Sometimes it is hard to rise above it. If you think of ‘all things political’ as a pyramid, and you see President Trump at the pinnacle of a base that has no firm foundation, it is easy to get the Blues.
Exacerbating the Blues was finding (during downsizing) a copy of Al Gore’s 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Lecture in which he projected ahead seven years to the consequences of global warming. Doing the math, 2007 plus seven… Oh! That would be 2014, and we are well past that! Climate change marches forward unabated.
But I’ve surprised myself. Thanks to family, friends, poetry and music, I have risen above despair this Christmas season. Those who live in the city are probably wondering why I have not included the mountains and the wildlife as uplifting moments. Well, the mountains, yes, but when the wildlife – a herd of nine deer this morning – lounge and dine in your back yard (a small enclosure only two blocks from Main Street), it is hard to marvel at their grace.
But on to more pleasant things. Thinking ahead to Christmas gifts, I bought a used copy of Bill Moyers’ book FOOLING WITH WORDS: a celebration of poets and their craft. I had planned to give the book as a gift. Sorry about that. The book is mine. Margin notes run down the margins of nearly every page. The book is based on interviews that Moyers had with noted poets at the 1998 Dodge Poetry Festival.
Moyers asked Stanley Kunitz, who was 93 at the time, “What do you have to say for growing old?” And Kunitz replied, “What continues to surprise me is that the unrelenting awareness that time is running out has only served to intensify my zest for art and life.” I think that’s true for me too. Life is too short to be sucked low in the swamp.
As for music, if you are not a fan of watching the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD at your local cinema, check out their website at https://www.metopera.org/Season/In-Cinemas. It is thrilling to see a live performance of the Met in your local cinema at the very same time that others are watching in Lincoln Center. Sitting in your home theater, dressed in your hiking boots and flannel-lined jeans, you may not be dressed for NYC, but you have the best seats in the house for a fraction of the price. Last weekend I saw the newest interpretation of La Traviata, and it was stellar.
Along the same lines, last evening I watched QUARTET again. I could probably watch this movie on a weekly basis. The setting is an English manor house that is home to retired musicians and opera singers who struggle with the loss of identity and applause. Dustin Hoffman directed this 2012 movie which stars Maggie Smith, Tom Cortney, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins, and Michael Gambon. Add in Music from La Traviata, Rigoletto, The Mikado, The Barber of Seville, and other operatic favorites. I promise that you will seriously enjoy the comedy, the clash of egos, the pathos, and THE MUSIC. You can find the trailer at https://www.youtube.com and screen the entire film on Netflix.
That’s it. Happy New Year from Colorado