I’m just in the door from Scott MacAulay’sÂ memorial, held this afternoon in Hamilton, Ontario.Â Â A standing room only crowd with lots of music: bagpipes, smallpipes and Gaelic song, and lots of heartfelt memory.Â It has been over two months since Scott’s death and, still, emotion was raw.Â It was great to see so many old friends and aquaintances.Â Scott would’ve been hugely proud of main organizersÂ Kenny Eller, Donnie Forgan, Sue McCarroll and Bob MacCrimmon.Â “God love ’em, ” he’d say, I’m sure.
Scott’s memorial comes a day after theÂ Annual General Meeting of the Pipers’ & Pipe Band Society of Ontario.Â I attendedÂ yesterday’s meeting, as readers of thisÂ blog will know.Â
At today’sÂ gathering of family, friends, pipers andÂ drummers there was muchÂ love,Â appreciationÂ and joy.Â Â Not at allÂ unlike what we’dÂ rightfully expect fromÂ the fraternityÂ that is pipers and drummers. Â Â
It just strikes me, as I reflect – andÂ today was a good day of reflectionÂ – that pipers (and drummers, and me, of course) can be such blustery arses; pointing fingers andÂ doubting each other’s intentionsÂ and often seeing the worst, instead of the best,Â in our musical colleagues.Â It seems to me that its at pipe band AGMs that we are at our cynical, emotional, sometimes crabbiest worst.Â And it’s at times like memorials and funeralsÂ and the like that we thinkÂ and see the truth in a person, the truth of a person.Â A silly juxtaposition, maybe, ofÂ AGMs and funerals, but reflection on mortality, more than anything else,Â provides the gift of sharpÂ focus of what matters.Â Â Â
Wouldn’t it be great if we had that focus, that sharp focus of what matters, before a piper (or anyone, really)Â dies?Â Â
15 minute pipeÂ band presentations?Â 10 minute medleys? Whatever.Â That stuff just doesn’t matter in the big scheme of things.Â Life is short, and then we die.Â Â
But IÂ know you know that.Â I’m notÂ always the shiniest penny.
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