The title term is from an entirely different perspective now as compared to, say, thirty years ago, and an even greater difference forty-plus years ago.
i am not likely to finish this tonight. After all, i’m slowing down a bit, and today began with leaving the house around 5:30, or actually 6:30, plus seven from Greenwich, not some political maneuvering in an attempt to fool us as to what time it really is.
Suffice it to say i rose early, even for me. The curmudgeons played our usual Friday Morning Golf and had our usual tradition of beer afterwards. Then i took my daily tradition of a nap, lasting a bit longer, and then Maureen and i went to see Lang Lang. No, that’s is not a panda at the zoo. That is one incredible classical pianist who played Schumann and Bach. i was captivated but i was also tired and declared to Maureen he was named Lang Lang because his performance needed to be about half in length, like his name.
We got home after eleven, a record for staying up of sorts for the past decade or so, and i, having to communicate with several friends and family, made it to bed after midnight.
It is now Saturday morning. i continue to ramble.
As i mentioned last night, Lang Lang was an incredible virtuoso. And i was tired, which increased my fidgeting. The concert was in the incredible Spanish style Balboa Theater built in 1924 with renovations that did not destroy its charm.
An aside: when Maureen was a teenager, a date took her to the theater in downtown San Diego, not for a concert of classical music but to the movie “Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Glad i was more sophisticated in taste, but not really since she was the engineer for acquiring the tickets for this excursion.
While Lang Lang played, i thought of artists like Hoagy Carmichael, Bill Evans, Ray Bryant, and Keith Jarrett. Different ways of beating on the ivories. All amazing.
i envied Lang Lang’s hands: long, gracious, elegant. If my stubby fingers had the length of his, i might have played more and better, even now in my bumbling practice. However, i knew that is my special illusion. Those digits are not going to grow, and i will always have trouble reaching much farther than an octave.
i thought of my grandmother, Katherine “Granny” Prichard, who could play gospels that would make you dance and sing at the top of your lungs.
i thought of my sister, who taught the piano for years and wondered why i didn’t learn more.
And i thought of my mother, not because of the wonderful music.
Almost every Sunday at the 11:00 service, Estelle and Jimmy Jewell sat in the first few rows with their children (but not the first two) in the right hand section of the sanctuary in the old United Methodist Church in Lebanon.
Their eldest child was a bit capricious. Fidgety, not because he was tired as i was last night. i have long maintained one trait i got from my father was the one my mother described as “He’s like a worm in hot ashes.” The worm was in the full running mode in those church services, especially during long prayers and the sermon.
Telling me to stop or even whispering her demands for decorum was viewed as impolite to the rest of the congregation or the pastor, i guess. But she had another method of halting my fidgeting: she would pinch my thigh or my bottom. This was painful, especially in the summer when my attire was usually a dressy outfit of white shirt, coat, and shorts. Then, the pinch, or plural, was applied to my bare legs.
Perhaps that is why, last night, in the middle of Bach’s “Goldberg Variations, BMW 988,” i flinched when Maureen shifted and moved her hands.