The houses were almost uniformly covered in light grey shingles, large with beautiful beach views. I saw a town filled with tremendous history, and privilege mixed with a working class making their money in service positions to those who wanted it all. I wondered where I belonged in this story. Was I just another amusement? Good enough for those who can have anyone play for them? Then I thought of my parents, one raised rich, one poor, each with their struggles, and each with their gifts and important set of values that make up my worldview; complicated, like this town. A struggle to integrate.
It was a cloudy and windy day, a cold April rain was falling. I got out of the car briefly to stare out at the water. I was half an hour early and wasn’t ready to be Rebecca Hartka, the cellist. I wanted to savor a few moments of anonymity by the harbor. The water was churning a grey green. It occurred to me that the residents of this town were divided by many things, mainly by how much money they possessed. But fisherman and lawyer might share an equal if different reverence for the power of the ocean. I returned to the warmth of the car to eat the turkey sandwich I’d packed for lunch and noticed that a forty something man had parked beside me in a large, fancy pick-up. He looked well to do, with warm brown eyes that were moist with tears. He had a look of profound sadness, as if someone had just told him his wife was leaving him. The layer of thin glass between us must have given him the illusion of privacy, either this or he was beyond caring, as his eyes filled with tears. Here he was, like me, seeking solace at the edge of this vastness of grayish green blue water.
I felt a profound kinship with him and all the other residents of Duxbury at that moment, drawn as I have always been to the water’s edge, willing to risk, or maybe even finding comfort in this power so much greater than my being. Centering myself inside of compassion for rich and poor, and the force of the ocean, I pulled out of the marina and headed toward my concert venue. When I arrived at the museum I was met with a thoughtful and caring community who take their role very seriously as supporters of the arts, and an informed and enthusiastic audience. Barbara and I had a wonderful time being swept up in the ocean of music. We celebrated at a little seafood joint with fish and chips and mixed drinks. Ahhh New England!