trying for sane


This morning my reading brings me solace. The words of Dylan Thomas as I lay in the dark on my bed. Later after dishes and Greek, the words of Amiri Baraka, Tyhimba Jess, and Derek Walcott comfort and disturb me.

Progress is history’s dirty joke.

Derek Walcott, “The Schooner Flight, 9. Maria Concepcion & The Book of Dreams

Ursula K. LeGuin has wisdom and challenge that I need.

The danger in trying to do good is that the mind comes to confuse the intent of goodness with the act of doing things well. LeGuin, Tales from Earthsee

I finished Tehanu recently. It is the fourth book of LeGuin’s Earthsea series. I’m now reading Tales from Earthsea by her. 

I realize that the voices in my life come to me from the poetry, the prose, and the  music. Many voices in my past are distant and dim. My voice sounds here and in my music. But I do not hear you, dear reader. You only hear me.

It’s an interesting conceit, the concept of conversation through art. I find it balances the mundanity of living in Holland Michigan and indeed of living in Trump’s America.

I continue to work at preparing music to perform. In addition to Hampton’s “The Primitives” and my own unfinished “Mental Floss,” I have added Mendelssohn’s Prelude and Fugue in G major, Op. 37 to be the prelude and postlude respectively for a week from Sunday. I had scheduled my piano trio to play, but my violinist has decided to go out of town for a while, so I had to regroup.

I’m also playing two pieces by Thomas Morley from the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book this Sunday. I love the music in the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book and return to it over and over on my damn synth harpsichord. I will play one of these on a four foot flute (up an octave) and the other possibly on the wonderful Dulzian stop or some other buy diazepam in brazil gentle combination. We are scheduled to sing an anthem by Morley this Sunday. Several people have decided to skip this evening’s rehearsal. I will see how it goes. It’s possible I will cancel this anthem and put something much easier in its place.

When October comes I will contact Chris Brodersen a harpsichord builder I have been talking to about making my old clunker playable. I fantasize about abandoning my church music career (retiring) and spending more time with the music I love the most, the harpsichord music and my own compositions.

I am trying to maintain my sanity and health as much as possible.  This morning I weighed around 219. Getting below 220 was my first goal since I was up to 230. I have resumed skipping drinks in the evening and am continuing to visit the treadmill at Evergreen when I can.

So between the poetry, the prose, and the music I try to stay as sane as possible.

The Dying Art of Disagreement – The New York Times

Bret Stephens joined the NYT columnists recently. He was an attempt to add a conservative voice and I found his first columns inane. But this is a good one.

Trapped by Their Own Lies – The New York Times

The Republicans.

Alan Moore’s Time-Traveling Tribute to His Gritty Hometown – The New York Times

I am enjoying Moore’s Jerusalem  immensely. The current chapter I am reading is called “Rough Sleepers” and is about wandering dead people in London. This review helped me understand that.

A Rebel, a Warrior and a Race Fiend – The New York Times

Charles Blow is a voice of sanity in my world.

Call a Lynching By Its Name – The New York Times

I’m not sure about the stats in this article. They are probably low.

Tyranny of the Minority – The New York Times

Debut article by Michelle Goldberg, the newest addition to the Op Ed page. Solid stuff.

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