*Or one, anyway…
So, my mom and I were bringing home a woman from the workshop we had attended/catered in the yoga community, which had taken place last week and this past weekend.
And by “home”, I mean that we were bringing her back tot he hostel where she was staying, which was nearby.
I had heard of this hostel years ago, but learned little of it since first hearing about it – I had merely been glad back then that there was a hostel in Houston, and had left it at that.
So, when she offered for us to come inside and see her “humble abode”, as she called it, we gladly agreed wanting to learn more about the hostel.
While inside, we overheard a conversation about someone wanting to go to Rice University, and also that she was planning to walk the approximate 45 minutes each way.
My mom, of course, offered this nice-looking woman/girl who was clearly from somewhere in Europe, a ride to Rice in our car.
I helped by sharing that the girl was welcome to walk or take the bus home, and we could just drop her off and let her look around on her own, if she wanted, or that we even could show her around some ourselves.
At which point my mom added that we really could take her just about anywhere she liked, even if it wasn’t Rice – we were willing to help out.
After another handful of verbal exchanges, the girl says that, ‘Actually, I will accept your offer: I will take the ride to Rice.’
I get her name and tell her mine, and let her know that we’ll meet back downstairs in the entryway in just a little while, after we finish looking around.
Her name sounds almost French, and so we consider that as we finish looking around with the person who had brought us in in the first place – perhaps I will have someone with whom to reach out with French…
As we all leave together, my mom, this new girl, and I, we learn that she is German, and not of French-speaking origins.
But I still got to use a bit of German with her, which was nice (Germans around my generation’s age are notorious for being spectacular at English.).
As we arrive at Rice, it is decided that she would love to have us show her around campus.
My mom attended Rice, and so shared about various memories and events from the school, as we took the girl around to some of our favorite spots, and surprised her with the magic hidden amongst the older Rice campus buildings (they are serious cool).
(Aka science had us feeling silly, delighted, and also nerdy as we laughed over and over again at these spots.)
Eventually, she says that she would like to attend the concert with us later, that w head invited her to join us to attend.
We told her it was either a strong quartet or quintet.
When we arrive for the concert, which is to take place in an art museum on the UofH campus, we do a quick drive around that campus and are all just a bit underwhelmed after having just run around Rice campus, with all of its green and trees and live oaks overhead and gorgeous old buildings…
Finally in the art museum, we discover that we were incorrect about the string quartet or quintet.
The string quartet or quintet had played at the same performance as this group the very first time my mom saw/heard them both perform.
Since then, she struggles to keep their names straight from on another.
This group tends to be involved in slightly whacky performances and events, my mom shared as we sat in our front-row seats.
Sure enough, the concert turns out to be a bit of book readings, followed by six performance pieces, the focus and purpose being fluxus music, music from the genre of John Cage and his buddies who took music composition to a whole new dimension on many levels.
If you’ve ever heard John Cage’s piece “4’33″” performed – I suppose that’s the correct word, anyway – you can easily guess the kind of oddities and uniqueness found throughout the concert…. (View a performance of it here, along with a brief introduction on it.)
The pieces were great in their nuts-ness, and I thoroughly enjoyed the concert.
I also enjoyed that we had proffered a string quartet or quintet, and had then delivered John Cage and Fluxus…
One of the greatest pieces of the evening was the violin solo piece by George Maciunas.
Check out the written piece here, what goes on the music stand, when the violinist performs.
Did you check it out???
If not, I’ll offer it again, because you need to read it before moving onward here: Solo for Violin by George Maciunas.
Now, isn’t that nuts?!
What’s more nuts is that a guy actually performed it.
I was very stressy about it at first, then calmed down a bit, and eventually got a point of hilarity at it all – it is only a piece of wood, and we put a lot of importance into the piece of wood, and this is practically irreverent, but that this piece of wood is not actually anything to do with God…, and it was somehow hilarious… I could hardly contain my laughter by the time he started drilling holes.
Plus, he guy did a great job of acting with it all and really having fun with the whole piece – and it made it all that much better and well worth his efforts.
I share here a few photos from the performance, as well as what was slid and tossed at / handed to me near the end of said violin solo piece.
The fact that the lady had done a reading from her soon-to-be-released book (March, I believe) on Fluxus was really helpful, both in understanding and appreciating the pieces, as well as being mentally prepared for them all.
It was fabulous.
These were the pieces:
Afterward, I offered for us to go have leftovers from the amazing food my mom and I had made for the event the previous several days, and the German girl once again accepted our offer, though we made it clear yet again that she was 100% welcome to decline, if she so wanted.
We had a little picnic in my living room, and it was a lovely, hot soup (including the dessert: hot apple soup) dinner that we all enjoyed greatly.
Finally, my mom took the girl back to the hostel, and then headed home herself, while I started rushing to get myself to bed ASAP.
Unfortunately, I got to bed around 23:30, and had to be up around 6:30 at the latest the next morning… so, I was exhausted Monday… I even cried a little at the start of the gym time after work, I was just so tired and my emotions were out of whack from exhaustion.
(Fortunately, the girl with whom I was talking at the time totally got it… also, I had voluntarily asked her for a hug when I’d first arrived, and that was great [even if it did set off my crying spell].)
Then, the German girl/lady walked over to my place for dinner again Monday night, and my mom joined us a bit later, after she finished a meeting downtown.
We went to the Waterwall, to show one of my favorite spots in town, only to find that it had either closed early or closed temporarily for construction – we really weren’t and still aren’t sure which… super bummer… anyway…
Now, the German girl/lady has headed off to Georgia to visit her family from her days of au-pèreing, and life is back to usual for my mom and me.
But I have a new friend in Germany (who also wants me to come visit sometime) now, which is great, and I have a renewed sense that I am sharing lovingly with the world – she had an amazing and blessed time while visiting Houston, and in ways she never could have anticipated.
And I am grateful that my mom and I were able to offer that to someone, to share our love so distinctly and strongly with someone.
Be sure to check out Natilee Harren’s book on Fluxus in the Spring – I think it would be a valuable read for everyone to learn a bit about the whole process of creation involved in this whole movement of music composition and performance.
Also, find the music ensemble Loop 38 if you’re ever in the Houston area – they are sure to impress, though I couldn’t tell you in what way it will be, aside from music’s being somehow involved!