Posted tagged ‘music’

Solitude

September 11, 2017

Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you – Kahlil Gibran On Marriage in The Prophet

Occasionally, when I mention how long my wife and I have been together (over fifty years), someone asks, What is your secret?  The answer of course, is that there is no secret, except perhaps that the best of relationships take commitment and work.  I suppose that doesn’t qualify as a secret either because it’s mentioned in virtually every self-help book ever written on the fine art of marriage.   There are, however, many factors that contributed to our long run together and one of those is that we both need time alone and, because we both need our Solitude, we are both willing to give it to each other.  Oh, it’s not perfect.   If one of us is feeling needy or just in need of company and the other there can be hurt feelings or reluctant compromises, but what marriage doesn’t have those?  In our Solitude, we pursue interests of our own, some which require uninterrupted contemplation, and we consider with the perspective that only solitude can bring the decisions to made in our life.   It probably sounds enigmatic, but I believe that in part the divisiveness and misunderstanding that plagues our society these days stems in part from too little time spent alone in quiet contemplation and the lack of self-knowledge that results from continual engagement with others. (more…)

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Can You Believe … 49?

August 11, 2017

marriedWe have a group of four couples that we go out for dinner with for Christmas.  They are all friends we made when we moved into our first house in 1972.  We see each other sporadically during the year but Christmas is the only time we go out as a group.   One of the remarkable things about this group is that we have almost 200 years of marriage between us.   My wife, Muri, and I are doing our part with our 49th anniversary today.  Given our fairly long courtship at the University of Connecticut, we have known each other for 53 years.  Looking back at the immature, arrogant young man I was at 21, I have to believe I had some guidance in choosing her to be my wife.  Perhaps there’s some truth to the Jewish notion of a Basheert,  the name of the woman a man will marry announced by a voice from heaven 40 days he is born – literally a match made in heaven. (more…)

Enclave

March 30, 2017

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I am most often a grateful person who can look to the good things that life has given me instead of focusing on the difficulties.  That is not an ability I was born with, in spite of the fact that I am the son of a woman who could do exactly that, even in her later years when the effects of diabetes were making her life harder and harder.   Fortunately, pragmatic optimism and an attitude of gratitude can be learned … my particular education came in the rooms of a 12-Step program but I am sure there are other places it can be found.  However, for the last few months … and in particular, the last few weeks … issues with my adult son have dragged me downward.   A clash of lifestyles made it necessary for us to (finally) push him out the door and this week, after several false starts, he moved out … not, of course, without some nasty arguments with us on the way.  To say life at home has been stressful is an understatement and it certainly doesn’t end with his moving.  He is still our son and still on our minds. (more…)

For Singing Out Loud

January 13, 2017

savy-singerMy granddaughter Savannah’s favorite gift this Christmas was a karaoke machine.  Once all the presents were opened and we each went to our corners to play with our favorite gifts, she switched on the machine, turned it up to full blast and began to sing … over and over … Call Me Maybe by Carly Ray Jepson (yes, I had to look that up).  To these old ears, Call Me Maybe sounds like a corny pop tune aimed at pre-adolescents in the midst of their first crush.  It’s harmless enough, easier to listen to than what Kohl’s plays over their sound system in the stores on a regular basis but … played more than five times in a row … it could be used in place of waterboarding.   I would conservatively guess Savannah sang it thirty times Christmas morning.

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Throwback Thursday – Driving Music

December 9, 2016

In an attempt to get back to blogging on a regular basis, I am designating Thursdays as Throwback Thursdays. That will assure I post once a week by posting old favorites from the almost 2000 posts that have appeared here. This one is from November of 2009 and, appropriately, its about music. Yes, it’s a dated playlist. But, hey, I’m 72 … I’m dated, too.

alfa1Speeding along a winding Connecticut back road in a 1965 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce with the top down in the autumn, red and gold leaves dancing in the draft. Cruising along Ocean Drive in Newport, RI in a bright red Fiat Spyder convertible as the surf crashes against the seawall, filling the air with salty mist. Driving across the great plains in a gray Volvo 144 toward a new home in California. Racing the eighteen wheelers across the desert in a green Toyota Camry on the way to visit our grandchildren. The vehicle may not be as exciting as we get older but one thing remains constant … I can’ t do the long drive without Driving Music. No, I’m not talking about the old guy poking along in the fast lane with Henry Mancini playing softly in the background. (more…)

Motown Memories

September 2, 2016

yearsI am an introspective sort of old guy.  Being old … seventy-two, to be specific … is an advantage for an introspective man, providing lots of life to introspect (no, it’s not a word … consider it senior literary license).   I am also a lucky man.   As I move inexorably into my seventies, I am, as they say, comfortable in my own skin.   No, I am not quite perfect … defects of character and irrational prejudices still haunt me … but for the most part, I manage not to act on them.   Mistakes?  Yes, Frank Sinatra, I’ve made a few but I’ve tried to learn from each of them and I think I am a better person for the effort.  Pardon me if I pat my own back and say I have an examined life, which, according to Socrates, makes life worth living.   These days, I find myself looking back over the years not in judgement but in curiosity, trying to understand what made me turn out as I am.  So let me ask you this.  Have you ever asked yourself, What was was the most significant year in determining who you are? (more…)

Oh, Susannah

August 4, 2016

susannahSaturday morning, I went for my usual walk in the park and, as I often do, I put on my earbuds and set my smartphone mp3 player to shuffle all.   There are nearly 4,000 songs on my SD card, so it is certain that at sometime during my walk, I’ll get to reconnect with a long lost friend … an old favorite that I haven’t listened to in a long time.  The song that caught my ear Saturday was The Computer Age written and performed by Susannah McCorkle.   Odds are good you’ve never heard of her and I wouldn’t have either if it weren’t for the good old days of CD listening stations at Borders.   The CD I listened to way back then when was Hearts and Minds.   The intimacy of Susannah’s simple, jazzy style appealed to me instantly, so I bought the CD. (more…)