Sunday, October 28, 2007

mom, memory, music

This afternoon, I went to Carnegie Hall for a concert by the Orchestra of St Luke's with Joshua Bell (violinist) as soloist. The first piece was called "In memory" by Joan Tower (Ms Tower was in the hall). The piece was lovely, with instruments joining in on top of others in a rich way. Tower started writing it in 2000 or early 2001 about a friend who had died recently and then it was still underway on 9/11 and shifted with the attacks. So, a combination of personal and social. The orchestra and Joshua Bell next played Barber's Violin Concerto, a piece I'm quite familiar with. It was starting out lovely when below me a ways, a man walked out silently with a young girl. I was swept by a wave of Mom and her love of music and how much she might have loved going to Carnegie Hall. Or not maybe. Anyway, when I see a child in a cultural setting here in NYC, I am often struck by the glory of it and wonder how I developed a strong taste for classical music even though it wasn't really in our upbringing. And once when Mom and Dad visited us in Cleveland and we went to the museum, Mom asked if that was a real Rembrandt. So clued into things and still so not.

And all those thoughts of music so soon after Cathy said she needed a buck up and Doug suggested music. Music does, as they say, soothe the stressed spirit or soul. At the moment, I have Beethoven's Diabelli Variations in the CD, with Piotr Anderszewski at the keyboard.

Doug, Jeanette, Ian, good luck with the dog. And please introduce us to Mr Allen. I was dreaming something rather furiously this morning but can't remember anything about it. Usually can't, unless I write it down or at least re-think and re-imagine it repeatedly.

On to Dawn Upshaw's "Voices of light."

Your description of Doris's story of folks laughing at Cousin Floy's diaries is certainly bittersweet. I've kept a journal of sorts since moving to NYC, often just events and not reactions to them, occasionally general thoughts or concerns. My friend Christie whose mother died a couple weeks before Dad wants to start a group to look at getting your stuff in order. It might be just Christie, Janet and me. Janet, alas, was diagnosed with a longstanding case of MS just a couple weeks ago. C & J don't have wills. At least, I've got that and a living will. The group would have focused discussions every few weeks with one person responsible for homework before the discussion. That is, if it was living wills, the focuser would provide some links or photocopies or book titles for the others. And we'd all encourage each other to keep going. While I trust I might be able to do it with any of you guys, there is something about it being "local" and something about the neutrality, if you will, of friends rather than family. I hope that doesn't seem mercenary because it certainly isn't meant to be and I don't think any of you would be bloodthirsty in these matters. When Christie first talked about this, I started relevant clippings in a folder called "Letzte Dinge" (last things). I'm not sure exactly why it came to me in German. I just looked for a relevant book title that might have taken me there and it is probably some remnant of having studied medieval art.

And thinking of odd birds, Carol once said she wanted to be the eccentric old lady of Alfred. This was before she was up in Branchport. And I sometimes think any number of us could end up being the eccentric old ladies of Alfred. But Cathy, Carol and I have a good distance to go before we catch up to a couple people I've seen recently. There was a woman in front of a coffee shop nearby recently putting on pinkish purple cheek coloring so heavily that she looked bruised. Or maybe she was bruised and was stroking the bruises. And there was the guy in a dress the other day. I don't really have a problem with it but it was peculiar. A couple weeks later, I saw a guy who is the same one I think and, this time, he was in a sort of netty tanktop that didn't meet his short shorts, and a bit of jewelry. It wasn't very pretty. Rather scary .... perhaps any of us could turn into makeup-wearing becostumed eccentrics without so much effort. There but for the grace of whatever go I.

Segue segue. Did you read about the chemistry professor that retracted an article from the mid-1950s that is now being cited by creationists as evidence of intelligent design? The professor also found it flawed from the distance of 50 years.

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