When I called, she told me that her husband, the composer Antonio Bibalo, with whom she had been very close, had only recently died (in early July) and that she had (quite understandably) not been very social of late. I offered her an out, saying that I planned to be back next year and that our meeting would keep until then, but she seemed to want to meet wih me anyway and so made arrangements to come today at midday.
The meeting felt, in so many ways like one of those that was absolutely meant to happen. Grete felt quite fragile and raw to me from the moment we met, but was clearly curious to know more about this odd woman who had written her from the other side of the world. We talked about everything - life, death, art, loss, joy, sorrow, the sacred, her work, my work, her husband, my son, hope, music, what it means to live life as a woman, what it means to be an artist in an unartistic world - and as we talked, I could feel some of her sadness lift, some of her hope and a sense of future return, if only for the afternoon.
All I can say is that our meeting felt blessed. Thank you, Grete for spending the afternoon with me. It was, in all ways, a pleasure.