Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Trixie has recovered remarkably quickly from her feminine operation. When you compare the time it takes for a woman to heal from a hysterectomy...she's already leaping up after her toy and scrambling over the couches and hiding in the cupboard, less than 48 hours post-surgery. Of course it helps that she's not even one year old yet.

The day is bright and clear and beautiful, the buds on the fig tree are just beginning, like green flames, the peach tree is beginning to flower. Pink blossoms everywhere. Scotch broom not out in full yet in the hills, but it will be soon. Weeds are waist high in the back yard, and no matter how many I pull, ten thousand more grow.

My ideas are like the weeds. I want to teach Shakespeare sonnets in prison, I want to go to Haiti, I'm trying to coordinate poetry at this middle school although my contact is not calling me back, I'm writing new poems for another book and there's another draft yet of the play to do. And upcoming trips: the AWP conference in Denver (a little scary), the Fetzer Institute thing in Michigan (I have no idea what it will be like, but I'm intrigued), the SUN conference in Massachusetts in May. (fun!)

Christopher is patiently teaching me piano, and now that I have mastered Louie Louie, we have moved on to Randy Newman. I'm learning one of my favorite songs, You Can Leave Your Hat On. It has a very repetitive right hand, and a left hand that consists of two or three phrases. I've learned one phrase on the left hand so far which I can play while Christopher does the right hand. I'll progress to the full left hand and then learn the other hand and put them both together.

Something wonderful happens when I am concentrating hard on the music; my brain shuts off. You can't exactly "think" the melody and the rhythm at the same time, everything's happening so fast. You just get it into your muscle memory and trust that and feel it. After a long day focusing on the keyboard it's the best medicine in the world. Gerry is burning a CD for me with k.d. lang's version of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah on it so I can learn that too. The lyrics to that song kill me.


Brent Winter said...

Jeff Buckley! The Jeff Buckley version of "Hallelujah" changed my life. At least give it a listen.

Anonymous said...

i continue to be amazed by your energy! whew!! wish i had half of what you have to get some jobs done. hats off, alison. :)

Alison said...

hi Brent,

Yes, Christopher loves that version of the song as well and he turned me on to it last night. We both appreciated the simplicity of just his voice and the electric guitar. The song stands out more when it's not overproduced. The version of k.d. lang singing it--not sure which version it was, Gerry downloaded it for me--was very lush by contrast, and it was harder to make out the lyrics (which are so incredible). In the interests of me learning to sing this song, it's easier for me to follow a woman's voice singing in my range than to try and match pitches with a man...I'm a bit pitch-challenged, but that's what we're working on. Such a gorgeous song--is it old? C thinks it has been around for a while.

And to Anonymous--I wish I had all the energy I need to thoroughly follow through on all my big dreams/plans/ideas! It's easy to come up with schemes and dreams, harder to put in the grunt work of making them happen.