Bill Holm, My Hero

My friend Paulette loaned me a book almost a year ago. Since Ken died I often have difficulty focusing to read anything longer than a magazine article. But I do love this author, and have enjoyed everything I have read that he wrote, each time we saw him in person, and his tribute at Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis.

Each time I began to read this, I would hear his voice and miss both the author and Ken; I would start crying. Both were large presences in a room. Both loved what they did, and both were good at what they did.

This week, while waiting for a covid -19 test result – negative – I started reading again and could feel the joy of having seen and heard Bill a few times. That part, not the feeling of loss, was with me as I read this time.

I just finished reading the Island of piano playing chapter and it resonates with my recent introduction to the clarinet. My clarinet has helped me with coping with the pandemic, re-entry into society as a widow, finding myself without in the context of being a couple, and so much more. I connect with the composer. To quote Bill Holm, “Whoever I’ve been playing delivers to me some insight about my interior life formerly a complete mystery to my consciousness.”

And I realized part of why people enjoy listening to my beginner level playing. Bill Holm explains that there is joy hearing music “come to life, wrong notes and all…”

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