Thursday, January 14, 2010


My Daughter is not a morning person. She gets this from her grandmother. She emerges from her bedroom as a cross between cousin It, a 50 year old smoker, and a sulky teenager. Hopefully when she can drink coffee things will perk up; and now that our kids consume organic milk, kindly raised chickens, and local vegetables thus minimizing toxins we ought to be able to start the caffeine thing earlier. Tuesday night, while the boys were doing their best to drive their mother completely insane and she was performing perfect twin for her father and piano teacher she and Manuel devised an experiment. The hypothesis was that if the lights went out earlier and the children went to sleep earlier the morning would be easier and no on would miss the bus. This does cramp Rebecca and Jonathan’s twin style—their nighttime ritual involves reading and then as they put it “having chat time to process our day” But by 8:30 I had installed myself in a wine bar to work on an abstract which was eventually whittled down to the required 343 words, Manuel was doing a spectacular job cleaning up a giant mess made by the monstrous boys, and the kids were sleeping. At 7 this morning Jonathan bounced out of bed fully dressed and announced that “the experiment didn’t exactly work. She’s not in a good mood and she ordered me to turn the lights back off and close the door.” My vote, if it matters, is that the morning ran smoother but that the princess will require coffee for things to really get better.

Jonathan also as he does every few days reminded me that his sister is a great artist. Art She’s always making things, shoes for herself out of cardboard, a bed for Joanthan’s stuffed bear, or an elaborate pipe cleaner costume. The strange thing for me about this as a mother is that I am utterly un-visual and have no sense of her talent etc… As a musician I can tell pretty quickly if a kid has a decent sense of pitch and rhythm and was quite pleased when Rebecca and Jonathan matched pitch as toddlers—ok the pitch was often wining or screaming but still…... But art resides in a foreign and largely inaccessible zone. My little artist feels especially proud this week as she and her two friends made their own little art installation at Mguffy Art Center. If you’re wandering around the second floor and you see a tiny clay bug and two tiny clay bloody eyes installed on a two foot trap door you will see this public masterpiece. At this point all three of my children have surpassed me in fine motor skills—apparently at Eli’s parent night which I skipped the parents were required to play the things the kids do in school. Activity number 1 was strining beads. My three year old preschool tried to flunk me because I couldn't string beads and sadly I still can't.....

Meanwhile in preparation for a seminar on Soundscapes in Jefferson’s America I’ve been immersing myself in the world of Thomas Jefferson. What a pleasure to click on the papers of TJ and type the words music and sound into a little bar and come up with 35 useful quotations. Or even better yet if for example one wants to find out what Fredrick Douglas had to say about the music of enslaved people a quick goggle search takes you directly to the last chapter of his book. The hard part is that the literature is vast. There are more relevant primary sources for this tiny little snippet than there are primary secondary and utterly unrelated for everything else I’ve ever written. I’m hoping that bibliographic control means something different in this context. I’m hoping also to get back to Castrati next week. Between school vacation, various family ordeals, and the impending semester the book has taken a back seat. But I have been carrying around in my back book a cultural history the penis and a printout of a silly little drama involving a castrato that I found a couple of years ago in the Vatican. I’m going for the osmosis method of book writing this week but next week will return to the half an hour a day no matter what program ASAP.

No comments:

Post a Comment