Nov 18, 2023: Fifteen Years… and Review of ‘Intro’

Asian Alley – Tbilisi, Georgia – 10:33pm

Today marks fifteen years since my dad passed. It’s crazy how quickly time flies. One moment, you’re trapped in the worst moments of your life, lost in the pain and anger… Thinking that the pain will never ever come to an end, because you can’t ever imagine life being good again, not with someone you love gone in a way where they can’t ever come back… And then, somehow, you’ve fast-forwarded fifteen years and you’ve managed to make a life for yourself that you’re happy with despite all the pain and loss. I wish my dad was still here to keep on doing research and living life as he loved it, and I wish we could have more special bonding moments together. But I’d like to think he’d be proud of us all and where we managed to end up, even if our life journeys are imperfect and chaotic at times.

Still, it strikes me as a quiet pain, like the most high-wire tension in a thin string, how so many years can go by… that’s growing up. And if I’m lucky enough to make it another ten, twenty years, it’ll be all that more time without my dad… without Chris. Time is cruel in how it marches on, undisturbed, never losing its rhythm, its beat.

I feel like I’ve been in this mode of hyperproductivity lately because it feels good and meaningful, especially because I’m collecting life experiences and meaningful learning moments… But, I know it’s being fueled by something else I’m maybe not ready to identify yet. Maybe I’m subconsciously realizing there isn’t that much time left. Time is the real currency. I don’t really see myself living past forty, so I suppose there is an urgency drumming through my subconscious, telling me I have to do as much as I can in the limited time I have left on earth. I can try and figure this out later on but for now, let’s just recap this busy Saturday’s events.

I’m leaving Tbilisi soon, so I’m trying to finish up a bunch of subscriptions I started over the last few weeks. I’m on day 9 of my Tbilisi Yoga Loft pass, and I’ve been slacking a bit, only doing one or two classes a day. But, still, have managed to do 16 days so far, and I’ve still got another 5 days to go. No matter what, I do feel like I’ve gotten stronger. Unfortunately, I slept late last night and so didn’t manage to get myself up until 11am, so I ended up missing the 10am yin yoga class, sadly. I am pretty bummed about that because that is probably my favourite style of yoga so far.

But, I am keeping up my streak of doing at least one yoga class a day, so I went for the 12pm hatha and flow class. As it sometimes happens, I don’t feel like going for yoga… until I get myself there and sink into the peaceful, calm environment, and then feel happy to be there.

I was really hungry after class ended (and this class tends to run 15 minutes later than the schedule says… 1 hour 45 minutes is a long practice!), so I had to get lunch. That made me run a bit late for my violin lesson, but I still managed to learn all the parts for ‘Love Me Tender’ which my teacher Temo and I are going to perform for the Christmas concert. That’s cool! I was hoping to learn another song for the concert, but we only have another lesson together before I head off to Gudauri, but Temo said we could maybe continue with online lessons if I wanted. That’s not a bad idea.

After my violin lesson, I got to practice again on the drums… It was interesting, because I bumbled my way through that song for the first 45 minutes… I couldn’t remember the different parts and I kept on missing my cues… But, then, suddenly it all clicked, and I was putting segments together more confidently… After about an hour and a half of practice, I felt like I was almost there — mostly getting the notes correct, especially when I focused more on the kick drum rather than the hi-hat, but just messing up if I missed the first note.

I thought I was pretty good by the end of my first session (I took a break at 5:30pm because that’s when another student arrived to play drums), but then unlocked a new level of fun when I accidentally lost my drum stick at the end of the second riff. It went flying onto one of the crashes, and rolled back towards me. I snatched it up and actually could have continued playing the song without missing the beat, but was just a bit slow in physically acting. But that made me try to flip my stick in that pause between playing, and it worked! I managed to catch the stick and keep going without missing a beat, and that made me ecstatic!

Such a good, productive session. I also played the piano and practiced my violin solo again, then tuned the ukulele I saw on top of the piano and played Despacito and Don’t Let Me Down. It fulfilled me so much to sing and play the ukulele again after months. Basically, it was a big musical day! I spent about 3.5 hours in the studio (3:30pm to 7pm). Unexpectedly, a mom and her two kids came in because the kids were having a drums lesson at 7pm (I’ve seen them before) and she asked me to play for them. So, I played Begging and Temo walked in and saw me do the little stick flip in between beats. That’s cool to see that I can manage to do it even under pressure of a small audience!

Despite only catching bus 332 at 7:05pm, I still managed to get to Movement Theatre by 8pm, and the show actually started ten minutes late anyways. I’d never been to this theatre before, and I was blown away by it. It’s such a unique space. It’s like a museum of curiosities. There are so many cool objects and artifacts, and it’s such a random art collection. I felt like I was inside a rich person’s eclectic, deranged mansion.

The show itself was marvelous. This was the first time I’d had to pay a foreigner price for a ticket for a show in Georgia (there was differential pricing: locals paid 25 gel and foreigners paid 42.50 gel). But I really wanted to see it because there were all kinds of circus acts and dancing. I didn’t understand the storyline because the narration was in Georgian. Nevertheless, the acts were stunning.

I was amazed that there were so many different elements going on at the same time. There was someone on the hoop, then two people dancing upside-down tango under some kind of trapeze apparatus, then some others dancing on something that looked like a rock climbing wall, then another couple dancing the tango. There was a girl on glowing roller skates who also performed on the silks. There was a slow-motion boxing scene performed under red lights. There was something that looked like Japanese dancing with a fan. There was a popping and locking dance sequence. There was some accordion and clarinet playing, and dialogue between people in masks. It was very eclectic and fun to watch. It lasted about an hour. I thought the lightwork was supreme, and the whole space felt very artistic, like we were in a warehouse. It was a fun experience, and I’m glad I went for it.

The only question I have is where these Georgian artists are training. Is there a circus school in Tbilisi that I just haven’t managed to find online? Or do they train overseas and just come back and perform some shows in their home country?

I really wished there was a circus school here, because then I could take classes there. Ah well.

Happy days,


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