Posted tagged ‘music’

Mom and the King

March 10, 2018

muscialsI grew up to the sound of music (and, yes, The Sound of Music) on the TV/Stereo Console in the living room, right under the picture window that looked out on Bradley Street. That is, I grew up to music when Dad wasn’t home.  Dad liked it quiet and I can remember Mom lovingly lifting the needle for one of her favorite LPs at the sound of Dad pulling into the driveway.   I get it.   I would have music playing all the time (it actually is, in my head) … my wife Muri sees it as background at best, off even better.  Like so many things that define me, I got my love of music from Mom.   What did she listen to?  Yes, there was some obligatory Montovani, 101 Strings and yulFerrante and Teicher but mostly she played big bands (especially Glenn Miller), classical music (she favored symphonies) and Broadway musicals.   I still remember the lyrics from South Pacific (Some enchanted evening …), Oklahoma (where the wind comes sweeping down the plains ...) and My Fair Lady (I’ve grown accustomed to her face …).   Then there’s The King and I.  My Mom’s favorite.   She saw it in New York and immediately had a crush on Yul Brynner.   It was the only time I remember my Mom owning up to a crush.   I think my Dad was OK with it because he had more than a little bit of the King in him.  Then I went away to college and became educated (technically) and sophisticated (supposedly), too cool to listen to Broadway musicals.  Once I was married, my wife and I became fans of live theater, but I resisted seeing those uncool musicals.   It would be years before I admitted my love of musicals and began to add them to our theater repertoire.   Sophistication be damned, right?   At 73, I’m nostalgic. (more…)

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Old Music

November 16, 2017

art journalThis fine Southern California morning I am in my office.   I have just finished the wash for a watercolor painting.  OK, it’s not so much a painting as a visual journal entry, paint going where it will until something hopefully emerges.  So far it hasn’t.   That is one of the points of art journaling, to teach creative patience.  I have been listening to music and came across an old favorite I haven’t heard in a long time, Desafinado by Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd.   I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how much music slips into obscurity over time, sometimes because tastes change (I don’t listen to much Neil Young any more) but just as often because there is so much music in our personal soundtracks (you do have one of those, don’t you?) that we can’t possibly listen to them all.   That seems a shame. (more…)

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…)

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…)