I have been thinking of the isolation I experience at this time in my life. I find it odd that this is at all important to me. It seems that having few friends contributes to the weird activity of wondering what other people think of you. This is sort of a new activity in my life and I don’t really like it.
I can’t help but notice when friends drop me or when people with whom I feel like I might have something in common fail to notice that I’m around at all.
I am beginning to suspect that this is part of old age in the USA.
Since there is such an emphasis on youth and success, as we age we become less and less relevant, even less visible.
I am lucky to have the love of my wife and the joy of daily contact with good music and interesting books.
I fully realize that my isolation is of my own doing and a direct result of my rejection of so many more conventional paths. The only thing missing in this is that I have very few intimate friends. I have had many good friends over the years. But now for one reason or another, I don’t. I think this contributes to the confusing treatment that I now am more likely to notice at this stage of life.
But speaking of good music and books, my piano trio yesterday agreed to practice the Mendelssohn trio (C minor, Opus 66, mov 1) we are rehearsing at a much more modest tempo. This enabled me to play many more accurate notes of Mendelssohn’s tricky piano part. The cellist continually points out how much more difficult my part is than the cello or violin part.
Be that as it may, it is a wonderful part and I enjoy rehearsing it. Doing so slowly with my colleagues seems to be satisfying not only to me but them.
I mentioned to my trio yesterday that I have been in a Mendelssohn mood for several years. A funny place for an old amateur pop musician to be. But satisfying. I came home yesterday and continued to read the trio at the piano and also some of his Songs without Words.
I once had a colleague tell me he thought these were pretty bad. But I actually enjoy them and find them satisfying and fun to play.
On the book front, it occurred to me this morning how similar I find the experience of reading Finnegans Wake aloud and reading Chaucer aloud.
In both cases I have to keep my wits about me to recognize meanings.
I know I’m not catching the entire meaning in either case but with the help of good reference books and notes I am getting enough to enjoy it.
My cellist was remarking how lucky her life had been musically, that she felt lucky. “Me too,” I said.
I love book lists. Some interesting titles here.
I abhor the concept of war. Nevertheless I find the contrast between the US tech and the on the ground fighters’ lack of tech interesting. Also, the description of how US planes are launched and land is wild!
Facial recognition tech is moving faster than the law.
Tech reading into history. Great story!