Tokyo, 23 June 2006

So much has happened since I last wrote anything for this page. Some of it very well publicized, but most, especially the things that are most important in the greater scheme of things, are very much still private and “local”.

I am overwhelmingly happy, of course, for the unbelievable explosion that happened in my career on April 1st when I made my surprise early debut at the Met. The press and the acknowledgement I have enjoyed have been amazing. As a few people have pointed out, “you can’t really pay for this kind of publicity”… which is obviously true. I am glad for it though — not because it was somehow all positive (it wasn’t) and not because it hailed me as some new revelation on the opera stage (it didn’t), but because it had the effect on people that I have always hoped to have through my singing, and have hoped to have on a greater scale through my life: it inspired people to keep their own dreams alive!

I wouldn’t know this of course, were it not for hundreds of letters, emails and phone calls telling me that in no uncertain terms.

Thank you so very much to all of you who have written and told me your personal stories! I am humbled and grateful and, in turn, inspired to work harder and ever more sincerely to be a better person, and a better artist. The support and appreciation, and just the sheer joy of your communications through this website have been so moving and strengthening for me over the past few months.

With this new “celebrity” has come much added pressure, and much added scrutiny, and maybe even one or two sceptics have raised their loud and impetuous voices — but really, this is fine, and I think necessary even. I know I can’t be in the public eye and not be ever more responsible for everything I do and everything I say — and critique keeps one on one’s toes in the best of ways – if one can be wise when listening to it… I am lucky in the midst of such scrutiny to have dear and honest friends who constantly keep my thinking straight, and my heart humble. As a favorite quote of mine from ‘A Course in Miracles’ reads, “in my defenselessness my safety lies”…

What is clear to me is that nobody thinks I’m perfect (and what a relief it is to not have that as my objective!!!!), but there are an awful lot of people who have gone out of their way to express just how happy they are for me, and how they feel personally related to my singing and my story. And that, to me, is better than perfect. I cannot think of a greater joy than to do my very best, with the greatest amount of heart I can muster, only to find out that others have gotten something out of it — for them!

Life is indeed a greater blessing than I ever thought possible!

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