Monday, April 18, 2016

Rare Moments

I painted this in Bologna, Italy. April 2016. I love my Bologna time... the book fair happens each spring.... the week gives me a chance to put the brakes on and spend a week quietly listening to myself think.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Going Home: Playing from the Heart

It's always a dreamy day when I finally hold the first copy of a book I've created. Playing from the Heart, released this week on April 12th,  is extra special to me. I'll share the behind the scenes details of how this book came to be later, but today I wanted to share a letter that illuminates the spirit of the book.

My friends, Ann Crewdson and Linda Erst visited me in Boston a few months ago. I happened to have an advanced copy of my new book, Playing from the Heart which I read aloud to them.

Here is Ann's letter:

Dear Peter,

Linda and I had the honor of hearing you read PLAYING FROM THE HEART out loud to us. Your character, Raj's story reminded me of my father-in-law who played the clarinet for years. He was a music major, but after serving in the military in WWII, he decided to be a dentist. 

He had lost touch with music for decades until my daughter, Victoria picked up the violin as an instrument.  He attended every single concert and I could swear he lived through her violin playing, vicariously.  He attended almost every single one of her Seattle Youth Symphony concerts until he couldn't do it anymore due to infirmary. 

Before he passed away, one of his last wishes was to have my daughter play "Going Home" at his funeral with her violin. 

It was in this moment that I connected your book with my memory.  

It brought me to tears.

And that is what I meant when I said the book is about "going home"
to your talent and the persistence of the human spirit.  

My father-in-law lives on in my children.

Kindest regards,

I asked Ann if I could share her connection to the story and she kindly allowed me to share it here. While my book is about music, about connecting deeply to the joy of expressing your spirit, it is also a book about what connects us all: love. 

It is my hope that my book will inspire others to "go home" to the place where joy lives--to perhaps a time when it flowed more easily--and to "go home" and rediscover the "chords" that keep us connected. 

Playing from the Heart is published by Candlewick Press who also published The Dot, Ish, The North Star, So Few of Me, and Rose's Garden.