Saturday, December 4, 2010

Back and Heart Aches, but musica vincit omnia

I woke up bright and early today, had my breakfast, and was out in the front garden at 8am, where I remained until 12pm, pulling up weeds and grass. This is a seemingly endless task, as the clay soil makes it very difficult to dislodge some roots; a couple times I went ass over teakettle when I tried to pull up some stubborn clover root clumps. My back and neck ache, the tips of my fingers are sore (although I do wear gloves), and I fret constantly about the intensity of the sun, even with a hat and sunscreen. Lest I sound too much like a whiner, I do enjoy seeing what was once a tangle of brambles and grass emerge as poppies and iris plants, interspersed with beds of greyish brown earth. Skye is pleased, too... she praised my hard work, saying the garden has "never had this much attention", and remarked, "It's a good thing you're so patient!" I wanted to comment that perhaps I'm more obsessive-compulsive than patient, but the end result appears to be the same.

My heart aches because I called the Forest Museum rail shop right after lunch (making it 3:30pm Friday afternoon there), and Ron blew Samson's whistle for me. (Apparently Peter also called earlier in the morning, which made me snicker; the two steam junkies, calling in for a fix!) Sometimes I find it hard to believe that it is really December; I feel like I have entered a limbo state, where the weather remains spring/fall-like forever. "It can't possibly be Christmas!" my mind admonishes me; "The sun is still high in the sky, the roses are blooming, and you're outside in a t-shirt and capri shorts!" Hearing #25 gearing up for her maiden voyage of the 2010 Christmas Express was an abrupt wake-up call to the reality that yes, indeed, Christmas is here; or rather, Christmas is there, at the BCFDC, and I am here, in New Zealand (over 11 000 km away), and not a part of it.

Not wanting to sit around all mopey, I headed over to the church this afternoon, where Skye said I was more than welcome to go visit and play the piano. And that's exactly what I did for three hours; I let myself in (the building was open but empty) to the sanctuary, sat down at the piano, played an arpeggiated D Major chord (piano, okay; acoustics, excellent!), and launched right into Pachelbel's Canon in D. Playing music is grounding and yet liberating for me; it reminds me of who I am and why I am so profoundly affected by the beauty of fifths and seconds and I - IV - V - vi - IV - V64-53 - I chord progressions, and yet allows me to escape from wherever my physical body may be into a familiar aural soundscape that I can create anywhere I have a piano.

Feeling somewhat refreshed, I worked on The Giving Tree; I wrote out the melody and figured out the chord progression, then wrote a figured bass underneath. After all that, however, I think I may end up singing it a cappella (how appropriate, har har!)... I tired it out in the sanctuary and it would sound just fine, provided I don't get too nervous and choke on the words.

I left the church around 4:15 and walked down the street to the Waipawa New World, where I bought milk and two chocolate bars (I admit it, I'm cracking, I can't live without milk or chocolate!), only to come home and find Skye and Finn had gone shopping, and Skye had bought me milk and yoghurt as a treat! I felt a little silly, but now I guess I get to have milk for twice as long. :-)

This evening I showed Skye pictures of my family on my computer, which quickly made me realise I have to get together a collection of photographs where everyone isn't blurry, underexposed, or looking the wrong way! She also enjoyed seeing the photographs of my Convocation and of the Museum on Labour Day 2009.

Tomorrow is Sunday, and it doesn't sound like I will be expected to do any gardening (yea!), so perhaps my back will get a chance to recover. I'm going to go down to the Central Hawke's Bay Farmer's Market tomorrow morning while Skye and Finn are at church, and have a little wander around Waipawa by myself. Night!


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