So I did use piano in the prelude yesterday (if anyone is reading this and following). I wasn’t as exultant as I was earlier in the morning, but it still seemed right at the moment. I improvised on several of the melodies we were going to sing in service. I wasn’t consciously showing off for my piano playing grandson. I like to think I would have done the same playing if he hadn’t been there listening. When I play a service, it’s a bit like any performance. One is aware that one is (or could be) listened to, but that can’t be the upper most factor in your mind as you play. It must be the music itself.
Yesterday it was, I think.
The congregation was not a particularly strong singing one yesterday. This means that I try to provide sturdy audible accompaniment to support what singing is going on. I will check with the boss on Wednesday to see if the organ was too loud on the psalm. I wasn’t very confident that the singers could carry the verses of Anglican chant so I played a bit on the loud side. I learned from Eileen’s comment about the pointing I provide in the service (the pointing is the dividing up of the words into the tune of the chant which varies with each line). She said that the congregation tends to follow my rendering even if there is a mistake in the printing. That’s good to know. It’s a bit of a challenge each week to do the psalm but I like it.
I think I like a challenge.
I like the challenge of continuing to learn Greek and the challenge of eliciting James Joyce’s humor and joie de vivre embedded in his work. This morning I spent a good deal of time with Finnegans Wake working back and forth between my ebook copy and my real copy. There is room in the margins on the real copy for notes. I tend to note in writing phrases that stand out to me that I can figure out but might not figure out on a second read. Plus the writing in the margin helps me know how far I far in actuality read in this puzzle of a work.
It’s fun having my grandson around.
Yesterday, he complimented me more than once on my playing at church using the same exact phrase each time: “Good playing.” I came home and began loading up his mp3 player with music that I think he might like. I put Mozart’s 40th on his player and gave him a miniature score of it. I also put some Rachmaninoff on since he seems to like lush piano stuff. Plus Glenn Gould’s Goldberg Variations and lots of other stuff.
After giving him some sheet music and talking to him about music he spontaneously gave me a huge hug. It helped me recall that there is a child in this child-man. Eileen made barbecued chicken and veggies for supper.
Today I have my six month check up. I’m dreading it as usual. I have gained weight but my blood pressure has gone down since its trending high while I was working both of my jobs in the spring. I have a good doctor. I tend to try to do what she recommends.
I find myself reading left wing news a bit more these days. I have a couple of “friends” on Facebook who are rabid right wingers and post some pretty innervating links that are distorted and angry. I guess I need the balance of things that seem a bit more sane.
Having done church work most of my life, mental illness is something I think about quite a bit. Bany X. Kuhle makes a convincing list of signs of mental illness he sees conservatives behavior exhibiting. Borrowing from James Whitney Hicks he specifically mentions
denial, delusion, hallucination, disordered thinking, anger, anti-social behavior, sexual pre-occupation, grandiosity, general oddness, and paranoia
This all reminds me of a Wendell Berry poem I read this morning, “Let Us Not Condemn the Human Beings,” from This Day: Collected and New Sabbath Poems (p. 349).
The first section is a kind of caveat about cursing. No need to curse the people themselves. But the second part is a curse. It curses bank accounts and “corpses incorporated” which I take to mean corporations. He curses the latter with these lovely lines: “corpses/ incorporated that cannot see/ or feel, think or care, that eat/ the world and shit money. Fry/ in Hell in their own fat…”
The last section is a reminder that when you curse you “confess/ that you condemn yourself..” Ahem.