Exactly one year ago today, freshly arrived in Vienna for an apartment-hunting visit, I had brunch with new acquaintances FB and MStMB. We had been introduced on Facebook by a mutual pal (KGB, one of the world's nodal people, known and loved by all and with a talent for connection) and had never met face-to-face. I bought flowers on the street and just went right over to their house. Since then, I've spent a lot of time there, and so has MtMn, eating and drinking, listening to music, talking about film and music and TV and politics and language, laughing, crying, and then usually eating again.
One year ago this week, I was having meetings with strangers about an overwhelming amount of work in a language whose most primary colors were barely under my fingers. Since then, I've learned to be grateful every day for the generosity and energy - and talent to spare - of these colleagues. We have made a year of opera together in a very dramatic time of transition. We had a few triumphs, a few disasters, and many nights that ranged from undistinguished to excellent. A season like any other.
One year ago next week, I walked into this apartment. Here, I thought, which began a whole education in a variety of subjects including (but not limited to) banking, government, and how to talk to the cable guy auf Deutsch. We learned our new words for cleaning supplies, we learned to shop before Sunday, and we were happy to find out that IKEA is just about the same everywhere.
It hasn't quite been a year in Vienna, but one year ago today it all started to become real.
Last night I watched the third act of Walkuere out on the plaza, shoulder to shoulder with the crowd of people who stood silent and rapt as the music boiled down at them off the screen. I walked home in the warm night down the main street of the old city. In the Graben a solo cellist was playing Bach, and a small oasis had formed around him. A gelato parlor stayed open late, and people were eating cones and cups in the sticky summer air, listening quietly. I walked up the canal the rest of the way home, and the breeze was cool coming down the water from the north.
One year ago we didn't live here yet.
I wonder what June 2012 will be like.