Instructions for living a life:
Tell about it.
This is from Mary Oliver’s Red Bird. I know it’s kind of goofy but somehow it’s a good epigraph for a blog entry.
I am sick. Yesterday morning I got up out of my chair in the living room and felt more aches and pains than usual. Soon I had figured out I had what I think of as a body cold. Yuck.
My brother and his wife drove away in the morning. Jeremy and Elizabeth are still here. Jeremy is planning to get down to Chicago tomorrow to see his sister before flying home to China. Elizabeth leaves the next day for China.
I received an email from the chair of the Ballet department. She is offering me the same schedule as the fall plus three more hours per week. The fall schedule had me dragging but the extra hours will help money wise. At this point I have sort of decided to take whatever they offer me. I start on Jan 7.
I dragged myself over to church to prepare for this morning’s service. I really needed to rehearse the prelude more thoroughly but what can you do if you’re ill? I am playing a piece by Pamela Decker based on “Joy to the World.” I have had to practice it daily in order to perform it well today. I have also been practicing daily the other organ pieces I am going to play today and next Sunday. Today’s postlude is the lovely “In dir est Freude” by Bach from the Orgelbuchlëin. This along with “In dulci jubilo” seem to be ones that I play annually around Christmas. I have decided in this time of banality a little repetition of what I think is quality doesn’t hurt. “You know, for kids.”
I have also been preparing a couple of pieces based on Epiphany type hymns: one by Sue Mitchell-Wallace on Dix (As with gladness men of old) and one by Alec Wyton on “The First Nowell.” It has felt odd during the holidays to dutifully sneak away and practice organ and instead of immersing myself in great art I am preparing goofy pieces based on recognizable Christmas melodies. This is the first year in a while I have done this. Usually I fill the Christmas preludes and postlude holes with French Noëls for organ. I love this corpus of organ repertoire and play it along with the Masses of these composers. It’s lovely music but I’m not sure how much it means to listeners at church (I know. I know. This is assuming they notice I am playing.)
Finished The People All Look Like Flowers by Bukowski this morning.
It seems like this is the third or fourth “last book” I have read by the late Charles Bukowski. He died in ’94 but books just keep coming out of his work. He was nothing if not prolific I guess. I find that his mildly rough approach to life is a bit of an antidote to living in little old Holy/helland.
I have randomly ran across another poet: Catherine Barnett.
Checked her the game of boxes from the library.
Here’s a poem I like:
When did he start to play in reverse,
erasing the figures line by line now
they’re shadow and blank space and fragrance?
Sometimes he calls the vowels so quickly
it sounds like he’s laughing,
erasing limb by limb,
finger by finger,
until only the word is left.