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what lies within us....

♫♪ listen to ♪♫ Missa Brevis - Haydn - one of the pieces we sang


What lies behind us and what lies before us

are tiny matters

compared to what lies within us

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Was hinter uns und vor uns liegt

sind Kleinigkeiten im Vergleich zu dem

was in uns liegt



When Hero Husband and I returned to Switzerland in October for a week of singing we didn’t know what to expect. Our former and still much beloved choir conductor left the field four years ago, and we just couldn’t imagine singing with that choral again after Martin S. left. My sister Christa spoke to me on the phone about ‘maybe’ joining this year – not only for minding the children of her singing daughter – but to actually join the choir and while we nattered away I said to her ‘Why don’t I talk to Mari Magnifique – wouldn’t it be fun to go there all four of us?’ And so we joined once more.


Lenk im Simmental (Schweiz) is a magic place all on its own. It’s what I call a ‘all-year-round-holiday-place’ in asfar as it is easy to reach with its own train station, magnificent mountains to hike or ski or just walk, a dreamy, natural lake with ducks and waterbirds, fields with cows, lovely eating places and shops, local produce; we stayed in a nice hotel where the staff is truly ‘serving the customer’ and; with few exceptions we enjoyed mostly lovely weather. What a great time we had. If you wish to visit, go to:

Lenk i/Simmental


Back to our conductor: The first surprise was that we didn’t have the ‘usual’ voice training – a very important part in my opinion… We ‘only’ went through some simple, quite basic ‘ng’ing, humming, swelling and diminuishing sound bits’ – and we sang just like angels!!! Surprise, surprise! We are not above learning something new…. Lesson taken!

Second surprise: Our conductor – whose voice never raised above a pleasant ‘let’s talk together’ volume – stood in front of the choir, deeply in thoughts, then he pulled out this beechnut with its two seeds and he said quietly, as if he were talking to himself:


I can never stop marvelling at what nature offers us. Look at this beech nut, it’s a perfect 1-2-3-4 compo.

We have ONE beechnut

It contains TWO seed pods and they fit perfectly into the ‘shell’

The nuts have THREE sides to them who again fit incredibly smooth to each other

The shell has FOUR 'petals' and all these pieces of great natural beauty and perfection form again ONE PERFECT MIRACLE.


I had tears in my eyes – and later in the week I begged him to give the little object to me, promising him to look well after it – So here it is!


Our new friend is not only a gifted, patient and calm person, he’s also ill. Only some months ago he learned about his illness which will – in the end – prevent him from being able to conduct, speak properly and move about at his leisure. He is bearing up in an admirable and totally amazing way and it humbles me beyond imagination how calmly he speaks about it, takes his now still very small limitations in their stride, and he stunned me when he mentionned that he’s ‘working’ on ‘learning to communicate with his wife without words, learning to read each other’s thoughts’….


It saddens me to meet such a truly wonderful person, knowing that not all is well with him and that we can’t help him. On his modest home page I found one sentence that says it all: ....Most important for him is to cultivate music as the universal language of the heart.


You can also find a calendar I made for my sister – she gets one every month and she was choosing that one over one of the outside of the church – both to be viewed hereafter… :)



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Ich habe als Test diesen Uebersetzer benützt und ich muss sagen, es kam dermassen 'zerschnetzelt' raus, dass ich mich zutiefst schämen müsste, wenn ich so schlecht schreiben würde - aber wenigstens kriegst Du das wesentliche mit.... ;)


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Taken on November 4, 2011