Thursday, May 28, 2015

Three Beautiful Things 05/27/15: Caring for the Deke, Julie Swoons;Enter the Oysterband, Vaughan Williams Concert

1.  We saw it coming on Memorial Day, but the Deke pushed through the school day on Tuesday, but, at the end of the day, her voice was shot and she was fatigued and so she reported herself as ill for Wednesday and stayed home.  I kicked into my shopping and cooking gear.  I went to the Co-op and picked up some tapioca pudding, orange juice, lemonade, a whole chicken, chocolate, shortbread cookies, and some other items and returned home and cooked down the chicken, pulled it out of the pot and let it cool, cooked some onion, tomato, red potato, garlic, carrots, and celery, threw some paprika, oregano, basil, thyme, and red pepper flackes into the pot, pulled the chicken off the bone and tore it into small pieces, threw the meat in the pot, let it stew for a couple of hours, and the Deke and I had ourselves a hearty chicken soup.  I'm hoping it was as medicinal as it was tasty.

2.  Julie enthusiastically posted on Facebook that her favorite (and the most handsome) polkameister, Alex Meixner, will be playing at the Johnstown Polkafest over the weekend and I suddenly flashed on my love for the Oysterband's version of the polka song, "New York Girls" and suddenly I was awash in nostalgia for the days nearly twenty-five years ago when I discovered the Oysterband and I gave myself a concert and relived the deep pleasure songs like "Gambler (We Don't Do That Anymore)", "Too Late Now", and "All that Way for This" give me.  "Too Late Now" has a few lines that I have always loved:

You bought up the props for a world that never was
Now there's holes in the scenery and less and less applause.
This sentiment is punctuated throughout the song by the repeated words, "Too late now".
I'll confess right now, that this has been my greatest fear in my life -- that at any time I am living a false life, propping up a false world, a false story about my life, and then, confronting the discovering of the holes in the scenery.  I don't want that.  The Oysterband helps me keep it real, as has my study of so much literature over the years, as has so many movies and plays that tell stories about characters living in an illusory world, not the one they are really in.  The illusory world is so tempting -- and when it all comes apart, it's so painful. And it's always too late now.

3.  Via highways and biways I can't briefly explain, The Oysterband led me to two gorgeous compositions created by Ralph Vaughan Williams:  Five Variants of "Dives and Lazarus" and Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis.  These two pieces bring back lovely memories of hearing Vaughan Williams live in concert as well as Vaughan Williams concerts I used to give myself via my mp3 player after school in Eugene while waiting for buses or while I rode those buses or as I walked home from the station or from the High Street pub after a couple or three Hammerheads.  Vaughan Williams transports me, takes me out of myself, stirs my deep feelings -- and it was a pleasure to have that experience again tonight.

Oh!  All this music was delivered to me by the miracle of YouTube.

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