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a place for everything, and everything in its place

June 14, 2011

If you are someone who pays attention to such things, I’d like to validate your powers of observation:  I do usually post on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and today is actually Tuesday.  I’m both apologetic and touched that you have been paying attention.  I’m sorry, and thank you.  It has been a wild few days.

I’ll begin with an update of my current sub-project, Classical Music Immersion 101.  Many, many thanks to all of you who commented, emailed, Facebooked, phoned, and otherwise proffered your insights on where to begin my ramble through Classical Musicville.  I am humbled by your generosity, and a little embarrassed by my own ignorance (although, in speaking with my mother on the phone Sunday, I was reminded that I practically wore out my Dad’s cassette of George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” when I was eleven… does Gershwin count as ‘classical?’).  At any rate, thank you.

At the suggestion of one of my kind readers (thank you, Dr. Waller), I downloaded Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, popularly known as the Emperor Concerto, on Friday evening.  Having been uninspired by my foray into classical-music-as-background-noise in my car, I decided to try a different approach.   I opted to listen to this piece in the relative stillness of my room — with my husband downstairs working and my children in bed.  I minimized distractions, ignoring the basket of unfolded laundry in the room, and took it in.

Following my impulse toward orientation, as it turned out, made all the difference.  I loved this piece in the order of my room, and I realized that I’d been holding classical music to a higher standard than even my beloved Avett Brothers.  Typically, I don’t even listen to music I enjoy while driving (instead tuning in to NPR or a book on CD), so I’m not sure why I expected to appreciate classical in the car.  This reflective music was far more at home in my home, and knowing its proper place made all the difference to me.

[Yesterday, just as an experiment, I decided to play the Emperor Concerto for my five year-old in an alternate venue.  It was a perfect day, clear-skied and a little breezy, and we walked around a nearby pond feeding the ducks.  Using the music player on my phone, I played the concerto with no introduction.  Amid gentle strains of piano, he and I noticed a mother duck with her four babies gliding across the water.  The combined beauty of it all — the music, the day, the ducks, the boy — literally brought tears to my eyes.  My reverie was shattered by my son’s plaintive voice.  “Mommy, will you please turn off this music?” he asked, “I’d like to listen to some rock and roll.”  For me, Beethoven in nature was a win.  For him, not so much.]

The theme of “place” has figured mightily in the wildness of my last few days.  Not only are we gradually packing our current home to leave for Texas, we are also searching for a new place to live — no small feat from a distance of several states.  We had resigned ourselves to apartment living until we found a permanent home, and then …  a possibility emerged.  A home that, from the shaky Skype tour we endured with our real estate agent, had a whole lot of “maybe” living in its walls.  Desperate for love (and new paint, and new landscaping, and new tile) we explored this home’s promise.  I embraced the fast-forward — imagining weekends spent making the home our own, devising floor plans and decorating strategies, and (reluctantly) doing the math.

In the end?  There was too much wrong with the house and not enough right, and we couldn’t feel at home on a shaky foundation.  I adore a good makeover, but there’s only so much lipstick you can put on a pig.  We’ll keep on searching.

Similarly, I aim to gird my foundation for sub-project Classical Music Immersion 101.  While I can’t devote to the subject the full attention it deserves, I do have a lot more reading, listening, and Amadeus-watching (thank you, Dr. Valdes) to do.  I’ll let you know how it’s going.  I promise.

I hope today finds you in a place you love.  Thank you, as always, for showing up.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jeff permalink
    June 14, 2011 10:24 am

    I’m so pleased you liked it! I’ve found that you really can’t go wrong with Beethoven. And I think “Rhapsody in Blue” can be considered classical music. After all, like popular music, classical has many different styles and variations.

  2. Mel permalink
    June 16, 2011 1:58 am

    mozart. you already know and love it and on’t even know it.

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