Wednesday, May 6, 2009

May. Heat. Music.

May in Tucson: saguaros coming into bloom,
schoolkids giddy--only ten class-days left...

And tomorrow is supposed to be our first 100-degree day.
(Click here if you want weather trivia,
such as the average first day of
100-degree-heat in Tucson, etc. etc...)


An old friend sent me a link from NPR's daily feature "The Writer's Almanac," which features a daily poem:

Anne Porter

When I was a child
I once sat sobbing on the floor
Beside my mother's piano
As she played and sang
For there was in her singing
A shy yet solemn glory
My smallness could not hold

And when I was asked
Why I was crying
I had no words for it
I only shook my head
And went on crying

Why is it that music
At its most beautiful
Opens a wound in us
An ache a desolation
Deep as a homesickness
For some far-off
And half-forgotten country

I've never understood
Why this is so

But there's an ancient legend
From the other side of the world
That gives away the secret
Of this mysterious sorrow

For centuries on centuries
We have been wandering
But we were made for Paradise
As deer for the forest

And when music comes to us
With its heavenly beauty
It brings us desolation
For when we hear it
We half remember
That lost native country

We dimly remember the fields
Their fragrant windswept clover
The birdsongs in the orchards
The wild white violets in the moss
By the transparent streams

And shining at the heart of it
Is the longed-for beauty
Of the One who waits for us
Who will always wait for us
In those radiant meadows

Yet also came to live with us
And wanders where we wander.

"Music" by Anne Porter
from Living Things: Collected Poems.
© Steerforth Press, 2006

I've just recently taken the time to (finally) do some serious listening to some Mahler.
(Gotta love the public library's cd collection...)
I'm one of those loves-Brahms-hates-Wagner people.
But I'd never really become familiar with Mahler.
Huge--Brahms' 'successor' in late 19th-century music...
Why didn't someone insist earlier that I listen to his stuff?
Then again, maybe I'm just 'ready' for it now...


...came across this photo from last summer in Qu├ębec:
...can't resist calling this public art installation "The Riding on the Wall."
(I don't know if it even had a title... And speaking of 'writing on the wall,' I'm still waiting for mine, meaning that I'm still in next-year's-job -limbo...)
Last week I finally did bike to work--light early enough to do so comfortably...but now with the sudden arrival of 100-degree afternoons, not so tempting...
But this past Saturday did resurrect last year's routine of early morning bike-rides to and through Saguaro National Park East...
And so the calendar still says 'spring,' although Tucson's thermometer is shouting 'summer.'
The nostalgia of seasonal change in places past:
Ahh, spring...such a lovely time in Seattle:
(The Japanese garden in the Washington Park Arboretum)

It's been almost two years now, that we've been living in Tucson.
Loving the nearby mountains and the Sonoran desert landscape...
but still missing the sunnier moments of the green green Northwest...

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