Sunday, May 30, 2010


Gods are able. Tell how a man, though,
could possibly thread the lyre's narrow modes?
Vacillating at the heart's dark crossroads,
he beholds no temple of Apollo.

Song, you teach us, is beyond achievable desire,
it is rather the sheer reality of immanent being:
simplicity itself for deity,
but how may we partake? When will you inspire

our being, bestowing earth and stars by turn?
This has no relation, youth, to your enamored care:
mouth forced wide by the thrust of your voice - learn

to set aside impassioned music. It will end.
True singing breaths a different air.
Air without object. A gust within God. A wind.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

from Chimpan-A to Chimpan-Zee

P was attacked at approximately 3:30 this morning by the dreaded Monkey Mind.

Oh, I was an excellent wife, full of empathy for his distracted state. For about a minute. Then somehow it was seven AM, and only one of us had slept. Now over the last few months I have envied my husband, who would slumber the night away while my brain made random lists and tried to scare me with various foreign language scenarios. Now, down to one job, my brain is beginning to check out successfully for eight hours at a time, and my mate finds himself goaded into wakefulness and stumbling across our rental cabin for a glass of water and some online poker.

Pictures of the reason for this will follow when we get back to Houston, and a happy reason it is: the trusses for the roof went up yesterday, and the silhouette of a real house is suddenly there for everyone to see. It is thrilling! This house has gone from a pencil sketch to the library to the architect and engineer to the builder to reality, and P made it all happen. It's truly the work of a lifetime.

And the closer it gets, the realer it becomes - the more questions arise. More details, more unconsidered problems, more creative ideas, more worries. More's the chance that, instead of simply rolling over at 3:30, you'll completely break the surface of sleep's great lake and start wondering where to put the kitchen island.

I don't wish more sleeplessness on my dear P, but it was nice this bleary morning to give him a shoulder as he has given me so often. Man, is it hard to let the chatter go. It feels so busy, so connected, so much like work.

Sigh. Living the questions. Big times.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

chain, chain, chain

I'm leaving Facebook at the end of the week. Let me admit up front that I know this might be temporary. All I know is that, after months of digging on my big, far-flung, loose community of FB friends (and after urging loads of people to join!), I'm suddenly struck to the heart by how it all encourages and supports my laziest self.

Am I truly "keeping in touch"? Is it really enough just to log on, make random ironic or loving comments, occasionally send a message? Am I not simply turning FB on as though it's the 24-hour AllMyFriends channel, accepting whatever happens to be on at the time?

Then again, is now the right time to promise myself that I will work harder at keeping contact with my friends? Should I not be thankful for the FB hub and for how much it fills in for me, for real human effort?

I have no answers. Maybe the passive nature of it is only bugging me because I am contemplating losing my dad and am at the front of a huge relocation - in other words, maybe I just need to get over myself. Maybe I'm just sticking my head in the sand, overwhelmed by how big life is and how much love has come my way in the last weeks.

Or maybe I'm hungry for something that's really missing, squinting my eyes after what's vanishing.


Monday, May 24, 2010

learning to count in the Hill Country

One donkey in my front yard.
Two avocados in the guac.
Three naps.
Four pillows.
Five minutes of rain.
Six huge granite stones at the base of the wall.
Seven wasps at least in that nest.
Eight emails from Vienna to read...tomorrow.
Nine thank-you cards completed.
Ten fleeting moments of complete blankness.

Tomorrow I'm shooting for eleven.


Saturday, May 22, 2010


Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions.

OK, Rainer. WE ARE LIVING THE QUESTIONS. I am making a huge backwards question mark in the air now, just for you, even as I search this book of yours for some advice. You have so many smart things to say about shutting up and paying attention, and my chattering mind is trying to settle upon one sentence or another, or upon the several quoted above.

OK, no answers, I'm down. Instead, packing, a friend's backyard, one more performance. And tomorrow, the road, the road. And so much unsolved in my heart.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Saturday, May 15, 2010

To Let

Today while Paul records one last time with the reggae band and plays one last gig with AG, I'm in my office with a soy latte, my "Northfield Townie" T-shirt, and fifteen book boxes. Five already sealed stand stacked against one wall, bound for Vienna. The others take shape and slowly fill with books, music, pictures, mementos, significant and trivial pieces of the last four years. There are the scores I've touched so often (Figaro, Flute, Elixir, Lohengrin) and ones I have neglected (all of my Bach). Books testify to my ridiculously inconsistent taste in literature (If On a Winter's Night a Traveler, The Nanny Diaries). There is the small green ornament that fell off the H&G gingerbread house and rolled into the pit in the Cullen, and there's the drawing of Texas that Roland made (our backyard has a sign in it: "WE LOVE NATURE!"). There's the prompter made of Legos from the MET Rodelinda and several stuffed animals from HGO opening nights (parrot:Boheme; elephant:Aida). There are cards to save (for me), documents to save (for FG), a billion files to delete and reorganize, and quite a bit of trash.

There's the door that has stood open most of the time. It has framed friends and frenemies, and welcomed jokes, information, and lunch invitations. It's been my window on the busy pace of RB and the traffic at the hall computer, and on any day I could see most of my colleagues walk by it, their steps speaking. That door has also been shut for commiseration, tantrums (usually mine), tears, confidences, laughter, counsel, yoga, and naps.

This is the room I couldn't unpack in for a year, where I contemplated giving up and then decided to try, where I learned to do my job, where I got the first real taste of the absent-minded professor I have always been.

In a week this space will be anonymous again, shorn of me, ready to accept the next person and help him learn whatever it is he has coming. How a little corporate container makes this possible I am not certain, but part of moving is the experience of how powerfully we bleed into our possessions. My scores are filled with the people who have sung them, and it's remarkable to find out what's easy to toss and what's essential to keep.

But these walls, window, and door are something else, mine until the minute I leave, and then never mine again.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

I'm back, goodbye.

It's been a good long time since I wrote here. Hurricane Ike blew more than one thing out of line, except it wasn't really Ike...that blessed wind was a long time coming. If you're reading this, you know that we are about to leave Texas for some extended travels - or maybe it's better to say that our four-year rest in Houston is about to be over, and it's time to put on the walking Schuhe once again.

I've been giving a lot of thought to how I use my computer to connect to the people I care about - and I how I use it to hold them at arm's length. Undecided about how I want to continue, I'll be directing people to this page for a while. If you're reading this for the first time, welcome. Don't expect to understand how we get from the older posts to here.

The name of this blog has changed for several reasons. Rescued, I am on my way.

Komm mit, wenn Du Lust hast.