I’m still giving myself a little time off. I find my brain is tired as well as my body. I’m not quite ready to bear down and pick out choral anthems for the choir to learn and do at Eucharist. It will come.
I’m finding myself overwhelmed with my own ignorance in a general way. Looking at William James and Isaac Newton and other stuff I realize there is so much to learn and know about. I heard a person say once that one lifetime is not enough, so there was no reason to really try. I always thought that a bit odd. My own preference is to do what I can with the brains and time I have left.
Yesterday afternoon this meant sitting at the organ and seeing how everything would go missing a low Ab/G# in the pedal. It wasn’t hard but it felt a bit like having a tooth missing.
I will transpose a few things for today’s funeral.
In my dream last night, right after my congregation sang my Gloria there were murmurs about it. One choir member sitting in the congregation wanted to talk to me about it. I told him we could discuss it later. I tell myself I don’t care if my congregation sings my setting or not, but apparently it’s on my mind since I’m dreaming about it.
For some reason after practicing upcoming stuff, I got caught up in Bach’s little Neumeister collection of chorale preludes for organ discovered some years back. They are a product of the youthful Bach. There are no pieces that jump out as wonderful, but still they are good to play. I played through the first ten of them yesterday in Joy’s old copy noticing that she had learned (or at least marked up) a couple of them.
I say they were discovered some years back, but they actually came to light a couple of years before I moved here in 1987.
Yesterday I was updating my Goodreads currently reading page. When I searched for A Skeleton Key to Finnegans Wake, the book I am using to help me read this difficult work, I discovered that it has a new improved edition. Reading through some of the comments I also discovered there is a much more detailed study guide available called Annotations to Finnegans Wake by Roland McHugh.
After visiting Mom yesterday Eileen and I came home and she went immediately to work at her loom. I decided to go the college library and check out McHugh commentary. I did this. I looked for the updated Skeleton Key but Hope buy valium japan didn’t own it.
This morning I tried to use the McHugh a bit with the section of Finnegans Wake I am currently reading. I find it a bit frustrating that my copy isn’t the exact pagination of both the McHugh and Skeleton Key. But it’s not that hard to find the corresponding passages between the book and the reference books.
McHugh makes clear that his book and the Skeleton key proceed in the order of the book as opposed to so many studies that are arranged alphabetically.
I have been feeling more and more confident in my ability to read Finnegans Wake.
Reference books are useful, but the fun and the beauty is in reading Joyce’s prickly prose aloud. The reference books have helped me in that they often confirm my own understandings. Sometimes I have to wonder if they miss the point or if I see something different in the book. But that’s the fun part.
This morning I tried to use the McHugh in the way it is designed. One is supposed to lay the reference book next to Joyce’s book and glance back and forth. I found this very slow and cumbersome this morning. Also, although there is a wealth of detailed information in McHugh it hasn’t struck me as any more helpful than Campbell’s bird’s eye view.
In fact using them both is probably the ticket.
I continue to read Donald Hall’s delightful essays.
I like his take on “sharing.”
After a poet friend performed in Mississippi one winter, a man handed her a heavy box of typewriter paper, saying, ‘I want to share my poems with you.’ When she glanced through ‘Verses of a Sergeant Major, Ret.’ she found it unreadable. Telling me about it, she asserted that ‘share’ has become a verb of assault disguised as magnanimity. ‘Unless you read my poems, I will gouge your eyes out.’
This seems applicable to the Facebook use of the word, eh?
And then there’s this.
Interviewing T. S. Eliot, I saved my cheekiest question for last. ‘Do you know you’re any good?’ His revised and printed response was formal, but in person he was abrupt: ‘Heavens no! Do you? Nobody intelligent knows if he’s any good.’
All these are from the ebook of Hall’s Essays After Eighty.
This struck me as bizarre. Yesterday in the NYT there was an article about the returning pollution in Beijing which had been temporarily interrupted for the big parade presumably by the shutting down of factories.