Saturday, June 25, 2011

Recent Resentments

The young family person had an event last night. The pool was warm and some of them went in with all of their clothes on. That's the explanation. There was rending of hair and the washing of many garments. Then more recently the morning rush: one goes to sports lessons, two have to be taken home, and there was something else about the other one. The clothes were not yet dry.

So we, or rather my spouse, gave them a plastic bag and sent them home to dry their clothes there. Total hardass. Not playing. I chose not to intervene. I preferred instead to finish a cup of coffee while listening to a Valentini concerto for four violins. In a minor. One of my favorite Baroque keys. Played by La Serenissima. OMG!

I imagine the following:

This child goes home and presents their mother with a bag of wet laundry. "Why didn't they let you finish it at their house?" their mother would ask, and ask with my understanding. "I dunno," the kid would reply, adding "They had to take the twins home and they had to go to a lesson and they were late and their parents are a bunch of total hardasses. I guess."

Which reminds me to say that a modern atheist using that term "omg" is no more acknowleding a Higher Being than would a person from another era who might have exclaimed "by Jove" sometime or another. I have Bach, just about all of him, in mind while noting this.

It's hard enough coming out as an atheist here in "modern" America, what with the whole intelligent design thing among many other prominent and divisive issues. I cannot imagine what a free-thinker had to keep to just themselves in the culture Bach worked in. He had to hold down a long gig as a church cantor just to maintain a good livelihood, god help the poor bastard. No wonder he was described as devout Lutheran. Who wouldn't have been?

OMG! The Cantatas!

See what I mean? So much implied by just those three "words." And the exclamation point. That helps a little.

There are things that are just generally interesting, then there are things that attract the attention of fewer people, then of fewer people still. For example, you may know someone who says that they "like" music. Subsequently you learn that the last time they purchased any recorded music it was an "Ace of Base" CD and it was actually given to them on one of their birthdays.

Which just goes to show how both psychological and emotional distance, and the difference in distance from the present to that past time, can parallel one another, at least for some people.

So you might say that your own musical tastes are somewhat more refined, as if you breathed a different air.

That's what I mean when I say that generally there are two kinds of people: those for whom punk happened and those for whom it didn't. It's more than just to say that it was a specific generation that grew up in a specific period within an even further specific cultural setting; it's on the cusp of New York City and everything else, beginning with its immediate geographical surroundings. The state university at Binghamton being it for me personally. My very spouse graduated from another state university, the one in Albany.

Allow me to offer something like an example: Many years after "punk" rolled through and made all the previous things mere history, its generation strode out into the world to make liberating changes. There was a time when a small but prominent northeastern city provided easy access to heroine recovery treatment. Addicts from New York City moved to Vermont to use these services and the system strained as its resources became overwhelmed.

Then it became controversial. There were people who wanted the program completely abandoned immediately. There were those who advocated for more spending to help cover all the applicants. The advocates and the applicants were themselves not overlapping classes, but at that time the people trying to effectively address this problem from an ethical point of view were those for whom "punk happened," at least at that time. You could understand if there was any confusion. The era's clothing styles didn't help any. Everyone wore tight or loose jeans.

At one time I lived with an apartment-mate who dated the director of the local rape crisis center. As you know, I myself am a registered nurse, though one with perhaps a variety of interests. My spouse has a master's degree in social work. Now many of my coworkers are much younger. Half my age. Pre-family, meaning their own kids by however they assume parenthood of them, by marriage, adoption official and unofficial, or copulation.

Many of them carry within them a self-sense of that thing "punk happened" even though they were not of that time. In part I hope that it is the now-assumed feminism that lingered at the edges of wider acceptibility three or four decades ago. Now it's a tacit assumption, isn't it?

So what I intend to say to my spouse and family when they get home is this: there's the generally accepted culture-thing, and then there are subsets, and then there are further subsets, eventually settling just on us.

Furthermore I would add, now circling outward, that the manner by which we proceeded to get to this place was mere growth. Sometimes it takes years to accomplish that. Sometimes, days or hours. How long did it take for you to be born? Over a long time, or in a flash as the cavity opened? Were you round-headed?

Then the question of stitches. Then we divert our attention to Vivaldi.

Vivaldi had access to every sort of musician then widely and generally considered. The young women at the extraordinary Ospedale della Pietà could readily answer to any of his musical inspirations. It was as if he had a Baroque equivalent of a modern synthesizer. He had access to all the sounds of his imagination plus more than he could ever live to fully explore.

Just as the musicians of the Ospedale della Pieta provided a palette from which Vivaldi could draw shapes and colors, likewise his compositions provide moderns who like Baroque music a wide spectrum from which to draw upon musical interpretations. This is nowehere more apparent than in the musical history of my own generation, in which Baroque performance practice invited study leading to performances based upon appropriate historical writings. Yet you can still hear Vivaldi played by orchestras which would have seemed overly large in Brahms' days. This sort of thing really caught my attention during my early college/university years. Long live the difference.

You could go beyond "us" as you proceed along the trails from beyond the circle's edge, to the cusp, to the inner circles, gradually approaching that limit after which you can only take introspection. But that would still belong to "us," wouldn't it?

Is that why they call it spacetime?

Probably not.

I'm not even sure that you could form a scientific hypothesis regarding that, nor even around forming a real hypothesis.

Now we're off. It's beyond mutual understanding. It has sunk into a black hole.

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