Thursday, February 28, 2013

February 28, 2013

Preview of The Mikado went well last night. Karen said it sounded better than ever; Rob thought it had lost some of the sparkle of the night before. Who knows? I did better than I had. Everything DF does as Coco is cute and right; Simone has a hugely expressive voice. I close my eyes and listen. The audience was small, young, responsive. Vast moon was rising over Christ School when we went back out into the night. I’d been sick through the day, and was getting sicker, and finally read the symptoms of oncoming phlebitis. The degree to which I feel better today than I have in a while may indicate that something bacterial had been infesting my system for a while.

The thought that we have tonight off is more blessed than I can put into words.

Facebook discussion with some Ellet friends, who post those cheery little notices about how your life is nothing but the choices you make, and if you have made the right choices, you are now having the life you want. Or, to put it another way, you choose your life, and if it doesn’t suit you, or is tragic, it is your fault. I tried to argue another side, that life is a mixture of fate, circumstance, and decision, but was buried under an avalanche of puppies and pink stars. One of my friends held up the example of her father, an amputee who was nevertheless cheerful and productive through his life. I certainly agree that one can– certainly he did– find a way to be the sun of one’s own life. I think I have done that. Almost everyone I know thinks I am cheerful and enthusiastic, and I am in public, and often enough in my own secret councils. But I also maintain, affirm, avow, and know past all certainty than in no way do I have the life I chose. Years of will, imagination, faithful application, diligence, watchfulness, openness to suggestion, intrepidness, and downright stubbornness did not yield the determined result. I did not choose this life. I did not choose anything that– to me– vaguely resembles this life. When I made the wrong decisions, there would have been no way of knowing the consequences– or, to put it another way, the consequences were often perverse and objectively unforeseeable. I do not have the life I–repeatedly and energetically–chose. Yes, I have made do (except in my private thoughts) and if that’s what they mean by choosing one’s own life, then all right. But they should say that. They should say that one might choose to make the best of things. You can grow a garden in the ruins of the sacred places, but it is a little weird to maintain you intended that all along.

Eric from Humanities comes to my office for a conference which turns out to be sweet and gratifying, as I did not expect when I saw his shape in my door. That I keep with me for comfort for a little while.

Circe sleeps with her nose against the mouse, and every time I use it she rouses, but she does not move.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

February 26, 2013

Terrible storm of wind and rain. I was standing in the alley last night receiving a call that would make me late for rehearsal. The call was an estimate for fixing DJ’s roof. I said to myself “the blows have got to stop,” but myself knew that wasn’t true. There is no reason at all why the blows have to stop. You say they must because you need them to, but what you need is never part of the process. It is a truly terrible wind.

Rehearsal productive last night, and whole swaths of the play are ready for an audience. Whole swaths are not. Have no idea what the male chorus looks and sounds like, because I’m in it, and we receive no notes. One of the chorines said we can’t be heard, but I’m bellowing so that I’m hoarse at the end of it. Karen asked me to direct Trial by Jury next year. I looked at scenes on You Tube, indicating that I was, at least, taking it under consideration.

Expecting the sequestration to end my Istanbul adventure. No air traffic control. No TSA (the latter is a good thing, but the airlines won’t think so).

The Owen Hall parking lot becomes a theater of discussion for faculty, having parked and moving toward their offices. It is always well to know that one’s dissatisfactions are general and objective rather than morbid. The other day I met a colleague from another department, and we talked, as is invariable there in the rain at the edge of the pavement, about our sadness over things as they are. He remarked, “Wouldn’t it be nice if the administration was sometimes on our side, rather than trying to check and control us?” I responded, “Wouldn’t it be nice if the administration stopped interfering with the educational process?”  We wondered who, if not they, would mediate for us between the Truth and the GA. I said that I should apply to be a dean, and wouldn’t that be hell on wheels? We both had a good laugh and moved on.

My drama class is more eager than I expect them to be. It throws me back on my heels. I right myself and try to catch up.

Dear God, I’m weary when I get home at night.

Dear God, the wind--

Monday, February 25, 2013

February 25, 2013

My high school buddy R uses as his Facebook photo one of him in our high school days, when for several years I had an unspeakable and unspoken crush on him. He was manly and tall and graceful and beautiful, and he ruled my fantasies. I have, of course, seen him since, and I would not have known him without the name tag. Still, those photos—

Went with Vance with my truck to the erstwhile Candle Station to pick up a bicycle rickshaw for Mikado. It lives at the end of a long incline, twenty feet off the floor, no supports on either side, which is exactly the situation which panics me most. I dd, however, climb up, and backed down before the descending rickshaw in the most physical anxiety I’ve felt since my last roller coaster ride. Peer pressure is miraculous.  Our stage is crowded already, and how the rickshaw gets on and off and we singing and dancing around remains to be seen. Calamitous rehearsal last night. Barely finished (in four hours) the first act in what was supposed to have been a run-through of the whole show. The Mikado, who had been waiting all that time, was furious. I left while blame was still being shared.

Saw the last hour of the Oscars. Day-Lewis was funny, gracious, a little other-worldly. Mrs Obama looked like a movie star herself.  The host kept making this-is-going-on-forever jokes, which, because I had come in so late, seemed stupid to me.

Tumultuous morning dreams. Though I have forgotten the details, I know they had to do with trying to get something important done and being thwarted (comically) at every turn. Mickey was in them.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

February 24, 2013

Beethoven’s violin concerto in the dark of the morning, played by one of the apparatuses connected to my computer.

Dreamed I was in a hotel in Berlin, trying to submit poems to a magazine run by Jn Bon Jovi’s mother.

The water was off when I first rose. It was on again when I rose the second time, resolved to go down to the street and find the leak which must, of necessity, be coming from my pipes.  Strange things move in the night, unbeknown by us.

Rehearsals coming together. I receive no notes, so either I’m doing well enough or they figure I’m past help.

No writing. No painting. I cannot “fit those things in.” I must have a very broad moment, and that has been scarce since the New Year.

A car is stopped in the street, headlights on.  The only thing he can be watching from there is me. He moved when I moved. I saw it passing; it was a large pick-up.

Beethoven is wrong for this morning, being lush and sensual while the first of this day is spare and barren.

I don’t really expect to see Lincoln on stage. The process has been too protracted and grueling for it to come to anything whole.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

February 23, 2013

Kadisha struck a table with a tankard last night, and the sudden, hard sound went into my right ear like a bullet. Surprising discomfort through the night.

Call from SJB, asking for more cuts while asserting that the script is perfect as it is. Don’t know what to do with that. He blames the producers, but producers will say “it’s too long” with the airy insouciance of those who have no responsibility either for the task or the outcome. The script, like a piece of silk, as it is will be irreparably damaged by the cutting, though I suppose a different kind of script might emerge. Forty minutes can be taken out of the script by fiddling with the music, but SJB is musical himself and loves the music. Stomach and ear are bad this morning, or I might consider this in better grace.

Nathan thanked me for joining the cast, and said it made it all more fun. I was grateful he thought so. I said that I was 49% glad that I signed on, and 51% regretful. That’s about right.

Friday, February 22, 2013

February 22, 2013

Rehearsal was fun last night, maybe because I am migrating toward competence. Dancing: standards are low when one is gratified not to be the worst. My partner is a high school girl. She is very timid, and her voice is beautiful.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I Have Sought You

I have sought you for fifty years. I have sought you in every room, in every meeting of new people, on every street corner, in every church and museum and classroom, in every bar and sauna and resort. I crossed the seas to find you. I tried to find you in Ireland, again and again, reading in each futile journey not a warning but a goad to greater effort. Next time. . . next time. . . what is important is to keep faithful. I don’t know what I could have left undone, what door I might have left unopened, what name I left uncalled. I don’t know how anyone could have been more faithful in the journey, more open to unexpected possibilities of fulfillment. I said yes those ten thousand times. And it has come to nothing. I ask “why?” but there is no more answer than when I was crying “where?” and “who?” It is utter bewilderment, utter bafflement.

February 21, 2013

Woke with raking scratches on my right arm, as though I had been attacked by a wild animal. They’re much too large to have been a cat, and they’re certainly mine, and I do have a vague and distant memory of trying to pull something awful from my arm in dreams.

Mikado falling into place. Karen took the directing helm, and though imperfect, that is very much better. I have a hard time getting the words out singing and dancing at once, no matter how well I knew them in the car. It’s well I didn’t have to make my living as a chorus boy. There are only five men in the chorus. That will look and, probably, sound queer. Who will be coming to this? The tolerant, I hope, though the leads are excellent. Not enjoying the nightly roundtrip to dark and distant Arden, coming home so late Sweeten Creek is empty as the aftermath of some disaster.

Steve the Plumber flatly and finally does not return to finish the work, as he made a special effort to promise to do. Let that be a lesson to me about paying before the job is done. “Oh, could you maybe write a check? . . . the guys haven’t been paid in days and boo hoo hoo. . .” So, I do, and am left with a broken wall, a ditch, a wilderness of stones. As well as a conviction of personal folly.

Finished grading the department comprehensives. Great effort was made to get everything online and accessible on Google docs and to develop a grading rubric, etc, which make everything about three times more laborious and time consuming than it was before, without changing outcomes at all. Thus the paradox of the modern age. When I was an undergraduate at Hiram, Lawrence Underwood was the registrar, and no mistakes were ever made. When I was a professor there, there were four women and a computer, and it was all a running disaster.

Hinduism in Humanities today. They always have the most questions about that, challenging its quietism in the face of injustice, jesuitically attacking what could possibly be meant by dharma (How do you know that your dharma is not to be a murderer or a rapist?), frantic to understand without experiencing, which, I keep saying, is going at it the wrong way. It’s good to see them engaged. It’s astonishing to see how hard it is to wander from established notions. Avowed Christians have an easier time understanding than our dedicated secularists. One of the front row boys kept using the term “metaphysical” as if it meant “ignorant.” I have an impulse to brush his long bangs out of his face, as if they were preventing enlightenment.

I’m less exhausted than I am afraid of being exhausted. I hoard and protect my time, shouldering off interruptions and inventing previous engagements to keep free. I still think I have some great work to do, that only vast open hours can enable. For the first time I find myself considering pleading age to be let go early, to be excused from this and that. I’m not actually tired, but I see a way of using other’s expectations that I would be to get more time for myself. So far, resisted.

Maud the Cat nestles against my side on the arm of the wooden chair. I tell her she’s the best cat in the world, and she lets it pass, acknowledging but unattached.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

February 19, 2013

It’s too dark to see whether the bad weather we were promised has materialized.

To the doctor about my ears. As I suspected, nothing, no infection, no visible damage. I knew before I went that there would be no remedy but the thing I have least of– patience.

Yesterday was a day of unnecessary warfare. I fought Kirk on the schedule, realizing only later I was fighting about the wrong semester. I believed myself fighting the administration through him, but it won’t appear that way to anybody. I think the administration must realize that doctrine must–sometime–give way to practicality, but semester follows semester and its micro-managing naivete worsens. Of course, my blows go wide, because I do not dedicate myself to justice full time.

I’d kept the rehearsal schedule web page loaded up on my school computer for several days, not renewing it, so when Christ School was named as last night’s rehearsal venue, I did not see it. I went to the dark church on Liberty Street and then called Nathan, who informed me of what I had already guessed by then, that the rehearsal was at Pingree Auditorium. Thus began a very curious episode. I knew in one instant that I would make it in time–though it is a very long way to the end of Sweeten Creek in Arden–and that all would be well. That was, in fact, the lesson the universe was trying to teach me, as it had a hundred times before: however blocked and ragged and late and disastrous, things pretty much turn out as they should. But that didn’t set aside the rage. I felt the rage was necessary, that the “lesson” was an imposition, a tyranny on the part of the universe, and that it would be taught instead not to test me. So I raged south, knowing all would be well, but also determined not to be taught that lesson. It seems odd now. It didn’t seem odd then. I literally wept with frustration when I caught the train at Biltmore, which slowed and finally stopped, blocking the road. I whirled around and took the back way and was finally on Sweeten Creek. I missed the turn-off for the school, as I knew I would. The school road would never end. I searched frantically for the auditorium. I ran inside. As I knew somewhere inside me from the first, I’d missed nothing I couldn’t catch up on in five minutes. No one said a word. The rest of the rehearsal was disordered, but it had nothing to do with me. I think I was analyzing this episode in my dreams. I certainly analyze it now. I have spent whole nights shouting “NO!” at God. I think I’m a hero. Onlookers (were there any) would probably think me some kind of deranged brat. Right now I think they’re right, but, in all honesty, I don’t know what to do about it. I know all there is to know about non-attachment and the great length of time things have in which to come out well, but in the hour of fury, none of that knowledge avails.

At the railroad crossing, one car left a gap so people could still get out of the restaurants and head north up Biltmore away from the train. When that car turned back, a police cruiser moved up and made sure that gap was blocked, so everybody was trapped.

Alison has had her baby.

The cats flank the computer screen like sphinxes.

February 18, 2013

News from New York (after my query) that Lincoln opens in June, at the June Havoc Theater  at the Abingdon on 36th. Full information came in the form of a correction only after I had posted false information on Facebook. Sigh. Every detail must be extracted with maximum effort. Nothing is volunteered.

Sunday rehearsal convivial, chaotic.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

February 17, 2013

Drove home last night through swirling tunnels of snow. The ground is nearly bare this morning. I don’t know where it all went.

Steve the Plumber does not rebuild the wall he swore he would come the next day to rebuild. I recall that he didn’t do the mop-up last time, either, leaving me without a light in my cellar. To forgive is to get whacked again.

Cantaria spaghetti supper looked like a great success, with the room packed beyond capacity. I don’t know that the money has been counted yet. I couldn’t stay for the whole event, but had enough time for heart-to-heart talks with men I have not talked much with before. I was receiving invitations on all sides which I did not know how to honor, or even process. Happy time. I was as resisting that particular happiness at first, but stopped when I caught myself in the act

General dissatisfaction with the direction of Mikado. I do observe, though, highly skilled performers doing the right thing even when they have been misdirected, so the disaster is not going to be as great as if we were really listening to the befuddled old lady.

Woke immeasurably sad.  Working that off.

Friday, February 15, 2013

February 15, 2013

The aged mason and his helper finished the stoop in one day. It looks rustic. I have to remember not to step on it for a while. The plumbers did not rebuild the wall. Rehearsal last night was beneficial, and enabled me to reach a level of confidence which is almost as good as actually knowing what I’m doing. The Lord High Executioner has a lovely, lyric and humane voice, which may at first sound like miscasting, but it sheds a kindly and comic light on everything.

Lunch at Plant yesterday, my first, though I’ve dined at all the incarnations of that building. Excellent Argentine wine. Conspired with the waitress to pay the bill of a young coupe who came in to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day, and were the sun itself.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

February 14, 2013

The mason comes to day to jimmy the back stoop up to the standards of the insurance company. I phone to steer the cleaning ladies to the front door, though I have no way of knowing if they got the message. Maybe Steve the plumber comes to repair the wall demolished while driving a trench through my garden (known casualties: my big beautiful white lilac, a stand of turtlehead, a stand of blue geranium, one of the elderberries. perhaps both paw-paw trees, the whole planting of blue anemone). The cable guys came yesterday, giants who made this house look like a set from The Hobbit. The television delivery people give themselves four hours to come tomorrow. I forgot to pay the studio rent. For someone who hates upheaval, I’m getting my share. And I’ll bet anyone $10 that I receive not one valentine card, not a single piece of candy.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

February 13, 2013

The digging and plumbing is finished for the moment, and in the midst of my garden are three white towers through which plumbers can in the future gain access to the pipes– which, they say contradictorily, can never suffer the same fate as the old ones.  To me it’s like putting the Mona Lisa in a cage, a ruinous and unnecessary disfigurement to which I will never be reconciled. Why I can’t just be left alone to watch my plants grow I don’t know. I was sick and lay abed as they finished. The cost was five months of the cottage rent.

I called them to unclog a drain.

First blocking for The Mikado. If I had been in charge of it I would have thought it a disaster, but I learned before that opera does not work like a play. Opera goes on in a state of under-rehearsal that would appall a theater director, whose play goes on in a state of under-rehearsal that would appall a ballet director. Our stage director is a nice old lady who inspires no confidence whatsoever: “Oh, you could do that, but you don’t have to. . . or maybe you could do that. . . we haven’t figures out that yet. . . “ She did, nobly, remember our names.

Home on Fat Tuesday to a bottle of sparkling Italian wine and videos on the computer screen

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

February 12, 2013

Waking dream: I inherited a famous backpack that required me (allowed me, I suppose) to run long distances over great rolling hills, spying out the ways. I forget what the quest was, but it was something vital and mystical. Woke with an unusual–for these latter days–sense of well-being.

I called Steve the Plumber to unclog a drain, and now I have wide deep trench through the garden from DJ’s house, battering through the terrace wall to– who knows where? I cannot even look at the uprooted plantings. I do not exactly suspect fraud–the explanations are plausible and in line with my dreadful luck with plumbing-- but the refrain dwells in my mind, “I called you to unclog a drain.”

Watched The Yellow Cadillac on DVD. Fine movie. I remember seeing previews of it in a movie my parents took me to long ago, and longing with great longing to see it then, though of course we never did. Especially my father had very strict ideas about what I should see and what I should not. The rules were never explicit, but they seemed to include anything too upper-class, and, with some vehemence, musicals. It would be difficult to imagine two men with more different responses to the world than my father and I. Even the middle ground upon which I had to meet him as a child narrowed my future in ways still being revealed.

Monday, February 11, 2013

February 11, 2013

Dream before waking: some of us were going to a reading by Ezra Pound. We came to the auditorium, and standing at the stage door were several men in suits, including Pound. I recognized him, with a cry. I ran to him, hoping the other men weren’t security, going to shoot me down. Pound looked very tall and thin, but also hale and not nearly as old as he should be. His blotchy face was shining. He was as happy to see me as a kid, learning that I was one of his great fans. He embraced me while we talked, and I was embarrassed that most of his references were to works that I didn’t know– which is to say, works produced after he died.

The roaring in my ears grows worse.

Didn’t notice until it was too late the dug-up ferns beside the plumbers’ trench. My grief was as the grief of a father over a hurt child. At first light I will replant them out of harm’s way. If there is anywhere out of harm’s way.

Constant singing yesterday, church, The Mikado, Cantaria. I don’t think I fell too far below standard at any point, and the E’s were easier to sing than to think about.

Kevin Kelley died yesterday. His was a never-failingly sweet soul. My most vivid recollection of him is his having a seizure during The Beautiful Johanna. This is not a bad memory, though, but an intimate and skewedly humorous one. There was too much pain for too long near the end. So, congratulations, and farewell.

Pope Benedict is to abdicate. This is the Catholic Church's chance to save its own life, or not.

February 10, 2013

Palmer died yesterday.

Dinner last night at Avenue M with the Ks. It was accidental, our having met in the parking lot and one thing leading to another. Their handsome eight year old is a perfect gentleman, which is, when one has seen it for a while, a little disconcerting. He is so under constant prompting from his mother, so maybe at other times he reverts to a more natural state. The kid at the next table was a stark contrast, candid and smiling and ebullient. The movie Titanic, the Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Wagner version, had been playing, and when it was over the kid, toy jet in hand, came to the table and told DJ and me the story. The physical fact of boats seemed to be what fascinated him most. What I liked was the proof that, having heard the story, one must tell the story.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

February 9, 2013

In a dream I was trying to buy stamps on Saturday, testing to see if the Post Office were really closed or, as I suspected, fully manned and just ignoring customers. As I pounded, a former student (so she presented herself in the dream) came up and spoke to me in Italian. She said, “I was just testing to see if you were keeping up with your Italian.” My subconscious’s Italian is better than mine.

My friend and publisher Palmer Hall is dying in Texas, of a cancer which he fought valiantly, but it is a battle which he is not winning. The whole listserve of which we both were a part talks about this, giving each other updates, waiting for the latest news. I read, but find myself with nothing to add to the discourse. It’s not that I think this is ghoulish, but somehow I tend to withdraw from final dramas. I feel awkward about interposing myself between the person and the solemnity of his destiny.

The cottage’s plumbing problems drive a trench through the back yard, annihilating square feet of spring planting. Plumber Steve calls and laughs about how I’m going to buy him that new truck he always wanted. He thinks it’s funnier than I do. I wonder why a clogged drain couldn’t be, just once, a clogged drain and not a prolonged engineering project.

Beer at Asheville Pizza last evening, to congratulate ourselves on completing (so we think at the moment) our faculty hunt. I drink more beer than I have in the last six months. It was delicious.

Friday, February 8, 2013

February 8, 2013

Read for a service at the cathedral last night which I didn’t entirely understand. It featured accounts of moments of epiphany, and seemed to be designed by women for women, though welcoming on all sides. It was gentle, maybe a bit inept-- at least without the usual Episcopal concern for flawless choreography-- and in the end lovely and cleansing. It was also strange, in a way I can’t put my finger on, unless there really is a difference between the way men and women worship when they have their way. Perhaps a gender differences was not the difference I sensed. The presence of God the Mother takes some getting used to. Anyway, it was well for me to be there.

Came late to The Mikado and therefore missing some rehearsals, learning the parts on my own. The problem is going to be the incessant E’s. I have E’s, but not an unlimited number of them, especially the jolly loud ones wanted here, and I can already foresee myself pulling the pitch down after a while by trying to save myself from the full blast of them. My throat hurts after a practice session. Drilling these songs brings back The Pirates of Penzance I sang with the Asheville Lyric, and even the HMS Pinafore my sister’s class did in junior high, which set deeply and inexplicably in my remembrance.

The grueling interview process for new faculty is, for the time, over. I haven’t looked in my mailbox for the duties I’ve been missing because of it.

DJ with plumbing problems. Nothing upsets me like plumbing problems. I think I associate them with my own body, the ruined legs which may be thought of as an organic plumbing failure.

I thank God I am an excellent sleeper, for sometimes the hours before and after sleep can be terrible. I cannot imagine those gray hours coming uninterrupted.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

February 6, 2013

Video on the Internet of a giant squid trying to prey on a light outside a submersible. Glorious. It flows like liquid in liquid.

Tapping out The Mikado on my little keyboard, wishing, for the moment, that the chorus had less to do.

New wave of poetry-is-dead essays in the media. There are only two kinds of people who go on about the uselessness of poetry: those who missed the point in Miss Smith’s 8th grade class and have been carrying a grudge ever since, and those who wanted to be the Great Poet and weren’t, and whose remaining recourse is to pretend what they desired is nothing to be desired. You don’t crow about how something is dead when it is, only when you wish it were.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

February 5, 2013

Four women are in my advanced poetry class. Just them. I knew most of them from unrelated classes and thought it was going to be an unpromising semester, but I was wrong. What variety of approach and experience just in that little group!. One is clueless about what poetry is, but not about what it does, and there is purity enough there to build on.

Tinnitus. It’s been at me for half a year now. I was ready to throw up my hands and settle in for the duration, but internet sources (which one believes, of course, if they say what one wants to hear) allege that it’s treatable, and not necessarily associated with hearing loss. I hadn’t noticed hearing loss. I still fly into a covert fury when the old people I must associate with now sit around the table saying “huh?” Who knows? I’d pictured myself as Robert Schuman going mad hearing forever the concert A, but maybe some different, more unique madness is in store.

Wasted at the end of Mondays. Up early Tuesday anticipating a new start. It takes me only 24 hours to forget I’m anything but a kind of drone, in my cell at the appointed hour. Busy, busy, laying down the wax.

February 4, 2013

All the pinks in the world hang in the east: shell, flamingo, vermilion, carmine, rose, set on a plain of pearl and powder blue.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

February 2, 2013

Blasted through Lysistrata in class (it’s sure-fire; all you have to do is point out the dirty parts and the kids do the rest), then home to discover our trip to Charlotte was only an hour off. No nap. No deep breath. We went to see Maria in The Secret Garden by Charlotte Children’s Theater, and insofar as we did that, I guess the trip was a success. I also guess that the production was hitting the audience of ten year old girls it was aiming for, but for DJ and Kyle and me it was more fuss than pleasure. The production was sunk by its own ingenuity. It became a play about gigantic moving stairs, which at one point collided with other scenery and always grabbed attention away from the actors. The play itself is a little creepy. It was, nevertheless, well played by all on stage. I wanted to go backstage and give the director a talking-to. It’s always the director’s fault. Charlotte, though, was fun, with its futuristic skyline glittering and everyone we met kind and happy. I sat in the backseat all the way home thinking I was going deaf because I couldn’t hear what they are saying up front.

Groundhog will see a shadow a mile long on this bright pure winter day.

Friday, February 1, 2013

February 1, 2013

Thin salting of snow. Fairly late rising (though it’s still dark) because I wanted to indulge a dream. I was vacationing in summery London, and for some reason meeting all the beautiful people at parties and receptions. It was like living in an Evelyn Waugh novel. I was invited to a party, to which I walked through marvelous streets. The party was very cinematic. One of the lights of society seduced me. She was beautiful and wore a pink dress, and would have been played by Kate Winslett The seduction was quite public because one of her former boyfriends was in the room. He was a big blond guy, a famous architect. When we were done she gave me a number of gifts, objects from the room, candy, books. These I carried back to my hotel in my red vinyl duffel. The next day I went to a lecture and was surprised to see that the architect was giving the lecture. I asked if he remembered me from the night before, and he said, tersely, through clenched teeth “Yes sir.” That was the first time I realized all had not been so free and easy in Bohemia. The lecture featured videos of one of his most famous structures being blown up.

First chorus rehearsal for The Mikado at St. John’s. I had anxiety, thinking that I would be inept and out of my depth in the opera company, but no such thing was the case. The chorus girls tittered and chattered so Paul could scarcely get his work done. The time is short and I’m grateful the music is intuitive.

Our state government begins its planned program of vandalism, wasting not a second..