Sunday, September 18, 2011

2011.09.18 — The Dogs' Masters — A Sonnet

As I'm about to write this, the AMAZING Zoë Keating is playing

Both the song and image seem almost perfect for the sonnet I wrote earlier today. It was inspired by the subject 'Mood Swings' from the Goodreads Weekly Short Story Contest and Company, which includes a weekly poetry suffrage section.

So, click the Play GUI above and read
The Dogs' Masters

The moods of nature swing with ambivalent
indifference, cool to the high summer's sun.
Without need of ice the dogs lie content
while in shade their masters strive to have fun.

At the pendulum's obverse comes winter,
dark beneath the stark panoply of stars.
Nose down and tails wagging the dogs canter
while their masters in snow boots de-ice their cars.

With the grace of easy equanimity
fall the rains of spring and the leaves of fall.
The dogs' play is time's spontaneity
while their masters trudge to end the day's call.

       Who's it that drinks-in the scent of life's mud?
       And who but the masters wash out in its flood?

Friday, September 16, 2011

2011.09.16 — Ian & Sylvia and a Windy Fushigi* or Two

This was a rare — no, it was a unique Sunday (September 11th) that began with my waking early after a relatively late night. While my waking early on Sundays is unusual, my waking before my wife has happened at most a dozen or so times in thirty-two years. This beginning may not have been a singularity, but its rarity filled me the joy of beginning my morning by and with my self, to quietly watch the world move into the morning's sunshine in my own way, at my own pace.

With "O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!" reverberating inside my head I grabbed Saturday's Globe & Mail, which is likewise a Sunday morning event at least as rare as my waking before my wife. With it I settle into my favourite chair and turn on CBC Radio2 before 7am, which is yet another thing I haven't done on a Sunday morning in … I don't remember when. And thus begins this little fushigi: Part I.

So, while Molly Johnson, jazz singer and weekend radio host chatted and played her eclectic mix I moved my way through the 'Focus' and 'Arts' sections of the paper, skipping, as usual, the disinformation-al 'A' and 'Business' sections.

I turn to the penultimate page (R17) of the 'Arts' section and see the following headline:
Four Strong Winds: Ian & Sylvia
by John Einarson with Ian Tyson and Sylvia Tyson
Review by Li Robbins
From Saturday's Globe and Mail. Published Friday, Sep. 09, 2011
And I do a double take. Re-read the headline and more carefully listen to the radio. Yup. I'm in the middle of Neil Young's voice in perhaps the definitive cover of 'Four Strong Winds'.

Completely useless, undoubtedly meaningless, and yet… when does a string of truly bizarre conicdences remove themselves from statistical improbability into synchronicity?

So, now for part II of the fushigi. It actually occurred last month. I got busy doing other things and since it was so small I didn't get around to transcribing the terse blue sticky note into the blog. But, since 'Four Strong Winds' has come up, I decided to cheat it into the blogosphere, here.

It begins with my undertaking yet another rare action. No, I didn't wake up before my wife. I did something even more rare: I sent an inquiry on a job, notice of which I received via e.mail from the CCPA (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives). I didn't quite apply for it because I didn't quite have the desired experience and skills, but I did have a significant number of the them. Also, the job is in Ottawa, a city about 3500km away, and very cold. (But one my wife loved when she lived there 40 years ago.) And the job's starting salary would be a pay cut.

I thought about this for a long time, but the thought of changing jobs pushed me to send an inquiry from work on August 9th.

Later that morning one of my co-workers and a friend, whom I've nick-named Marcus Aurelius, came by my pod. After the usual morning greetings he commented that he'd got into the office late that morning because he'd dropped his sister off at the airport to go back to Ottawa.

Curious. I have gone years without having personal relationship with Ottawa and within 2 hours I have 2.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

2011.08.26 — Star Wars, Schumann & a fushigi*

I find particular enjoyment from fushigis when they involve music. Surprisingly often I've had them when I'm driving a vehicle. This is one of those in an backwards/backhanded sort of way.

This one begins with me in my automobile on a rare for me Friday household chore run around 10:00 am. I turn the radio to CBC-Radio2 and after about 8 notes I think, this is Mozart's Queen of the Night aria And it is a beautiful version . Next to come up is William Walton's Symphony No. 1, 4th movement.
Clip from CBC Playlist
I don't know this piece, probably because whenever Walton has entered my ears my eyes have tended to glaze over and my fingers reach out and change the station. And so it happens this time too, and I change to a local edgy blues-pop rock station.

Alas, I get bored with that now forgettable tune too and flip back to CBC-R2, from which Walton is still playing. As it drags to its end I think about why it is that I find the romantics like Schumann to be rather boring — something about Walton strikes me as 'romantic' although I'm not sure if that is how he is technically classified. With Walton in my ears and Schumann in my thoughts it strikes me that there is an equivalency between how I react to this kind of classical music and how I react to the treacly sentiment that is frequently expressed in American movies and TV. Like Spielberg, I think, and his relationship with John Williams, especially the Star Wars series.

As I'm thinking this the Walton movement comes to an end and the host chats about the upcoming 'music that rocked your world' segment, in which she shares the e.mails or voice mails of people who disclose the singular piece of music that changed forever their relationship with music. Well, to my amusement the e.mail read by Julie Nesrallah is from a man who described how
John Williams' scores to Star Wars 'rocked his world'. And the writer even specified a particular movement or scene, Hyperspace.

This is a tiny fushigi, but a distinctly amusing one, because I was surrounded by music I do not particularly enjoy.