The relief in our house this morning was palpable after weeks of not knowing very much about my melanoma. We are, of course, not out of the woods yet. But we do see how things are going to proceed for a couple of weeks. This is helpful.
I posted about my oncologist visit on Facebook yesterday. Between this and friends and family the support has been overwhelming. I spoke briefly to the Chinese branch of the family this morning. Alex was taking her evening bath (It was around 8 PM there). She looked at me and immediately asked for Eileen. It was cute. Unfortunately Eileen was still sleeping but did get a kick out of this when I mentioned it to her.
After three tries, I finally have a new winter overcoat. Many thanks to Eileen for persisting and helping with this. My coat is the third one to arrive in the mail but the first one to fit well. After poking around online we were resigned to returning coats that did not fit until one did. We couldn’t find one long mens winter coat locally. It’s possible we could have found one in Grand Rapids but it was more convenient to do the mail thing.
Choir rehearsal went very well last night. I believe the group was happy to see that I had relatively good news from the oncologist visit. I have been keeping as many people informed about this stuff as possible. We settled down to working hard on upcoming music. Tuesday afternoon, despite a fatiguing day, I did a string arrangement of Sunday’s anthem. The piece, “Hark! A Thrilling Voice,” is a stuffy Anglican type arrangement by Ian Higginson. It was the last thing I did Tuesday before my evening martini and I was bushed. I was disappointed that it was so difficult for me to come up with string parts. After working on it for a while I discovered that Higginson has made some odd alterations to the third section of the piece. Like so many of these Anglican type anthems, he had written a bit of a melody which he used several times in different ways. But he had changed it in subtle ways the third time. When I figured this out, I gave up being creative and just had the strings play the melody in octaves with the choir singing it in unison. This is a lot of melody but oddly enough it and the other sections I came up with worked very well last night. I had warned the string players that I was unhappy with the arrangement and might make changes before Sunday. Now that doesn’t seem necessary to me.
For my morning poetry readings this morning I read the three poems in this week’s Archive issue. The other two were by Elizabeth Bishop and Marianne Moore. All three were excellent but Roethke’s especially struck me.
It can’t be a coincidence that the New Yorker editors chose a poem whose title seems apropos to the terrible time we are living through in the USA under the brutal leadership of our executive. This is a tough time for people who think we should live compassionately and unselfishly as possible.
Speaking of brutality, Cheney always struck me as someone who did a lot of damage. I don’t know if I can watch a movie about him, but I do approve.