Jane Ellen

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Evening in Paris

 
The first instrument I chose for myself was the accordion. When I was perhaps 2 years old I was given a toy xylophone which I played incessantly, and I was always keen to get my hands on any other sort of percussion instrument, generally remnants from long discarded music education rhythm bands lying unguarded at the various primary schools I attended.
 

 

Curious and curiouser ...

 

I am only beginning to realise that I grew up hearing terms that were ever so slightly inaccurate. As soon as darkness fell, it was automatically "night". I don't remember ever hearing the word "evening" used by any adult in my sphere. I found it strange that night seemed to shift and appear at different times, especially when we were living abroad and it was rarely night time before I had to go to bed. But I cannot ever remember the use of the word evening outside of literature.

Another example that dates to my youth is that no matter where anyone lived, it was in a "house" and never in an "apartment" unless you were specifically stating that you lived in a row of apartments on such and such street. Even today, sharing a flat, I find myself saying "I have got to clean house" or "Come over to my house and we'll work on it."

If, as a child, I heard the sentence "The Blue family are coming over to our house tonight", that meant the Blues were coming over to the apartment at some unspecified point after darkness fell. No wonder I was a confused child!

My BFF has noticed over the years (admittedly, with some delight) that I sit "in" the floor and never "on" the floor. She once asked precisely how I was accomplishing that feat, and I had absolutely no answer. Even now I tend to say "She is sitting in the floor playing with the cat." Maybe I can get away with saying that is some sort of non-Euclidean geometrical reference to the H P Lovecraft ‘verse? Doesn’t quite work for house and evening, though . . .

I've found these minor distinctions to be an annoyance, and I'm trying (albeit somewhat unsuccessfully) to eradicate them from my vocabulary. I've chosen arbitrary points, as well: evening means 6pm or later, and night doesn't begin until 10pm. Nevertheless, I still find it very easy to say "I'm attending a concert tonight at 7pm" - instead of using the word evening. The word simply doesn't appear to be in the syntax of my brain.

I think I'll go sit in the floor and ponder a bit more . . .

New Mexico Breezes and Candy Floss

 

Today a bank of clouds settled across the mountain tops like layer upon layer of candy floss. A cool, almost chilly breeze blew down from the mountains as the sun drifted behind lazy strips of near transparent clouds.

Although I have never acclimated, nor completely understood people's attraction to the area, it's times such as these that remind me what I would miss should I leave this place. Of course that is still my pre-eminent desire, as the altitude and dry climate extract a painful toll from me each day. However much I wanted my home to be in Northern climes, I realise that is no longer possible. As much as I long for New York City or the north of England or Paris, France, my body yearns for a climate that is warm and moist.

Naturally I shall cope with whatever curveball life bowls my way; ultimately that's our only choice. But my mind continues to wanders to warmer climes and gentle ocean breezes . . .

Revenge of the Muse

 

Welcome!

Whether or not this is your first time visiting my blog, I am honoured that you have chosen to spend a bit of your time with me. As the world spins at an increasingly maddening rate, I understand precisely how precious our time is, so thank you for stopping by!

I have failed to blog even sporadically over the past couple of years. Perhaps it simply wasn't the time, but for whatever reason I have kept silent, there are no regrets. Tis far better not to write at all than to share subpar posts with you. Recently I began keeping a digital journal, and since that time I have once again felt the desire to record some musings to share. This post is a tiny step in that direction. 

Happy New Year!

 

I hadn't realised how long it had been since I'd blogged, but clearly life has gotten in the way of my writing! Several people have kindly asked about my blog in the past couple of months, so this is a brief note of intent. I shan't make any promises about length or content, but I will say that I have been considering short articles about some of the musicians I've presented in classes at OASIS and Osher LLI. 

Watch this space. :)

Midwest Refreshment

 

I realise that entries have been scarce this year; it's been a difficult one creatively, and both Euterpe and Calliope seem to have been on a prolonged holiday. My lecture schedule has continued in full swing, I have one commission that's been on the back burner for far too long – along with other musical obligations – and to be honest, I've been feeling on the verge of being burnt out. Following the apparent example of the aforementioned muses, I went to the midwest for a few days, visiting cousins and seeing the sights.

Remembering Memories

 

The cries of Canadian geese, of cormorants and seagulls; the gentle ripple of a lake, the roar of the ocean tide, and the sound of boats on the water; the stony silence of a bald eagle on a river pylon, the cry of a blue jay, the tapping of a woodpecker, and the song of a mockingbird; the echoes of a fife played strangely out of tune, the war cry of wild turkeys, a ferry bell ... such was the soundtrack of my week in Tidewater, Virginia.

Faeryland at Dawn

 

The sun is rising later as seasons shift and mornings grow colder. Where once on lazy Saturdays the sun shone in my eyes to awaken me, it's now closer to half-seven before it finally peeks its lazy head above the horizon.

"I'm swamped ..."

 

Earlier this week a friend posted a quotation from The Princess Bride on my Facebook page: "... I've got my country's 500th anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder and Guilder to frame for it; I'm swamped!"

A Visit to Santa Fe

 

I ran away to Santa Fe last Friday evening.

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