25 August 2006

A Garden Farewell

My tongue is smiling.
~ Abigail Trillin

And it has good reason to. I picked the last cucumbers and tomatoes from our garden yesterday and they were worth the wait. The cucumber was crisp and fresh and tasted like a breezy summer day. The tomato was amazing. None of the other tomatoes from this year tasted as incredible fresh, sweet and pungent as this one.

Nothing says summer like a tomato and cheese sandwich and it will be sad for my taste buds to say goodbye to that summer treat as the tomato season winds down. I am not even going to suggest going to the produce section for those horrid hydroponic, genetically altered monsters that pass as tomatoes during the winter. Back away slowly.
They are an insult to summer’s memory.

Oremus pro invicem,

24 August 2006

Building Wings on the Way Down

If we listened to our intellect, we'd never have a love affair. We'd never have a friendship. We'd never go into business, because we'd be too cynical. Well, that's nonsense. You've got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.
~ Annie Dillard
Today I wrote the lyrics for a song ~ I cannot wait to get my hands on the keyboard and compose the music ~ I can hear it in my head already. No title yet, but it deals with risk and vulnerability and how when one does not have all the answers and cannot see what lies ahead, it is frightening….but also freeing. Because if you believe that everything happens for a reason and that everything you experience is just another chance to grow, then you have nothing to lose.

Brave words indeed. I am a great talker of ideals and theories. But once reality is looking into my eyes, all words fail and I find I cannot hold its gaze. Whatever the reason (personality, temperament, environment, family of origin), matters of the heart are especially difficult to express. Even my poetry does not always speak the whole truth.

But not because I am afraid of the truth or believe in half-truths. Truth is messy. It is passionate, intense, earthy. It is personal, vulnerable, fragile. Soft and strong. It will walk through fire and rock your world. It is also, in the words of a friend, extremely enticing, enchanting, irresistible, and undeniable! Yet the merest breath of rejection at best and apathy at worst will crush its heart and bolt the door against you.

This song speaks to that fear ~ the fear of being swept away, of being frightened at losing control, of not knowing what lies down the road. And what is worse, not knowing what you want.

But after all is said and done ~ that is okay.
There’s an old cliché that says that if you name your fear, you will then have power over it. This song asks that even if the path before you ends up being not the one you want or need, what is there to lose in taking it? You will never know until you go down it.

Indeed. The question now is….will the gate at the beginning of that path swing open? Or remain closed.

Oremus pro invicem,

08 August 2006

The Tempest: Calm After the Storm

Why not say it? I'm bursting out of my cocoon. It was all too nice in the past - it never knocked anyone out. But last year... my first opening night at the Met - I looked out and heard all that cheering... for me... And I loved it.
~ Benita Valente

It was not quite my opening night, but it was definitely an experience to remember! As you can see, I had become so enmeshed in my own cocoon of creativity, that I did not have time to post anything of interest or substance. Now that The Tempest has passed – quite literally – hopefully life will get back to normal – whatever that means.

The girls of PALS did a fantastic job of interpreting Dorothy’s vision of Shakespeare. Especially the young girl who played Prospero. She delivered every line with passion and precision and she stayed in character throughout the play. Unfortunately, her name escapes me at the moment.

As for the chorus – they did superb job with the score. They ended up only using four songs: Storm Music, Full Fathom Five, Caliban’s Song and Ariel’s Song (Where the Bee Buzzes)*. The choral director, Anne Marie, decided at the last minute to not have me play the piano with the girls, since I had not been practicing with them the last five weeks – something I had suggested a few weeks ago and which I wholeheartedly endorsed. This was a good idea since they had not thought to make sure a piano - the main instrument - was available for the musical. Ahhh - the joys of working with a non-profit!
Not having to perform myself also freed me to play the snide and snippy composer who listens for mistakes and embellishments of their music during a performance. However, this being my first time composing an entire score and they being junior and senior high school students, I was inclined to be lenient. ;-)

Persephone played the guitar for Caliban’s Song and Ariel’s Song; Storm Music was played on CD (to my utter horror – it was only a rough demo) and Full Fathom Five* was done a capella.
Sullivan attended the performance, as well as a few friends and all declared it a hit. Most gratifying. However, I do not think I will be attempting another such undertaking anytime soon.
Unless it is another Gothic operetta.

Oremus pro invicem,

*All music (c) 2006 Silver Scroll Productions