pictures of himself and creating different looks for his beard to see what he liked the best. Clearly, a very Artist thing to do. I laughed for a good couple of minutes straight, because I was wondering what he was so focused on last night and why he was asking me so many beard-related questions. This is the type of thing, that just warms my heart. Then the Artist got out of bed, wasn’t even awake for 5 seconds, his eyes weren’t even opened all the way yet, and he had his gloves on and a paintbrush in his hand. This passion and obsession with art and the romance and poetry associated with it, makes me so happy. It is definitely a quality that we both share. I experience similar feelings with art, but not to the extent that he does, or like any of the millions of examples I have previously described about him. But here is a good example of how I too, am also a passionate person.
For Valentine’s Day last year, the Artist and I celebrated 2 weeks after the actual day. He was traveling for school, and when he got back we were both just really busy and didn’t want to have to squeeze something in, we wanted a nice relaxing celebration. Besides, we spend a lot of quality time together on a regular basis, and show our thoughtfulness often. So really, Valentine’s Day is every day for us ❤
This year, we decided to celebrate 2 weeks early. I got a coupon in the mail for the St. Louis symphony for 2 for 1 priced tickets, 2 free drinks from the bar, and free parking to a concert of our choice! This was too amazing to pass up, so we checked out the ticket prices and concert calendar. To our excitement, Beethoven Symphony No.5 and Shostakovich Symphony No. 5 were playing, and if we went to the Sunday afternoon concert versus the more popular Friday and Saturday nighttime concerts, the tickets were cheaper. So we reserved 2 seats on the balcony and got out our Beethoven Symphony No. 5 record to listen to. The concert was less then 10 minutes away from our favourite Thai restaurant, so we decided to make an evening out of it and get Pad Thai for dinner afterwards, and then head home for some movies, snacks, and snuggles.
The morning of the concert, we could hardly contain our excitement. This is something we have been wanting to do for years now, but could never find an affordable concert to attend. First thing in the morning, the Artist had to go out to pick up the last piece of my Valentine’s Day present, because he said it had to be timed right. He came back with a bag from Trader Joe’s with my favourite “healthy” bacon, orange juice, and Champagne. Well, not real Champagne, but still- mimosas with breakfast in our newly acquired Crystal wine glasses was very elegant. And surprisingly, I didn’t break one. We usually just have cheap glasses because I am notoriously clumsy and drop things a lot. The last item I saw in the bag was Roasted Seaweed Snack. I laughed, and asked the Artist what this was all about. He said they were only 99 cents and everyone was buying them, so he thought he would give them a whirl. What a guy 🙂 The Artist made the chocolate chip pancakes, I made the bacon, we sipped mimosas, and exchanged gifts. We both really like the sweet and salty marriage of flavours in this breakfast combination.
The Artist had something behind his back, and I couldn’t wait to see what it was. He is so thoughtful, and can find the perfect gift for me on any budget. First was a homemade card, made with so much love and they always make me laugh. Next was a beautiful bouquet of yellow tulips, and then a heart shaped box of chocolates. Sounds pretty generic, right? Flowers and chocolates for the lady on Valentine’s Day, easy. To the untrained eye, maybe 😉 We both share a love for all flowers and plants and any plant life, really. I have Dutch in me, and I love the colour yellow (and green for that matter). The Artist always says that those are my colours. Now do you see how thoughtful this truly is? And when he gave them to me, he said that they were to remind me of him while he is traveling, and to keep me smiling while we are apart. I had made some tissue paper flowers as a festive decoration, but these are so much more lovely. Now the chocolates. In a previous post, https://emilyandherartist.wordpress.com/2013/11/15/inspired-by-a-facebook-trend/ I had mentioned that for my entire life, up to and including the present, I have been infatuated with tiny things. He said that he looked at the larger boxes so I would have more chocolates to eat, but knew that I would love the small box, because of the cuteness of the size. He knows me so well! And the chocolates inside, although they were a bargain, were DELCIOUS! Better then most chocolates actually. They were ooey and gooey inside, with a variety of flavours and textures. I just loved the chewy textures of the creamy middles, and the gooey caramels. I am a texture girl. I love the thick texture of fudge, I prefer my brownies super chewy and fudgy- almost still a little wet, I love gummy candies and sour keys, and sticky caramel desserts, among many others. And we always do homemade cards, and the Artist always includes something silly, usually by accident. Sometimes he spells a word wrong, or runs out of room to write and starts to write sideways up the page, or his pen or marker dies, and it always makes me laugh. He always writes such nice things, and when I go back later and read them, his words are like a snippet from that day, and I am instantly transported back in time. I have saved all of our homemade cards, and read them often ❤
Now do you see how this is the opposite of a generic Valentine’s Day gift? He gets me, and who I am. I created a travel survival kit for him since we can’t travel together. I included little love notes on each item, with inside jokes that made him laugh. The main gift was a small picture of us that I put in a tiny frame, that he could take with him so we can always be together even when we are not. And on the flip side of the photo was a secret “kiss for the road, to take with him everywhere”, where I put I lipstick and kissed the back of the photo. The other main gift- brownies! His classic favourite.
I got all done up with hair and make up and we headed to the concert. It was so nice to park in a lot right beside the building for free instead of circling forever to find something free that’s half way across the city. It was definitely a treat. The building was just breathtakingly beautiful inside. Gorgeous architecture. I love this old fashioned style, it feels so luxurious. We took our seats, and listened to the musicians warm up. The lights dimmed. The conductor, the very renowned and talented Jaap van Zweden, came on stage, and they begun. Beethoven Symphony No. 5- it sounded exactly like our record. It was flawless. It was smooth. It so impeccably perfect. And to some, I am sure that the conductor looks like a sort-of-dancing-sort-of-convulsing lunatic. But, really, they are leading the show. They keep the pace, they que speed and volume changes, they que different sections to begin playing at certain parts, and influence the musicians for an aesthetically pleasing performance. And this was extraordinarily apparent in Jaap van Zweden. My eyes filled with tears instantly, a soon as that first note was played. It was stunning. A 2 hour long concert of classical music seemed a bit long, but it flew by in what felt like an instant. As tears streamed down my cheeks, my brain was hyperaware of all the sounds and movements, but at the same time, it was relaxed, in a state of sublime. It was very meditative. I wasn’t thinking about anything else, other then the beauty of what I was experiencing. I could feel it in my bones, to my very soul. This gut-wrenching visceral feeling in my stomach, and my chest, consumed my entire being. Tension in the music would build, and then the orchestra would explode, and the Artist knows my favourite parts, and was squeezing my hand throughout, as if to say “I can feel it too”. What a wonderful feeling to share together.
I used to play the flute and piano as a child and teenager, and performed as part of a larger band, or orchestra, if you will. Nothing compared to this, though. I loved it. I loved the sound of our band as a whole, rather just myself playing solo. I could never have articulated it at that point in my life, but I felt the love for playing an instrument in this group, deep within my veins. But come on, what does a young teenager know about passion in life? Well, all I can tell you is, that the feelings I felt during the performance, the tears on my cheeks, and my heart being touched, were the same feelings that I felt back then. Music moves me, in a way that I cannot do justice with words because it is a feeling, and an experience, it’s not a tangible object that I can show you.
The musicians ranged from quite young looking, to much older looking, and they were all extremely gifted- the type of gift that cannot be learned, acquired, or taught, but that just is. It is exists, and others who have honed in on their gift can help to guide the new, but there is no secret to unleashing it. It is something that just exists. Something that I see in my Artist every day ❤
I must say, it was quite amazing, and refreshing to see the older musicians showing such great levels of passion while they played, as if they were wearing their heart on their sleeve and showed the audience something very intimate about themselves. What is amazing to me is that although they are much older then some of the other members, they haven’t forgotten or lost the ability to unleash the passion for they do, something I think a lot of us are guilty for. How easy it is to get caught up in the busy lifestyle of family and day to day life, that we forget what it is we are passionate about? These folks reminded me that I need to be more conscious about making time for the things that I am interested in, things that I do just for me, the things that get my heart beating a little faster. I am a very passionate person, I can feel a lot of things that are not tangible, I experience emotions very strongly, and have a lot of interests. So taking the time to listen to my favourite songs, symponies, and radio shows. Taking the time to lace up my skates and hit the ice. Taking the time to lose myself in a book, cook dinner with my husband, and spend time laughing with my family. Spending as much time as I can volunteering at Woman’s Place and the St. Louis County Domestic Violence Court, helping, and empowering others. But most of all, I am passionate about my marriage. Spending time together, laying in bed having heart to heart conversations until all hours of the night when really, we should be sleeping, giggling and goofing around instead of taking a shower and getting ready to go out, experiencing what the city and community has to offer, and most of all, experiencing a happy life, in love, with one another ❤