Noon hour. Church went really well. Nancy paid me a great compliment after seeing choir perform. She said I looked happy to be up there, and not just a stone face like the others. She singled me out as the best to look at, I guess. I did indeed feel pretty relaxed in front of the assembly. The song was easy enough that I had it memorized. This means that I could raise my eyes from the sheet music and look at the congregation. I was standing right next to Pastor Dan in the back row, with Sandi on my left. That was fun. Pastor Joe wasn’t in church today; apparently he’s been sick. In a few minutes I’m going to the market for a Dr Pepper and something to eat. The weather is cloudy and chilly with the wind. But no rain is forecast.
One twenty five. Often I catch myself trying to catastrophize events, and I will say there is no karma, no devil to play tricks on me and make mischief. Where does the superstition come from, anyway? Is it me or is it what I learned from church? In that regard, church hasn’t been very helpful. It’s a hindrance and a pain in the butt to have to deal with intrusive thoughts that are likely delusions. It’s good to be able to push them away, but I shouldn’t have them in the first place… My mind can hear a little of what practice sounded like yesterday. We’re pretty good! We need to go out on a limb more often and improvise, be spontaneous, for that is the living soul of music.
Quarter after two. Ron texted me that he’s really happy with the jam yesterday. He also said that I’m the man for the job. Said it was destiny that brought us together. I replied that that’s a cool idea… I feel a sound from Bartok again, a chord from the eighth scene of The Miraculous Mandarin. A similar chord appears in Three Pieces for Orchestra by Berg. Just exquisite: mysterious, dark and profound. If I had the endurance, I’d listen to the full opera of Lulu. I haven’t heard it in 22 years. It would bring back some memories. What would it sound like to me sober? Take it one disc at a time and audit all three hours of it. There’s nothing else like great classical music.
Five o’clock. I listened to the first act of the opera Lulu. It was interesting, but there are probably better operas to experience. Berg composed it using the 12 tone system, with the result that it sounds atonal and lacking a sense of key. It isn’t very pretty, except for occasional happy accidents in harmony. If it were done more deliberately to please the ear, I’d like it better. But his intention in writing Lulu was more to offend the sensibilities, and this to make a point. The truth Berg sought to depict was ugly rather than pretty. In my opinion, the opera is about the decay of our morals in modern life… I bought this CD set from Musique Gourmet around the time of my birthday in 1998. By then, I had quite exhausted the store of modern music. I began with Stravinsky in 1993 and ended with Penderecki in 98. Many years later, I picked up some British composers, namely Holst and Vaughan Williams, under the guidance of my Scottish friend.
Six o’clock. Really, the store I exhausted was only the knowledge of two acquaintances, two real people I knew. The first one was an employee at the shop on Fifth and Pearl. The second was the friend I met online. Everyone knows something, just as everyone has a story. It is by sharing with real people that we learn new things. The more personal the contact, the more we learn. We risk losing our identity, but it’s only temporary, and then we come out the wiser. I suppose Kate took everything she needed from me, and that was the end. Relationships are practical that way, though it may seem insensitive or even brutal. Fortunately there are always more people to learn from, and they come along when we need them most.