Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Thursday, January 03, 2008

[Last night I really didn’t want to listen to Bach’s 2nd suite for unaccompanied cello and write about it, but I had committed to doing it. And then I enjoyed it -- the listening very much, and the writing too, to a much lesser extent. I am running into the brick wall of my dilettantism. Improvised, time-limited writing runs me through my personal set of cliches as well as general-circulation cliches. We’ll see if I can break through them into something livelier before the suites are over. Like the Lacanian short session. I hold with the classical Freudians that the resistances -- the dull patches -- are rich and fascinating -- for the analysand. But Dr. Lacan’s Bach treatment demands that I get to the juicy stuff quicker. If I have any juicy stuff to get to.

I’m writing these longhand. Slower than typing. I hardly write longhand any more. The computer age has changed things.]

spinning blue streamers a cacophony of color of delight -- surprise! how the stresses and worries and cares of the day wash off in the fizz of showering streams of sound color

oh! if it could happen on these grayest of days then who knows the possibilities, who indeed, who in word and deed -- aha! -- the expectation delayed arrives anyhow

the mess and squalor, yes yes off you go to play, go on, I’ll get to these, attend to these -- papers piled everywhere, clothes to put away, meals to cook for tomorrow, shopping to do --

an object picked up, looked at, turned this way and that, the light bounces off angles unexpectedly, a glint blinds the eye, and I’m nervous about possible interruptions

listening to music, the object turns me and looks at me, I can’t set it down, it sets me down when I’m done, and this sonic object sets me lovely

I always think I’ll want to sit one out but the dance is lively and heck YEAH heavens YES I want to get up on that floor and shake a leg

oh it feels good humming along, not with the music, not humming the music, humming the bits of word-clumpage that comes tumbling spitting out of the tumbling hacking wordhoard -- did I intend to hoard them? No. Did I intend to be so miserly? No. -- things, life crept up on me and hardened my habits when I wasn’t noticing

ah, the so -- life -- rows, we row, we so row o’er our sorrows, sow rue when we fail in our attentions, fail in our love

what is it in life that demands us to reach beyond grasping, aspire beyond attaining? and life is limited -- we all reach our deadlines and once we cross them can’t come back

is there consolation? the music says -- yes.
the music says -- I am. I am consolation.

another dance.
I think I will sit this one out.
stare at the wall.
no, no -- thanks, I’m OK, think I’ll step outside.
Yes, the band is a charmer, I’m just, I -- need a breath of the outdoors

the music wafts through the walls. another starless cloud-covered night, the houses their uncanny smaller secret selves outside of sun’s glare, everybody in who can manage it, and those who can’t -- those who can’t -- those --

last dance.
better go back.
I take my steps, mind elsewhere, Bach’s mind dancing around and through mine, so real and close and utterly out of reach, even if I had the skills to play the score, the mind that created it remains beyond, a mystery, as any gift of art must be, and all we can say is -- Thanks.

Bach, Cello Suite No. 3 in C major, 1. Prelude, 2. Allemande, 3. Courante, 4. Sarabande, 5. Bourrees I and II, 6. Gigue

[Looking at the CD booklet, I see that this one was a little more than 20 minutes, whereas last night’s was just under. Number one was about 17, and looking ahead, each one gets longer than the previous. I wonder if that’s by Bach’s design or Casals’. Or both?

I have little to say about classical music, even though I listen to it as much as anything else and love reading about it too -- it rarely launches fresh-feeling wordflows for me. Partly it may be sheepishness about my poor ear for harmony. Good to be writing about these Bachs.

January hit me today. I’m counter-punching with Bach. Gratitude to Jonathan Mayhew, whose idea the Bach-blog-fest was and whose blog consistently stimulates interesting thought; and to Maryrose Larkin, who is inspiring me to try to write more freshly by her example.]


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