Monday 20 June 2016

I will always love you

How I managed to keep it on for so many years, I don't know. The only valid reason is what people call love. It is true, each moment spent with William was a happy, relaxed and fulfilling one. I didn't care about whether he wasn't ready to leave his partner. I didn't wish him to do that - if I didn't, then how could he even be able to take any decision... A few more last-minute cancellations and the announcement that he had moved into a new flat with his boyfriend triggered me to take action. Not that I was going to ask him to decide between me and his boyfriend. The past four years have been a more than clear indication that the choice would never have been in my favour. However, something was relevant to me in this new turn of events. It was, as he claimed, for his job. But it also signified that he was not going to make any change in the way he conducted his life. I was always going to be the trumped card in this double life of his, be a shameful secret he had to hide in the closet.
I wrote a short message to him. It had been four years this years, when we first laid eyes on each other at the hot spring. The memories are vivid, visually and emotionally. It was time to leave and this farewell was a resolute one. No more contact, no more Facebook nor Line. The mention of those modern ways of connection makes it sound as meaningless as a TV game show. Deep down, I was still hoping for a reaction from him. Something could still be saved. The unexpected twist at the end of the story... He wrote back.
"I will always love you" 
A pause and Whitney Houston's voice started yelling in my head. And I laughed long and hard. 

Monday 13 June 2016

When one doesn't listen to one's inuition (The DunHuang saga continues)

I was asked by Shandy to attend a meeting with two persons from the Beijing DunHuang Academy at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel as she was in Japan and couldn't make it in time. My intuition told me not to waste my time with that, but I had not other reason to refuse. '

I came with a translator, a woman from Malaysia, and one of Shandy's many assistants - there would be a new one each time I would see Shandy...
I had never seen the Mandarin Oriental, and my first impression was that of a heavy architectural pastry, something between a Gothic manor and a Disneyland castle. The meeting was at 2 o'clock sharp, but the two persons arrived forty minutes late. It was nearly time for tea, and the cakes would prove excellent!
Three people from that academy were present: a seemingly affable middle aged man who said to be the 'initiator' of the company - the one who handles the money, obviously, a tall and icy young lady who was the classic dance director - her cold beauty would have been perfect for the role of the black widow in a Johnny To film. The third person was a Taiwanese lady in charge of the international projects. This one?
We sat around a big table in the dining room and I told them about the genesis of the music I had composed. They listened, but wouldn't make eye contact with me. Bad sign.
Then came the moment to play them the music. It was suggested that I picked the one piece which would best represent the whole project. Second bad sign.
They listened to three pieces, each time asking for something 'different'. I had the feeling to be auditioning for a part and asked to show joy, sadness, anger, drama... 
I saw no reaction. The icy lady asked a few questions which clearly indicated that she had come to the meeting with notions of what she wanted to hear. Her remarks reflected that. I wasn't surprised. I suddenly recalled a performance given by a DunHuang academy from Hong Kong which bored me to death with its self indulgent display of the star players' skills. I also remembered a tall icy lady who certainly did strike me as a big diva. So, they were the same and one academy. Had I known that, I wouldn't accept to go. The game was even for us anyway. Neither of us liked the other. But the DunHuang couple remained extremely courteous, although very cold and distant. The translator didn't feel at ease. Shandy's assistant felt her presence was useless. And I was happy to have eaten some delicious cakes - a tad too sweet, though, to my taste.
As David Bowie said, an artist should never work for somebody else, as it is extremely dangerous to fulfill other people's expectations. The past year has been a glorious illustration of that. We may not be in the Bowie's position to make such an aloof statement, but he is right.