Eileen’s back and where’s the funeral


WP_20140924_022Eileen is back. Whew. It’s a such a relief to have her around. She is exhausted but seemed in good spirits. This morning she quietly  told me it was good to be back in her own bed. Good sign.

We got home last night around 11:30 PM. Her flight was over an hour later than the original scheduled time. I didn’t leave the house until after 9 PM. It was kind of cool to sit in the terminal with my computer and watch a simulation online of her planes flight over Lake Michigan.



I am so glad to have her back. So is Edison. He seemed almost punchy happy to have things back to normal, bouncing around our bedroom and laying on my arm and purring and generally enjoying things. Nice to see since he and I have not always had a good time without Eileen. Edison has broken two wine glasses and a martini glass pushing them over the edge of tables while I kept my downstairs bedroom door closed to him. Needless to say this didn’t make me happy.

I don’t have too long to blog this morning but I did want to point out something I noticed about the contrast between concert etiquette and funeral/church etiquette.

In his book, After the Golden Age: Romantic Pianism and Modern Performance, Kenneth Hamilton again and again uses the simile that modern concert etiquette is funereal in its hushed tones and reverent attitude of the silent worshipping listener.

This week it occurred to me that worship really isn’t always like that these days. In fact my understanding of liturgy leads me to treasure the noise as evidence of being in the room with live bodies. But it’s not always a good thing. Just this week, I was at a funeral where a local attorney felt it was appropriate to raise his hand and comment during an elegy and then later literally yelled a hymn throwing the entire singing congregation (and the organist!) into a dilemma of how to sing the hymn with him.

Also an organist on Facebook put up the question, asking other organists what words they used to request quiet (funereal?) during the prelude. I thought it was interesting that this organists implied theology is that worshipers should be seen and not heard. This is something I understand as a musician, but also deplore both as a musician and someone who is interested in liturgy.

So maybe this simile of a group quiet as a funeral doesn’t work as well as it used to, eh? Our worship services are as often noisy as they are reverent and it is often our classical music concerts are more consistently hushed (and boring… Hamilton, again).

Jes sayin.

                                               TWO LINKS TO LETTERS

New Twists in the Ebola Drama – NYTimes.com

Some very interesting letters from Africa.

Letters: A Comedian and a Scholar – NYTimes.com

In the long synopsis of online letters in this link, I loved this: ““Sentimentality should not be avoided,” GB from PR advised. “It is one thing to feel it and another to express it and yet another to let it get the best of us.”

I have a quick involuntary sentimental response to many goofy things. Often I silently weep especially alone. But I rarely go beyond the idiot knee jerk response and recognize the banality of my feelings even as I am feeling them.




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