14 is a big day at The Crossing. Perhaps the biggest. It's the day we lost Jeff, now five years ago, in LA, on the sunniest of days, on a morning of great anticipation and joy, preparing for work at Disney Hall with friends - the LA Phil and the amazing music of Louis Andriessen.
Jeff at 42: Crossing co-founder, tenor, marketing guru, board member, friend, cook, partner.
Each year since, we've marked the day with a lamentation,
a remembrance, a wail.
Not this year. The long-lived disbelief has modulated into enlightening memories and gratitude for him, for what he helped create at The Crossing, for what he left and what has followed him. We can feel it; we are able to laugh with him again.
Shakespeare recognized this need so eloquently:
Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead,
excessive grief is the enemy to the living.
Moving forward, beginning Today,
will be A Crossing Day of Gratitude. For legacies and visions, dreams and risks - and for the people who have in the past, who do now, and who will in the future expand our world through that uniquely human attribute: Imagination.
Could he have imagined that, five years following, we would return to the LA Phil, as we will June 1 to sing a concert of composers Jeff admired so much: Toivo Tulev, Gabriel Jackson, Stratis Minakakis? (We're betting he could imagine that, with his mischievous smile beaming out from beneath the iconic mustache, and the knowing gleam in his eye.)
April 14: A Day of Gratitude.
Because the Spirit of Joy for each project and the Feeling of Anticipation for our future are with us and are stronger than ever. Because, Jeff. And, because Us, the Big Crossing Universe he seemed to know would somehow be here. And, here, we are.
April 14. A Day of Sharing.
Here is a track from our upcoming CD of Kile Smith's
The Arc in the Sky: Mvt. 7, Jerusalem.
Hear it again Friday, June 28 @ 5pm
Church of the Holy Trinity, Philadelphia.
Look for the CD on Parma records in July.
If ever there were a bittersweet poem with a bittersweet setting...
Jeff was fond of saying the better part of that word: "Sweet."
lovely, ruined Jerusalem
lovely sad Jerusalem