You called me this evening. I’m putting you on hold.
Thursday July 30, 2009
as an apple falls from a branch,
moving slowly, imperceptibly, as if
into a new political epoch,
or excitedly like a dog towards a bone.
he is holding in both hands
everything he knows he has-
a bowl of warm air.
He has sighted you from afar
as if you were a dramatic crooked tree
on the horizon and he has seen you close up
like the underside of a mushroom.
but he cannot open you like a newspaper
or put you down like a newspaper.
And you are satisfied that he is veering towards you
and that he is adjusting his speed
and that the sun and the wind and rain are in front of him
and the sun and the wind and rain are behind him.
Wednesday July 29, 2009
Hi. This is transparent pre-translation procrastination. In the holidays I don’t tend to sleep until around 3, which is good for adding productive hours to my day; I Do Not Do mornings. On the other hand, when it gets to midnight and I haven’t yet started my 200 lines, going to bed ‘early’ seems like a tempting idea…
Lots of nice, nondescript things have been happening recently. I’ve been hanging out with Sam a lot, catching up on the shows he recorded for me while I was away (House is so good this season, Dollhouse looks great from the pilot and CSI has… excellent visual effects?). He’s also started branching out into anime, which is awesome as it means I have company to rewatch Evangelion with. For his birthday he is getting Death Note anime. I heart my brother’s taste a lot.
I’m contemplating a big change in my life. I’m frustrated, because I yet don’t know what I want, and even if I do make the decision I won’t be able to carry it out until October. I don’t like not having the answer. I don’t like being so unsure about something so important. I’m avoiding all the pensive music I own. Anyway, it makes me glad for the distractions of home, for spending time with Sam, baking, seeing friends. Surrounding myself with solid, sure things makes me okay again.
Today I saw Harry Potter 6 and really enjoyed it. I don’t have much imagination, so seeing that universe (finally) realised in such an imaginative and convincing way was wonderful. Biased, because I’m slightly overinvested in that particular universe. Slightly. \o/ HP fandom, I just cairn’t quit yoou.
Oh, and finally: the Young Veins might actually have something there.
Saturday July 25, 2009
This morning in my inbox: ‘Get “The Cambridge Companion to Epicureanism (Cambridge Companions to Philosophy)” by James Warren for £18.99’. Oh Amazon, you flatter me with your estimation of my interests.
On a roughly related topic, Mum and I went to the Cambridge 800th Anniversary Prom on Wednesday. She’d originally booked tickets because I might have been singing in it, but it was equally nice to go as audience, and the music was a really high quality despite (I imagine) difficult acoustics for the massed choir. And we had a little time free in London the morning after, so we went to the NPG to see the BP Portrait entries and to see who was standing on the Fourth Plinth. We were met with the sight of somebody dressed in a toga, declaiming Latin. He was a lot of fun. Amusingly, Mum and I have been caught on camera around the 38 minute mark trying to sing his version of the Hippopotamus Song (lutum, lutum, pulcherrimum lutum).
Anyway. I had a lovely night last night. Nothing special, but it’s so nice just passing time with old friends. Today I have nothing on, which means if I am a good person I shall do something about the 600 lines of the Aeneid I need to translate this week.
Tuesday July 21, 2009
Oh man, four days back in the UK and now choir’s tracking down the e-trail we left over East Coast. We found that review from Philadelphia, then one from Morristown, which is a little inane but includes recordings – A++. And now the podcast has emerged from WNYC, a radio station with we recorded a live segment on our first afternoon in New York. Live makes singing doubly nerve-wracking, and the acoustics are brutal in that studio too; Julian was so nervous his voice seems to have risen about an octave. Towards the end he also descends into some fantastic verbal diarrhoea about how substandard and ‘mid-level committment’ our choir is. but ahahah, it’s a nice souvenir to have. It’s definitely surreal to be hearing it from the other side, and fascinating to hear Eurydice’s Letter in full; when you’re involved in a piece like that you can’t hear the big picture. All I know are my own C# letternames.
Still wandering around in a jetlagged sort of daze, and I invited Petheram round this evening to bake a cake and watch Snakes on a (motherfucking) Plane, but received a text in response that said only “I am at the foot of Ben Nevis”. I had forgotten this. Baked cake by myself; it is delicious. Tomorrow I might start some actualfax work, but at this point I couldn’t possibly say for definite.
Saturday July 18, 2009
I just got back from three weeks in East-coast America. England is five hours ahead, and we had an uncomfortable and rather turbulent night flight home, so my body’s got no idea what’s going on right now. But it feels so good to be home.
I’ve not yet managed to shake off a cough that I picked up a week into the trip. It was irritating back when it also included a sore throat, as the last thing you want to lose on a choir tour is your ability to sing, but it gained a silver lining when it meant I could sit a few concerts out and be my choir’s audience for a change. I’d never done it before, but if I do say so myself it’s a rather lovely experience. The one review we’re found so far is this, from the concert we did last Sunday evening in Philadelphia. It’s nice to have a comment on that one in particular, because it was the start of the best week, that time when we were all exhausted but more ‘tuned in’ than we’d ever managed before. The night after, we sang the best concert a lot of us felt we’d ever done.
I have far too many stories to tell to actually do anything with, because holiday stories are the most boring thing ever. But in summary, we sang 16 different ‘events’ (mainly concerts, but some church services and two radio broadcasts) over 19 days. We visited a lot of awesome places (New York! Washington!), I met for the first time/reunited with a dearly beloved nanny I hadn’t seen for 10 years, stayed with 11 different and extremely kind American families, saw a whole lot of amazing things I’d always wanted to, and got to know myself and a few other people a bit better.
Best of all, we got to share our singing with a lot of people. There’s no greater pleasure than making other people happy. We sang one incredibly difficult piece, Rejoice in the Lamb by Britten, set to a text of the asylum-bound genius Christopher Smart, celebrating the wonders of normal life. For I am possessed of a cat surpassing in beauty, from which I take occasion to bless Almighty God. I’d never felt such wonder and godliness anywhere before and, for once, I think choir and audience felt the same way. There were a lot of beautiful little moments.
And now I am home. I am blessed in a lot of ways.