learning invisibility

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Eileen is suffering from jet lag. She is resting right now. I am very glad she’s home and sorry to see her working on adjusting to the extreme time change.

I realized early this morning that this coming weekend is not the weekend I wanted to perform Widor. I wanted to match it up with an anthem by Bruckner. I sort of see them as both late romantics. Widor lived 1834 to 1937, Bruckner, 1824 to 1896. I was surprised  looking up their dates to see how long Widor lived past Bruckner after they were born ten years apart.

Anyway, I texted Michael Spliedt, the parishioner/trumpet player I have been meeting with and asked him if we could switch his first weekend to this weekend. He texted me back later that would be fine. Admittedly, I will benefit from another week of practicing the Widor pieces, but I’m confident I could have performed them this weekend.

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So Ursula K. Le Guin died Monday. She is the second author who has died recently while I was reading their work (Leonard Cohen was the first). I have books of hers in my to read (and reread) stack.

Her’s a couple of quotes that have struck me in her book of essays I am reading, No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters.

A decision worthy of the name is based on observation, factual information, intellectual and ethical judgment. Opinion—that darling of the press, the politician, and the poll—may be based on no information at all. At worst, unchecked by either judgment or moral tradition, personal opinion may reflect nothing but ignorance, jealousy, and fear.

Ursula K. Le Guin, No Time to Spare, p. 15

And this from the same essay, “The Diminished Thing.”

Thinking about the comment “You’re not old!” Le Guin observers, “To tell me my old age doesn’t exist is to tell me I don’t exist. Erase my age, you erase my life—me.

Of course that’s what a lot of really young people inevitably do. Kids who haven’t lived with geezers don’t know what they are. So it is that old men come to learn the invisibility women learned twenty or thirty years earlier. The kids on the street don’t see you. If they have to see you, it’s often with the indifference, distrust, or animosity animals feel for animals of a different species.” p. 14

I am working at becoming used to being invisible. I think I’m making progress or as I said to Eileen yesterday about people who don’t see us, “Fuck em.” I feel like my life is a lucky one and I enjoy things of the mind and music and poetry and art and literature and such stuff. I would like to be part of conversations with the living (besides enjoyable ones with Eileen) but my life feels worthwhile in the presence of great art and written conversation and living with her. Hey. Life is good, goddamit.

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