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I went to a funeral today. It made me freshly grateful for the people I know, for the joys I have in life, for laughing, for crying, for being able to talk when things are tough, for being able to help when I can, for being loved and knowing that I am loved.

I’ve been feeling quite low again over the last couple of weeks but various terrible things that have been happening around me have made me just keep determinedly putting one foot in front of the other, even when it feels so hard to even get out of bed, because I know that there is light in the world and there is light in me. It’s all God. It’s all good.

I am so tired though.

But the month has had wonderful things in it! Not least going to Melbourne for the second weekend of playing and performing with the Yamaha Wind Orchestra. Such a pleasure to play in a beautiful venue – a private school performing arts centre that rivalled City Recital Hall in Sydney, and had all of us wandering around trying to work out how much it would have cost. But even while pitying the many schools that wouldn’t even have a smidgeon of those resources, I was very grateful to be able to play in that space.

I still miss the music we played that weekend; I was just starting to get the hang of it, and now likely won’t play it again. My two favourite bits of advice were not new but I really liked the way Rob McWilliams phrased them: “think about how you are entering the silence” (something I think we could stand to work on a bit more in our band, instead of just chopping off notes abruptly) and, if you are not the main part at any given time, your job is to “protect the melody”.

The following weekend was music of a different kind, back on home turf and playing with Symphonic Band at my church. I did warn everyone about how cold it was, but I don’t think they believed me (to their detriment). It flew by too fast, but I so enjoyed playing at St John’s, and playing different music to the sort I normally do in there. I really enjoy playing with this group of people, even when it feels like the wheels might fall off in the middle of a piece sometimes. For the most part everyone gets along, enjoys themselves and somehow pulls it all together by the time the concerts come around.

This month I saw a bunch of shows – We Will Rock You, Tarzan and Matilda. We have so much talent here in Launceston, it constantly surprises me. Strong musicians, great singers, excellent actors. And many of them so young! Two of those shows were all school students and they were phenomenal. I needed a little break after being in two shows back to back, but the auditions for Mamma Mia have just been announced, and I can’t wait to see if I’ll make it back onstage at the Princess.

Basically, what it comes down to is that I just love working creatively with passionate people! Whether it’s music or theatre or putting a magazine together, it’s collaboration that is the joyful part of it for me. It’s taken me a long time to work that out. I can have pockets of creativity on my own, but you really need other people to push you, to lift you up, to encourage you, to get to higher heights than you could manage on your own. That brings me back to the starting point of this post – I am so grateful for all the people I know who do those things for me, and I hope I do that for them too in whatever small way.