Poignant Moments During the Past Month
It has been quite a month.
All of it culminated in the most joyous party ever that my friend Xyla threw for me last Friday night to celebrate my new status as a United States citizen. (Incidentally, last week’s issue was updated with more photos for those of you who were curious about what transpired after the morning’s oath ceremony.) People from all of the different pockets of my neighborhood showed up to celebrate. We danced until very late into the night.
It was glorious.
But there was more that happened along the way.
For starters, I lost our cat Pawz. After taking him for his bimonthly asthma treatment at the vet, I stopped over at a friend’s house to practice a dance sequence for my upcoming show. I took him out of his carrier and put him in a harness so that he could relieve himself and not feel so constrained. Well, I turned around for an instant, and he managed to get out of the harness.
He was gone.
To no avail, I spent several hours looking for him that day. There are full-color flyers up along the street where he disappeared. I scour-area wide rescue websites every day. Mostly, I think about how special he was and how lucky we were that he chose to spend his life with us.
My show Ancestral Tongue experienced its second unveiling on April 22. I coordinated the music across several rehearsals along with the staging, lighting, costumes, the visual vignettes, a new opening sequence, and the audio. It was a lot of exhausting work, but the enthusiastic response from the large turnout was a tasty cherry on top of a fulfilling exercise in creativity.
Here is footage from that show of my song Hello Mexico.
We got a new puppy. Her name is Bitsy-Lu.
Our next-door neighbor has a dog that gave birth to a litter, and our housemate Spree negotiated the adoption of one of them. She is a hyperactive bundle of joy, and we are proud to give her a loving, forever home.
MaxZine and I flew to Sarasota, Florida, to spend time with his mom over five days. We took her out on the town and had some of our own adventures.
I got to see the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, FL, and it was phenomenal. This was my first time doing a deeper dive into Dalí’s work, and I loved it all.
We stood at the top of a tower that looked out over five counties. I devoured a sushi pizza. We discovered and explored a botanical park. MaxZine rode his bicycle for several miles across town. I spent a quiet afternoon wandering through downtown and perusing bookstores.
A couple of weeks ago, I got to enjoy a unique dining and music experience in the home of Nashville-based fellow musician Alex Wong. As part of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month, he hosted a series of Permission Parties in which he showcased the songs on his soon-to-be-released EP Permission and paired each of them with a Chinese dish from his childhood growing up in the Chinatown section of San Francisco.
As an avid chef of Chinese cuisine and a professional touring songwriter and producer, this was an opportunity to combine his love of food and music together. He bookended each dish and song with stories about his Chinese immigrant family in the Bay Area. It was an inspiring evening of delicious and authentic Chinese food and gorgeous music.
Lastly, an exciting annual occurrence in our household is the blooming of our enormous peony flowers. They do not bloom for very long, but when they do, they are an absolutely stunning sight to behold.
A peony bloom is a gentle reminder to me of the ephemeral nature of all things. We all will only bloom for a short time.
It is only in stillness that we can absorb the beauty and joy that shapes itself around us . . .
An instant inside the rhythm of a group of friends in celebration and dancing.
A magical, impossibly sweet cat who visits us for only a fortnight of life.
The moment between the last note of a ballad and the applause of a crowd.
The sweet innocence of a puppy that does not last long enough.
The flavor of a memory hidden inside a cherished meal.
A snapshot of a sunset on a quiet beach, as the colors soar into the distance.
All photos by Roqué Marcelo except where noted.
Footage of Hello Mexico courtesy of Maggie Proffitt and Andrew Weitze.
Where Pianos Roam is a reader-supported labor of love. To receive new issues every Friday and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.