Archive for February, 2008

Things I won’t see in Manhattan this week

Sunday, February 24th, 2008

…about the music

A trio for this trio.

Moses (in silhouette); Smudge (in attack mode); and Bambi (in fine dining attire).
This trio amuses me on a regular basis. Most of the time, Smudge doesn’t seem to care about these weird looking dogs that come round the studio to bogart the birds’ sunflower seeds. But on occasion, he feels the need to defend his territory, and jumps at the glass door in a noble, if pathetic, attempt to scare off the antlered interlopers.
It’s of no use.

I gleefully await the spring, with its new shoots and buds, already becoming visible. And: the promise of a few very non-indigenous sunflowers popping up here and there in the woods, courtesy of the potent combination of my largess, and the digestive systems of the local venison.

I’m off at the crack o’ dawn to NYC; more blogging when I return home at week’s end. Have a lovely week, my sweets.

Dancing with the stars

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

…about the music

Waltzing across the sky.

What? You gotta problem with this gorgeous photo of tonight’s lunar eclipse? Huh? You can’t tell that’s what… What? Oh… what this is? Really?

Hey, those clear, glowing astronomy pix are everywhere. Look in any newspaper, there ya go, Perfect Eclipse Photo. Anyone can post a professional quality eclipse photo these days. But here in Kelpville, I provide my readers with something a little more… uh… unique.
Artistic, even.
The Interpretive Dance of the Eclipse,
(as seen through the hands of a composer who should cut down on her caffeine intake)
waltzing with the star Regulus (dressed in blue)
and that faaaaabulous ringed orb, Saturn (lower left, in a demure buttercup yellow).

My camera doesn’t have a tripod. We dun need no steenkin’ tripod! It has a… bipod. Two legs. Human. Guess that makes it a biped. Actually, I think that I took tonight’s particular ever-hopeful-idiot-newbie shot while resting the camera on the top of Charles’s very nice head as we sat in the middle of a spectacular open expanse on the south end of the island. We looked rather like something out of Cirque du Soleil but with noticeably more clothes. This was the same spot from which I took that Baker pic below. I would describe it as a place with a 360 degree view, but frankly, I could say that about my bathroom if I spun around in it, so maybe that’s not as impressive a statement as I intended.

If I told you where this spot was, I’d have to shoot you. Rather, my neighbors would shoot me, ‘cos they all want to keep the magic of this island a big secret. And who can blame them? They like it that mainlanders think we have the crap weather of Seattle and a tough time procuring even the most basic medical supplies like aspirin (for when you’ve spun in your bathroom too long). Yup, it’s all true. Oh, and indoor plumbing and electricity are hard to come by. But who needs power when you can light up the sky with interpretive dance!
For some reason I am reminded of the etymology for lunacy…

But wait! There’s more!

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

On a clear day, you CAN see forever. Almost. To balance that lovely view of the Olympics in my last post, here’s another gift: the Cascades, directly to the east, framing Lopez, Decatur and Blakely Islands. I gaze at this sight and a sense of absolute serenity overtakes me. I have no idea why. There’s something about the combination of wind-whipped water, tree-blanketed islands and snow-covered mountains that just makes everything instantly wonderful. Add an 11,000 foot volcano to the mix and wow, what a sight.

Then, add a zoom lens, and even with a little haze in the air, suddenly something that’s 300 miles away looks so close you could walk to it. I think I see people’s ski poles as they make their way down Mt. Baker:

…about the music

A dreamy vista, very 80’s but hey, these mountains are even older.

Home and the range

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

…about the music

Noble, a la 90’s TV.

Standing at South Beach (no, not the one in Miami), this is what you see looming over endless piles of driftwood when you turn your head to the left. Oh, having a zoom lens on your camera helps, too. I could stay here all day and try to capture the parade of colors that bounce off this snow-draped mountain range. The palette shifts depending on the slant of the sun and the mood of the clouds. Light is a paintbrush, and this is visual music.

My left brain went on a picnic

Sunday, February 10th, 2008

…about the music

Missing something…..

The photo above was taken two stormy days ago at San Juan County Park. The waves were larger than you can tell, but the Canadian islands seen across the Haro Strait still beckoned like Sirens. My half-sister journeyed here for a wonderful three day visit, and I had a blast taking her all over this island, to every favorite spot and then some new ones we discovered together.

Our father used to refer to us as “his only two and his two onlies.” Lisa and I never lived together, yet thanks to the mysteries of DNA we’re remarkably similar in many ways and have always loved each other’s company. Lisa’s life is nearly polar opposite to mine: the mother of two terrific college-aged sons, she’s a very, very high ranking career Diplomat and economist with the State Department and has lived all over the world. This summer she moves to Brazil, where she becomes Deputy Chief of Mission for our three consulates there. Wow. Before that, it was the Dominican Republic, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Mexico City, and Peru. It’s always a treat to see Lisa.

My apologies for being off the blog radar for a few days. Especially to Glenn, who as readers can see from his recent comments, was forced to find hidden poetry from my old posts (keeping this blog going in my absence, thus becoming a defacto Kelp blogger himself). Thanks, Glenn. I would give you a salary and put you on staff, were I able.

Yes, I went underground. Or I should admit, the left hemisphere of my brain did. Lisa’s visit was Good Reason #2; given our physical distances, I don’t see her more than once or twice a year, sometimes less, so when I do she’s got my full attention. Good Reason #1 prior to her visit involves the limitations of my cerebral cortex. There comes a point when in the final throes of certain pieces (not all), I just can’t cope well with non-music things, language and administrative tasks being among them. Yes, of course, urgent items get done, because they must. But most things are not urgent, even if they masquerade as such, glaring at me in my ever-fattening Inbox. The older I get, the more I realize that the earth will indeed continue to spin on its axis if I don’t participate in external activities for a moment. So much of what I do is external: daily communications with people around the world, writing, public speaking, filling orders, etc. Yet my internal life keeps me even busier.

Case in point: I finished the band piece. Hooray! Now the abilities of my left brain are called upon as I finalize the printed score. The music in one’s head and the music on the page are examples of the two cerebral hemispheres, and they really are entirely different animals. The first is the True Inspiration and the latter is how the True Inspiration can be translated into something musicians can actually play and people can actually hear. Left brain, right brain. Maybe they’ll take a picnic together sometime.