Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Three Beautiful Things 01/01/18: Travels with Ed and Allan, Ralph Vaughn Williams, An Open Room

1. I hauled myself out of bed around 8:15 and an hour later blasted the Sube out to Kingston, picked up Ed and Allan, and glided on the clear and bare roads to the Coeur d'Alene Casino. More than anything, I enjoyed the ride down and back, talking with Ed and Allan about life in the Valley, getting caught up on how different people were doing and listening to some great stories about Ed and Allan's work and about people they know, people they worked with and some they did jobs for.  I used to know, or at least know of, quite a few of the people they told stories about and often it was depressing to learn what had happened to them, but some of those sad lives had some very funny chapters. The stories ate up the miles coming and going to Worley and made the trip a lot of fun.

2. Back home, things for me were very slow. The Deke went out to see Paige at Radio Brewing and I retreated into our bedroom to get caught up on some writing. Over the last few days, I've been listening to the music of British composer Ralph Vaughn Williams. His compositions move me, especially "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis", "Fantasia on Greensleeves", and the story of resurrection told in his "Five Variants of 'Dives and Lazarus'". I used to listen to this music on my MP3 player a lot on the bus riding from downtown Eugene out to work at LCC and back, and then, as today, the sounds of Vaughn Williams transported me into a private world of feeling related to his explorations of struggle and hope. It was also fun remembering the first time I heard "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis" back in January, 1996 at the University of Oregon's Beall Hall in a program given by the Oregon Mozart Players. The way the piece slowly built to its emotional climax nearly brought me out of my seat and from that point forward I began buying Vaughn Wiliams recordings, listening to more and more of his work.

3.  The Deke and I are about to make decisions on how to set up a home office in the front bedroom. Before we could get serious about this project, we needed the single twin bed in that room moved out. Carol and Paul decided they could make good use of it at their house. They came over this evening and picked it up and now a whole new space has opened up in our house and the Deke and I can let the imagining begin.

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