Monday, March 22, 2010

The Gardner Museum and the Guggenheim Grotto

Dearest, grey today and a cold rain is falling. I'm upstairs with a steaming cup of chicken broth. It’s uncommonly delicious, homemade and redolent of past roast chickens and their seasonings - pan juices, garlic, lemon halves, caramelized onion, garden thyme, plus leek tops, celery bottoms, etc. I was feeling chilled - no more, it's warming me to the bone. I went for a walk around here this morning, then lay down on the sofa with a comforter, and Gwynnie and Claire settled on top of me.

Earlier, I kicked around on the internet and KZE played a very powerful song, The Power of the Heart, heartstoppingly sung by Peter Gabriel. Gorgeous.
...but mainly I dream of you a lot
the power of your heart
all around the world to bring you back
the power of your heart...

A song you don't want to wear out.

As it played I scribbled in my journal. I think I went to a Peter Gabriel concert once. Yes, I'm certain. I went with a friend from work sometime in the mid-eighties. I had to think a minute for his name. Alan. Very nice fellow. We didn’t date but enjoyed each other’s company. He was very amiable, easygoing and game. We went to the theatre a few times, and one time this concert. It was at Carnegie Hall, as I recall. Alan must have invited me. He was a huge fan and incredulous that I was unfamiliar with the music of either Gabriel or Genesis. (As a girl I didn’t hear much pop music beyond what was on top-40 AM radio or otherwise ambient.) What I remember of the concert now is the tiny figure of Peter Gabriel on the distant, darkened stage, washes of lush sound. I liked the music but for the most part I was hearing it for the first time, so I couldn't fully enter it. It didn't matter. I saw my concert companion and his obvious joy. He was thrilled to hear the music of one of his favorite artists, live!

[Ha! as I write and edit this letter - amazing the qualities of iced cherry wine, because after 5 it is that hour for me - a memory of George Stambolian has come up. I remember him describing that so much of the experience of going to the theatre (or a concert) has to do with aspects other than what's transpiring on stage. It's an amalgam of sensations and perceptions, your experience of it - settling in your seat, how you feel about your companion, whether you have an urge to cough and have no lozenge, whether you feel sexy, or hungry, a recollection of having been in the theatre before and a glimmer of a past performance, etc., etc.]

Then, lying on the sofa, I remembered about another friend I had for a while my freshman year in college. The connection was that at one point he too took me to a pop concert – the group Renaissance, playing at Brandeis. At my request, I'm certain. He was very nice too. We didn't date but he was unusually kind and solicitous towards me. I met him because he was the editor, as I recall, of an MIT student paper which solicited freelance submissions from other schools. I wrote a piece on the Gardner Museum in Boston and was very proud when it was published in - brace yourself - The Beaver (giant sarcastic eyeroll).
One of the most beautiful museums in the world is right here in Boston: the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Outside, it is a huge yet unpretentiously designed stone mansion, but inside the museum is a rare and wonderful escape from the hectic city life. It is filled with masterpieces of art, fresh flowers and fountains, and on certain afternoons, strains of chamber music wafting from the upper galleries…
My conscience pricks me a bit with this fellow. I liked him but wasn’t into him. I took him for granted and used him a bit. I wanted to see the Renaissance concert. I wasn’t attracted to him, but he had wheels… Terrible. My conscience pricks me over that. I just googled him. He has obviously done very well for himself – he’s in “wealth management”! Ah, oh well. I do remember that his friendliness and looking out for me was a lifeline for me, on my own my freshman year. Funny how I have sometimes disregarded or discounted that quality in people. A self-defeating streak in me, I think.

A song by the Guggenheim Grotto is playing now, with a delightfully forthright lyric – let’s get naked and get under the sheets. That was the problem with my MIT friend E – I never had any desire to with him.

You, on the other hand.

P.S. I was in the car earlier today and a song - don't know which one now - came on and I had to laugh. That post the other day about "I Want to Ascertain"? God, I can be so wordy and overly literary sometimes. Here's what I mean. I want the whole enchilada!

So many kisses, my love.

hitting send

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