Tag: arts and literature (Page 1 of 2)

Some things are brilliantly composed

DIARY

 

Let’s just start with this: last Friday I came home from work, ate a quick dinner, and mowed the yard. Saturday night it snowed.


That, in a nutshell, is so many things: March in North Carolina. Par for the course. Life right now. Friday I mowed the grass, taking care to bag the clippings and empty them into the heavy-duty trash can I keep for yard waste, taking time to stripe the grass diagonally on the opposite angle from when I did it the weekend before, and there was a chill in the air as the sun set, the kind that felt more like October, like football and bonfires and the awakening of some adolescent excitement than the warmer urges of spring.

Saturday it snowed, a bone-chilling, damp, cured-only-by-hearty-stew cold snow, one that fell remorselessly after a concert we’d put on at the college, one that celebrated the life of a man who directed the community music program until several years ago, one who seemed cut from the cloth of local legends, the kind of fellow who could tell a soprano what to sing and she decided he was right. Anyway we’d sat through two hours of tributary music, really good music at that, a fantastic showing for our post-industrial town of about 35,000, and then it was over, and we threw open the doors to the 110-year old hall, and discovered the mulch beds and tulips and daffodils were filling up with sleet.

The ladies groaned, and the men turned their collars up against the cold, and a lucky few reappeared with umbrellas plucked from some previously hidden place. I went back inside to hob-knob a while longer, thinking maybe what I’d just witnessed outside was a misconception, that if I chatted some more it would simply go away. 

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The Longest Journey

From the time she was tall enough to reach the keys, we’ve watched Julia (and, later, Thomas and now Annie) reach up to pluck out a few notes on our piano. We keep the lid up–and, to be honest, we keep a piano–for that very purpose.

So it wasn’t as surprising as it was gratifying when Julia asked to take piano lessons. We’re both wary parents when it comes to burdening our kids with our own ideas of hobbies or interests–we learned that lesson, to an extent, with t-ball, which Julia soldiered through in spite of her easy to spot boredom.

She’s a natural on the piano, though, and she sits down daily to practice without us even reminding her. She raced through her first and second and third piano books, and by the end of the summer was picking out the melody of “Ode to Joy.” When I saw the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra was presenting Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, I knew we had to go.

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Quick Takes, early February

A few notes, and things I wanted to mark down:

Went down to Davidson last night for the annual Conarroe lecture, whose guest speaker this year was the author Lorrie Moore. It was nice to see Joel again–looking well and dapper as always–and to hear his infamous introductions. Plus, got to see good Davidson friends. As is my custom, I picked up a couple of books for autographs–this time for Annie, whose entries on the celebrated autograph bookshelf are only getting started. Moore wrote a funny inscription to her, but Don DeLillo’s is still in the lead for funniest, I think.

Mary’s brother, Jerry, passed away following a brief illness. Losing her younger sibling has been difficult.

Dad has upgraded the exhaust system for his ‘Vette, and I was able to get behind the wheel for the first time last weekend. It certainly boogies.

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