living for art jupe style


Since I’ve skipped a couple days blogging, I’m doing this before Greek today (but not before cleaning the kitchen and making coffee).

So a few days before my 66th birthday which is on Friday, I’ve done some exercising and omitted my evening martini. ┬áMonday and Tuesday I walked 1.6 miles by my estimate and treadmilled 45 minutes each day. Monday and Tuesday are days that I have little scheduled so they are good days for this.

I decided to skip my evening martini for a day or so not so much for the alcohol abstention as the fact that I inevitably snack when I drink. I have been slowly gaining weight and am appalled that I am within ten pounds of my all time high weight of 240. So my weight has plummeted without the evening snacks which of course means that I’ve lost water not fat, but it’s still motivating.

Today is Clara Schuman’s birthday. I know this thanks to Writers Almanac which I listen to each morning keeping myself still for five minutes before taking my blood pressure. ┬áThe poems on this show are mostly lame I’m afraid. But I do like hearing the commemoration of passing dates.

When Keillor read this quote from Schuman it stuck me:”My imagination can picture no fairer happiness than to continue living for art.”

Living for art jupe style exactly defines how I see my life. Living for art is completely different from what occurs in colleges and churches and most communities. At least in my estimation. It is a bit of a high falutin’ phrase for me but I remain obsessed with poetry, music, literature, visual arts.

This morning I read several poems by Raymond Carver and remembered how much I like him. The poems Keillor reads on his show rarely give me the usual flash I get from poems I like and admire.

Living for art jupe style means “doing” art and observing beauty wherever I find it. It seems this makes me a bit of a hack on the career chart and I happily embrace that. Living for art means to me working at it daily.

Healey Willan once remarked casually the he “couldn’t play for beans.” I like that attitude especially coming from someone who not only was a good solid composer who was a very fine player but could improvise a baroque fugue which is a kind of goofy skill but extremely admirable for its accomplishment.

I have been working hard at the organ. I have discovered that my organ likes chamber scale sound. I discover myself scaling down the number of ranks I am using. The organ makes me grateful with its beauty when I do this. I have done this on “The Primitives” by Hampton. Hampton calls for “full organ” but I find on my organ that it’s happier if I use fewer stops in a distinctive manner. For example instead of full pedal stops (which are only four on my little guy) I pull just the Trumpet which gives just enough oomph and humor.

I’ve also been working diligently on “Mental Floss.” I have naturally written it for few stops which is another example of how my organ is teaching me. I am trying to simultaneously learn it and finish it. I am close but ideas keep worming their way into this piece both pleasing me with their presence and frightening me as the keyboard player who will play this piece in public.

Today is also Eileen’s Mom birthday. She is planning a quick trip up to see her today. I will definitely work at the organ today, but also probably grocery shop, meet with my boss, prep for the choir rehearsal and then give it in the evening.

Time to do some Greek.

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