Friday, October 15, 2010

Recent discoveries

I've been shamefully lazy lately about my blog. That's not so much in the *recent discoveries* category, but then maybe again it is. I think a lot about writing, and posting, but then end up noodling away the time I have and not doing it.

So instead I'm trying to just actually post.

Here goes.

In the actual recent discoveries category:

As Dean progresses in his piano playing and works on pieces by your basic hall-of-fame composers, it finally occurred to me to seek out recordings -- piano only -- of those pieces so he can hear the timing, and can hear how professionals play a piece (and reflect on the kinds of emotions that are evoked when a piece is played with feeling). I've made a CD of the stuff he's currently working on and we're listening to it in the car. Why did I not do this sooner?

Also in the music department: when I was growing up, we always had a radio/tape player in the kitchen, and we had music on in the kitchen basically all the time. My mom enjoyed a very wide range of music, so I was exposed to all kinds of stuff and really enjoyed that soundtrack to our lives. As an adult, through nothing other than neglect, I've never had music in the kitchen. At our house now it is possible to put music on in the family room and hear it in the kitchen (although we really don't get much radio reception at all), but it's hard to manage and so I rarely do it. I've told Ken that what I'd truly like for Christmas is an inexpensive unit on which I could dock my iPod and hear music in the kitchen. Wish I'd done this waaaaay sooner.

I seem to have developed a touch of SAD as I've aged. I've always been sensitive to the light change with the seasons, and have railed against the whole daylight savings/time change scheme in the past here (ad nauseam?). But last night as I looked out of the dining room windows during dinner and saw deep darkness, I realized how utterly depressed it made me feel. I have never been a night person, and I'm not looking forward to winter's darkness.

Taking the time to take photographs makes me very happy. As long as I have a camera on me, there are pictures to take. I need to devote more time to this.

The cumulative dark events of this year in my life have worn me down. It has been a year of tragic losses, of set backs, of injuries and ill-health. I'm not sure if it's because winter is coming, or because I'm concerned that the new year won't be better, or because I'm tired, or because I'm having new realizations about what it is to live without my parents, but I'm finding myself more worn down by it all than I usually am. I know I'll shake this, but it's a heavy load just now.

Morning glories continue to thrive, even once the nights get cold and the days get short.


Lesley said...

It's so lovely to see you post - I have missed you, though we do keep up on facebook.
I know you've had a really tough year, but time really will get you through, though it's often hard to tell yourself that and believe it will happen.
Do you have one of those special lightbulbs for SAD? Lily reckoned they helped her in Olympia - but nowhere near asuch as a long weekend in San Diego!

merisi said...

I nodded along while reading your post.
I recognize the feelings you express.
All too well.

I was invited to a concert last night and decided to leave an hour early to have time to get off the metro a station before my destination and walk instead. It was only 6 pm, yet pitch dark! Thank heaven I was walking among the market stalls which were still busy, even though the shopkeepers were getting ready for closing. There are also dozens of small restaurants with outdoor seating (Viennese are impervious to cold, the eat and drink outside even in the snow). After the concert I walked the same route back and realized that all that artificial light and the bustling scenes made me feel really good, an anti-SAD vade mecum to remember by.

Do you know Billy Collins' poetry?
I highly recommend him. His poems always put me in a good mood. My favorite collection is "Sailing Alone Around The Room" - get it in hardcover, you will not regret it. Some lines will even please your son's love for language.

In the meantime, I leave you this poem by Emily Dickinson:


Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.


Garnered Stitches said...

The wonders of the internet give you friends beyond the garden gate, so continue leaving your blogs, keep "talking" and you know there is always someone a keyboard away to "hear" you.
I don't particularly enjoy the dark nights and prefer to nest at home, busying myself with creative tasks or a good book which takes me somewhere else. But remember as the dark nights draw in it means we are getting closer to them becoming longer and Spring is just around the corner! Keep the glass half full!
best wishes

Julie said...

Thinking of you after reading this post, Jennifer, and wishing I knew something wonderfully comforting to say just now....Please know, I continue to pray for you and your family as you process the losses and difficulities of this past year.
xx Julie