Have you brushed up on your music history and theory lately? Remember the episodes in Bach’s fugues? They are the connecting pieces between the stated fugal subject, the filler that doesn’t have much musical value beyond getting you from one place to another.
My last stated subject was in a dark minor key and truth be told, it’s only gotten worse in the past four days. I leaned on my dependable strategy of using the piano as a big lovable Teddy Bear, a generous portion of comfort food, a friend to listen and speak back with such utter coherence and clarity. Today she shouted back as I segued from Faure to Jobim’s O Grande Amor and suddenly found myself in Cecil Taylor’s world, expressing the full range of my anger and inconsolable sadness on the Steinway’s whole voice (three more assignments for your music history class— Faure, Jobim and Cecil Taylor!). Someone was about to enter the music room to remind me of a meeting and respectfully waited outside while I worked out some solace in the fierce passageways of the black and whites. I felt 3% better afterward—catharsis is real. And no one got hurt.
With a marvelous Jazz-Orff retreat coming up this weekend, I’m hoping for a shift to a glorious major key radiant with sunshine and Spring awakening in the Carmel Valley. But meanwhile, I don’t want to leave the reader back in the dark unresolved chords of outrage and grief. And so this rambling episode about nothing in particular, just the hope to bridge hell and heaven and keep the storyline moving.
Tomorrow is the celebration of my Mom’s 92nd birthday where she lives (the real date, April 27th), so there’s the first Spring breeze to lighten up my spirit. In three weeks, daughter Kerala and granddaughter Zadie come to visit and that will be cherry trees in bloom in Washington for this weary wintry warrior. I had a gold mine visit to Green Apple bookstore after being angry at my last four books and came back thrilled with the novel A Tiger’s Wife, uplifted by Stephen Dunn’s poetry and Henry Miller’s On Writing and a lovely graduation speech book by my crush-author Anne Patchett. After a windy Monday that almost knocked me off my bike and did knock my daughter Talia off of hers—twice— the weather got warm and the breeze grew still.
And so patches of light shine through this little episode and I’ll keep you posted as to what unfolds.