Eileen spent the afternoon yesterday at her doctor’s appointment. I stayed home. For the first time it bothered me that the parallel octaves in Beethoven in the left hand are very difficult for me.
I can barely stretch the octave due to my dupuytren’s contracture.
Before this I have managed to fake it enough to play through music satisfactorily for myself.
Eileen also stopped at the butcher before she came home. She got a bit of a run around waiting for a blood draw that had not been ordered. She had fasted and came home ravenous and made herself a steak and fresh green beans.
I think today is day 30 of retirement. Last night in my dream I played and sang Bob Dylan’s Just like a Woman all the way through on my old Martin guitar. I haven’t played the Martin for a long time. I even entertained selling it but Eileen discouraged me from doing so. In the middle of the night on waking I thought maybe playing guitar might be more satisfying physically than trying to do octaves with my left hand. I did remember that playing it requires building up callouses. This was the main detriment to playing it more. I could pick up my nylon string guitar and not need the callouses to play. But even that eventually became a bit of a rarity.
In the light of day, I’m not as resolved to start playing my Martin again. It is true that I don’t know how hard it will be with my shortened left hand span. Conceivably it may be better than piano.
But I can still listen to and think about music. I could compose but I am not to the point of considering doing much more than what I have been doing: reading, thinking, writing prose, and studying. The mild frustration of diminishing physical abilities is not limited to my left hand. My main physical problem is not related to age. At least I suspect it’s not.
I developed a reaction to a Blood Pressure drug several years ago. This rash has never really entirely abated and has recently begun to spread and get worse again. It was never diagnosed. My Internist, Dermatologist, and Allergist couldn’t nail down the cause of the rash beyond the original reaction to new drug. They prescribed topical steroid which I still apply as well as a skin moisturizer.
This is probably more than most readers want to hear about an old man with a rash, but besides some fatigue and aches, I am physically doing well except for this itching.
I have an appointment with my dermatologist next year. It was the earliest I could get in.
Despite not being able to play the left hand on the piano as facilely as I used to, I continue to find satisfaction in reading and studying. Yesterday I started reading an excellent anthology I checked out from the library.
It’s called Latinext and is edited by Felicia Rose Chavez, José Olivarez, and Willie Perdomo. My recently acquired habit of reading the Table of Contents caused me to realize that I probably need to own this 300 page anthology. I will never be able to read all the poems that I want to only having checked it out of the library.
Published in 2020, Latinext is volume 4 of The Breakbeat Poets. The book is divided into five sections: La Muerte, El Bandolon, El Mundo, La Bendera, and La Sirena. Piecing together Spanglish is integral to understanding these poems. As best as I can figure out the sections mean Death, Mandolin, World, Flag, and Siren. Here’s a link to a poem I liked in La Muerte: INSTRUCTIONS FOR MY FUNERAL by Javier Zmora.
Opinion | What Sandra Day O’Connor Stood For on the Supreme Court by Linda Greenhouse
I haven’t read it yet, but I read every article Greenhouse writes that I can find.
I listened to the embedded podcast below this morning. I find it fascinating and informing to listen to Judges talk. I especially like the ending remarks of District Court Judge Cheryl Ann Krause. She says that good judges demonstrate how to disagree without being disagreeable. One of the other judges insists that in disagreement they learn from each other. Krause goes on to say that judges are united in upholding the Constitution and the rule of law. They are a model for all citizens at a time of madenss.
Oops. I seem to have embedded the entire playlist from the Constitutional Center. I’m only recommending the first podcast in the list.