the making of americans


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Last night and this morning I found myself reading in Getrude Stein’s The Making of Americans. I have been thinking about this book ever since reading about Georgia O’Keefe’s admiration of Stein’s work. It’s topic seems very timely as our government is unmaking Americans and remaking being American into a small ugly thing. My hope is that Stein’s art will speak to this in a constructive way. Hell, I hope that Saunder’s idea that the “art mind” is important to restore to some importance will do so as well (see yesterday’s quote from him).

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Stein felt that her work was as important as Joyce’s and Proust’s.

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Since the latter two writers are ones that I favor, it rekindles my interest in Stein. It took me a few days to find  her book since my books are not quite in the order they used to be.

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Eileen drove away yesterday to go to a family “Set Back” tournament. She seems to be connecting with her family in many good ways these days. This makes me very happy. While she was gone, my friend Rhonda came by and we chatted and looked at an article she is writing about resourcing church musicians who are older than 18 and have not studied organ before. This is a subject near and dear to my own heart. She is working through the American Guild of Organist program called Pipe Organ Encounter Plus. The “Plus” stands for people who are over 18. The AGO also has a program for those under 18 which preceded this one I guess and is much more prevalent.

After Rhonda left, I had lunch and the worked on preparing a transcription of Purcell movements from the Fairy Queen that my cellist and I will perform today at Church. This turned out to be more work than I anticipated. My music notation software (Finale) has a function that will collapse two music lines into one. In theory this is what I need to do with the second violin and viola part of these four part movements. That way I could play bass with the left hand and the other two parts with the right. However when I collapsed the lines via the software function the result was unusable. So I had to do the adaptation by hand. This took a couple hours.

After that I walked to my Mom’s nursing home to say hi. It was beautiful bright chilly winter day, a perfect day for a walk. On  the way back, I stopped off at church and prepared things for today’s service.

It ended up being another good day. My life is good.

I wonder if the headline is an allusion to Tim O’Brien’s excellent collection of short stories, The Things They  Carried.

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Banksy Puts Mark on Bethlehem Hotel With ‘Worst View in the World’ – The New York Times

The online article had more pictures than the one in my app. Weirdly there was a place to leave general feedback via a little survey which I filled out. I took the opportunity to express gratitude that there were no automatically moving images and sounds something that makes me crazy about web sites.

 I can’t quite figure this one out. I think reviving Sanskrit is a cool idea. It’s also impressive that these schools are already teaching multiple languages. But I wonder about the motive behind this.

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