Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Of Glory in the Flower

If I play Chopin when I have the blues, Bach when I have the "mean reds", and Schubert when I am happy, what does it mean when I play this?

Not sad, although the choice of song might suggest that.

Even though I "discovered" Eva Cassidy in my early 30s, her voice slingshots me back to childhood.

And since I was wallowing about in this state of obscure, undefined nostalgia, after I finished playing Autumn Leaves, I rooted through my old emails, looking for an exchange I had with SK.

This is what I emailed to her on December 14th, 2004:

I reread Wilde's An Ideal Husband the other day. One of the main characters is blackmailed for something he did at the very beginning of his career. His friend asks him how he could have been so weak as to give into that sort of temptation. He replies that it wasn't weakness that drove him to risk everything he was and everything he had on a such morally questionable act (one which ultimately provided him with the foundation of his current fortune and prestige).

He replies that it took courage: "A terrible, horrible courage."

I'm questioning my choices. Was it cowardice or courage that drove them? Part of me just wants to go to yet another foreign country, if only for a month or two, and figure things out. But maybe that's just escaping. But then such escapes have often been the basis for great stories.

You should come with me. We can eat spicy food in Marrakesh. Ride horses across India. Flirt with handsome brown men. Someplace hot so we can wear washed linen everyday.

I'm not really kidding. We can both write. Me my novel, you your dissertation.

I suppose it's typical of the irony of life. Back then, all I wanted was to think trivial, happy thoughts. As evidenced by my blog, I've now reached that point. And yet I find myself *almost* missing that horrible time.  My thoughts were... larger then.

But that might only be because I didn't have a piano in Beijing and therefore couldn't play Bach.

By the way, I've finally identified my emotion. I play Joseph Kosma when I'm restless.

Off now to find my tiara.

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