Friday, August 27, 2010

Through the front window in afternoon light

They pause and look back before they move into the trees. I'm looking back often, now. This week I took a watercolor journal class in the mornings with one other student. We painted and wrote a few short childhood memories. We had a fine time. Today, after the last class, I came home and S. turned to the satellite radio opera channel for me. Sirius has the Metropolitan Opera station, which is much inferior to the Vox channel on the subsumed XM Radio. Still, it has its moments, and today's recording of Die Valkyre as performed on December 6, 1941 has to count as one of them. Helen Traubel and Lauritz Melchior in full monaural sound, including a little tape or disc hiss! For the memory thread, look at the date, a Saturday in late 1941. Sunday, December 7, 1941 is the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. I was six years old then, and I remember the adults were paying unusual, focused attention to the radio. I knew something was up, but I didn't really get it at all.
When my son called me early on September 11, 2001 and told me to turn on the the television, I did so and watched the Towers fall, and fall and fall . . . I knew then that my world had changed forever, once again. I think about Traubel and Melchior going to bed that Saturday night and waking up to a day when everything would be forever changed in a short space of time. It was a long time ago, and really not so long at all.
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