Saturday, June 18, 2011

"We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect." — Anaïs Nin

And believe me, it tastes almost as good the second time. The more time I spend writing about what's happening in my life, the more I want to write and the more I appreciate the seemingly simple experiences that I write about. Here are a few memories that I want to 'taste twice.' I've arranged them in list form for your convenience.

1. Opera- It started last Thursday when Granny took us to see Rigoletto, a tragic opera by Verdi. Opera was something that I never knew much about, but since then it keeps popping up everywhere. Popstar to Operastar came on TV earlier this week, and we've been following the Cardiff Singer of the World competition. I haven't been able to get La donna è mobile out of my head. (Click on that link and listen. I'm sure you would recognize it. It's incredible how often it's used in popular movies or TV shows: Dr. Who, Saturday Night Live, South Park, Grand Theft Auto III, Star Trek, Seinfield, Sesame Street, and My Friend Tigger & Pooh, among others.) A couple of nights ago Granny and I attempted to sing O mio babbino caro in the kitchen after dinner. Rebecca can attest to our prodigious talent. Opera is a singular art form because it conveys so much emotion in the music alone. The singer doesn't move around the stage much while performing, so the expression has to be conveyed through dynamics, facial expressions, how they stand, and so on. The music isn't organized into rhyming verse, chorus, verse two that echos verse one, chorus, verse three, chorus, bridge, chorus. It's sung in waves of sound, and often a singer will sing half of the song, and then go back and repeat but sing louder, or slower, or in a different key. It took me a while to appreciate the vibrato of the voices because usually I prefer clear, choir-boy kind of music, but I'm slowly growing to enjoy it.

2. Work- I'm getting into the swing of things at work. I've made some friends and learned most of the menu. I'm a waitress more often than a dishwasher now, which is a nice change, although waitressing is a lot more nerve-wracking and I have to be thinking the whole time. When I'm washing dishes, I go off into my own little world and, when the noisy dishwasher is on, I sing opera in hushed tones (no high A-flat for me). Work still has that new, exciting feeling, which I want to maintain as long as possible.

3. Granny's memory- Forgive my bragging, but my Granny is awesome. She knows the name for everything: flowers, birds, songs, actors, places. But Rebecca and I have learned that if you ask her a straightforward question like, "What is that plant called?" she won't be able to remember. So instead of asking a question, we make an observation such as, "That's an interesting-looking plant." She will then volunteer the answer, easy as pie.

4. Photo shoot- On the drive home from Inverness on Thursday, we saw the most beautiful patch of wildflowers, so we stopped to have a photo shoot. Here are some of the results:

5. Teatime- It's a wonderful tradition that I am determined to perpetuate into my grownup life. A snack of hot chocolate and cake is the perfect way to fill the gap between lunch and dinner. I harbor a slight resentment towards the Boston Tea Party-ists (pun intended). Of all the traditions to quench (I'm sorry, was that too far?), why would they choose an essential meal? Especially one that leaves me saturated (a bit of a stretch) with cocoa and joy? I will leave you with this lovely cartoon I found that expresses the importance of teatime in Britain.

There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to 
the ceremony known as afternoon tea. 
- Henry James 

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