Stabat Mater

Hmmm.  First post since January the 2nd.  I’m afraid I haven’t been feeling very chatty.  Or – perhaps more accurately – the things that have been occupying my mind haven’t been suitable for sharing (some because they’re personal to other people).  One of the limitations of the blog-as-journal, I guess …

Anyway:  I ventured south to Hyde Park tonight for the Baroque Band’s Stabat Mater by Pergolesi.  Those who know me well know that I rarely got out to see live music (or live anything for that matter … much comfier on the sofa with my headphones on!).  But I’m a huge fan of the Baroque Band and its artistic director Garry Clarke (full disclosure:  I’m on its board too);  and last night’s performance was sublime.  Also, fortunately, not too long:  my neck still doesn’t respond all that well to being vertical and unsupported for long stretches of time.

This injury – and my frustration with the length of time it’s taking to get better – prompted me to think that we’re no longer used, in this day and age, to waiting for anything.  Or persevering with slow steps.  Quick fixes for everything have become so much the norm, I think maybe I’d lost my sense of appreciation for how wonderful they are … the old story of “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”.

Anyway:  back to live performances, and how rarely I go to them:  by way of complete contrast, we went to a Blackhawks (ice-hockey) game last week, which was fantastic.  It was one of my Christmas presents to Tony;  and an utterly American experience.   To my surprise – although I don’t know why I was surprised – it reminded me of the Republican National Convention (I was an observer at the last one, in St Paul in September ’08);  and I think I now understand better why these huge, tribal events are organized the way they are here … they reflect other big “mass participation” things (like hockey games …);  and have a not-dissimilar function (rallying the troops).  It sparked some different reflections for Tony, which you can see on his blog here along with a great video snippet of the singing of the national anthem.

Common to both of the live performances of the last week was our friend Chuck, to whom thanks (a) for organizing the Blackhawks tickets, (b) for giving me and my sore neck a lift home from Hyde Park, and listening patiently to my babbling …


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