September too far away

Elaine Forrestal’s parents lived through two World Wars and the Great Depression

At last the shackles are coming off and we can start living again! David Wickham, arguably Australia’s best accompanist and keeper of our classical music, has raised the flag and put his head above the covid-19 parapet. He has just announced dates, times and venue for four live concerts to be held in September, and I for one am cheering him on. Every year David puts together a series of concerts called Swan Songs. These involve professional singers, many of them local, all of them top class, some with overseas reputations. The concerts are intimate. This series will be held in the atmospheric Christ Church, Claremont with David accompanying on the magnificent Church piano. His playing has a special magic of its  own that brings out the best in each soloist. I can’t wait to take off my work clothes and put on something more festive on those four Sunday afternoons. But what will the brave new world be like? Have we been spooked by our encounter with the vast unknown? Have we grown timid after months in lockdown? Having been forced to distance ourselves, will we have forgotten how to look each other in the eye and share genuine emotions, without the protection of the ubiquitous online screen? Will we retreat and choose isolation? Or will we go forward, nothing daunted, and embrace all the new and exciting challenges out there?

At the moment September seems too long to wait, but I can faintly hear my mother saying, ‘Possess your soul in patience’. Or my father, much more tongue-in-cheek, ‘Patience and per-siv-erence made a Bishop of His Riv-erence.’ I never really got the hang of either of those while I was a child, but I agree they are more thought provoking, and probably more effective than ‘Just wait will ya!’

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