High Places: Day + 258

Me, again. Who else? Well I’ve been pretty busy. Things I have done these 8 months post-BMT: Travelled to the Lake District, Scotland & Greece. Played squash twice (& won twice) , cycled dozens of times. Written, with Bridget, four months of articles for Guitar Techniques Magazine, organized a big concert for January, planned a trip to Dallas, Texas for new year, presented a research paper at the University to an excellent response, got pretty drunk at an office party and ended up dancing to ‘Killing in the name’ and ‘Tubthumping’, made some important new friends, been flooded, played 2 gigs with Bridget, practised alot of guitar and have pretty much got my playing at least as good as before cancer, written a rhythmic analysis computer program, been out many times, drunk endless cappucinos, read 12 books, memorized the birth and death dates of 50 composers, 100 artists and the reigns of all the British Monarchs since 1066, won an award for ‘advancements to music technology education’,swam in the mediterranean, chatted with Frank Gambale(world-class guitarist) ,written some new music, had my videos used to train medical students, taught 5 course at the Royal Academy of Music, panelled the entrance auditions at the Royal College of Music with the fantastic guitarist, Carlos Bonnell, lost some friends, given my sister away(in marriage!), raised several thousand pounds for cancer charities, argued with complete strangers, had the car towed away, caught up with some childhood friends, spent WAAAY too much money on myself and found a new love for life and sense of self-confidence and pride. Is it enough? Not even close!

Today I went to the funeral of the pianist Chris Ross, who lost his battle with leukaemia 2 weeks ago. He was 44, possessed a rare musical talent and love of life. He also had many, many friends. I have to say it was a devastatingly sad experience, but I was profoundly moved and inspired by the courage of Marisa and Chris’ children and the stories of Chris’ life. It was wonderful to see so many people there who had been touched by his life, among them several mutual students and a one of Chris’ nurses (who was important to me also at Hammersmith Hospital) So an excruciatingly sad yet spiritually uplifting day.

So what the hell it all about? I don’t know but at the end of it all, all our life amounts to is what we leave behind in the hearts of others. Nothing more, nothing less. The one that dies with the least regrets and the greatest positive impact, wins.

So time to get on with life… Milt

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