down the rabbit hole


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Today I see my therapist for the first time in four weeks. I’m on about day 18 of my extended summer vacation. I have the rest of July and the first two Sundays of August off. I’ve not been thinking too much about my mental health type issues. However, one thing I have been allowing myself is to follow through more thoroughly on my reading and to allow it to range more widely. Why not?

I’m obviously thinking about this because I will have to report to Dr. Birky in a couple of hours.

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Two things have been going on during this period. I am attempting to protect myself from the usual work stress and situations. This involved leaving town for a while. Since returning, it has involved deflecting people a bit.

The second is a gradual realization of how freed up I am during this time. This has led to the rabbit hole adventure of pursuing stuff a bit more than I might if I had to work stuff.

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Ironically a lot of it, of course, is related to stuff I do at work. Yesterday I ordered my own copy of Temperley’s book in the history of English parish music. I am about seventy pages into it as of this writing. I have interlibrary loaned a ton of books he refers to including all of the Erik Routley books. I may or may not end up purchasing some of them. They are old, but I realized yesterday that I had never read Routley’s lengthy written material in his 1991 publication, The Music of Christian Hymns. Weirdly, he doesn’t bibliograph Temperley although Temperley used Routley’s books and surely Routley was aware of it.

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Anyway, you can see how I am indulging my curiosity. In addition to this I continue to study Haydn and Bach by reading Ethan Haimo’s Hadyn’s Symphonic Forms: Essays on Compositional Logic and Peter Williams’ J.S. Bach: A Life in Music. Yesterday I finished a chapter in each of these books, so I am slowly making progress in them. They both send me back to the actual music, listening and playing.

When I first returned from Unadillo my piano drove me crazy. Mostly this was the bad intonation, but there are some other problems with it. After a few days, this went away. That’s good in a way. No sense being miserable. My adaptability is both a strength and weakness, I guess. I practiced guitar yesterday a bit. My guitar is not that good and the strings are shot. I would want new strings before performing in public.

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But I’m  not thinking of public performing so much. Church is really my last outlet for performance. My performing opportunities dwindle and I can’t say I miss them much. I do think I will miss playing music with others soon. But so far I am content to read and study alone.

So far I have had no compositional impulse during this time off. It occurs to me it would be a good time to compose. It’s a better time to scurry down the rabbit hole.

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“Running” | The New Yorker

Strong poem in the latest New Yorker. I love it that the mag has the poet record an audio for online listening.

From “Under the Knife” by Krista Franklin | Poetry Magazine

I like this one. Both this and the next poem are better read in a real copy of the mag. In this case, in the mag, the pic is on the left hand page and the words on the right hand.

Lakes Rivers Streams by Michael Dickman | Poetry Magazine

This is a long read. Over 500 lines. I counted them. But apparently not accurately since the poem consists strictly of 7 line stanzas and my final total is not divisible by 7. I mention this because in the link (and in the app) they weirdly follow the presentation of the poem in the mag which is two sets of seven on each page with a dot in between the two. However, the online presentation and the app would be much clearer with a dot after each 7 lines. I bitch because I read it on the app and was so confused I had to look at it in the mag to see its structure more clearly. The poem reminded me of Michigan a lot, but Dickman is  from the Northwest USA.

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