reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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walking sunsets. [two artists tuesday]

there are days that go by that we don’t notice. we hear the waves crashing or the wail of the foghorn, we feel the wind shift over the cool water surface, we listen to seagulls over our house or boats racing the shore. and, though those are all familiar to us, we don’t notice.

we walk the sunset along the lake, night dropping in around us. it’s quiet but we hear faint strains of music from the harbor and the festival on the channel. the lights to our left balance out the ever-diminishing clarity of view to our right. it is pretty exquisite. we are lucky, we repeat.

we live in an old house with an old garage and an old yard in an old neighborhood. we are steps from lake michigan and its glorious power, its ferocity, its smooth-as-glass silk, its wide spectrum of personality. and, sometimes, we don’t notice.

because sometimes, like you, we get caught up in the stuff of life, the challenges of life, the confusing relationships of life, the weariness.

those are the days we should walk the sunset.

for there is not much that reminds you of time passing like watching the giant eastern sky answer the western setting sun. there is not much that reminds you of your absolute tiny-ness in the overall scheme of things. just shy of eight billion people on this good earth and everyone shares this one sun, able to watch colors over lakes, deserts, meadows, cityscapes, neighborhoods, ballfields, cornfields, highways, bayous, mountains.

to sometimes notice, sometimes pay attention, gives us petite pause, like the air you feel staring at a richard diebenkorn ocean park painting, the all-over softened loll of arvo pärt’s music unwinding you, slower-than-slow-dancing on the patio, the hush of a hammock.

“we think we have about twenty good summers now,” the wander women talk about choosing their adventures. we are the same age, so it’s a little bit bracing.

but a good reminder. even from the very start. if we only have about 70 or 80 good summers in all, if we are fortunate, it would seem each one really, truly counts. and, if the height of summer is – in most parts – about three months long, then that’s about ninety days. that means somewhere between 6300 and 7200 good summer sunsets in all, possibly more, possibly less.

it makes me wonder how much i noticed in the first 5670 summer nights to date.

i’ve got some work to do.

i’ve got some walking sunsets to pay attention to.

*****

read DAVID’S thoughts this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY


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mike and arvo at dinner. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

mike oldfield played during our dinner on sunday evening. we hadn’t listened to his voyager cd in quite some time and put it on after arvo pärt’s piece “spiegel im spiegel”. we all sipped wine and chatted, catching up.

and then, in the way of surprise moments, i heard it. somehow i had forgotten. “mont st michel“. i jumped up to run into the sunroom, telling them, “wait! you have to listen to this. really listen. hear what happens!” i pushed the button on the cd player to go backwards on the track and found a spot before the moment. i went back into the kitchen to make sure they were listening. i pointed out the swell as it happened and my heart crescendo-ed with it, spilling into tears i could not help. stunning texture, orchestration that raises and tosses you around in mid-air, holding you up in the clouds, swirling around you, steadfastly not allowing you to fall. it opens you, gives you hope and elevates every single thing, and then gently, tenderly sets you back down again. words rushed out of me as i marveled – again – at this piece, a composer of impressive standing, mike oldfield at dinner.

because i had the floor, i put arvo’s piece back on – a definitive difference in texture and absolutely no less tantalizing, no less seductive as it draws you into the play between piano and cello. utterly gorgeous.

and then, because i had the floor – and they were encouraging me – i put on two of my own pieces: “last i saw you” and “peace“. i talked about composing and structure and the weaving of emotion, about ken’s orchestration and producing, about the rise and fall. i described the moment we slid the sliders forward on the mixing board during last i saw you – a moment i will never forget, ever. the lift.

and, then, as suddenly as it began, i stopped, realizing i had just talked nonstop for the last half hour or so. they sat quietly. so did i. the texture in the air was palpable and i was grateful to see tiny tears forming in the corners of their eyes as mine were not hidden and were threatening to overflow.

the path from dinner to dessert was full…our conversation deep with the fresh air only heartstopping beauty can bring. like this beloved path around dory lake, lined with aspen and pine, grasses and reeds, the path to pumpkin pie was lined with talk of cellos and french horns, piano lines and the effect of a crescendo on hearts hungry for a little release.

mike and arvo left after dinner, and i put away what was left of the pasta fagioli in the stock pot.

*****

read DAVID’S thoughts this NOT-SO-FLAWED WEDNESDAY