Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Intensity, ghosts, Yo-Yo Ma

When I was a youngun (teens and twenties), I wanted to be dark, mysterious, intense, and kind of dangerous. I wasn't very good at that (especially the mysterious and dangerous parts). Now that I'm in my late (eek) forties, I want to be one of those people who lights up a room when she walks in - people find themselves feeling happier even if they're not quite sure why. I suspect I'm probably about as good at that as I was at mysterious and dangerous, but it's good to have goals, right?

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I've been reading Patti Smith's excellent memoir, Just Kids (about her youth, and her artistic coming-of-age, and her long complex relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe) and thinking about my own youth - both because of the artistic coming-of-age theme and because Patti Smith was one of my heroes in my aforementioned teens and twenties (and, though I don't follow her career as closely as I did then, I still admire the heck out of her). When I finish the book I'll probably write up a bit of a review.

I also spent a couple of days during spring break typing up the last of my old high school & college poems (a project I'd started on a few years ago and set aside) - I had typed (you know, on a typewriter - remember those?) copies in looseleaf binders, but hadn't finished typing them all up on computer until last week. What a trip. A lot of them were so, so, so terrible - embarrassingly bad! Someone should have come along and smacked me upside the head every time I used the words "soul," "night," and "reality" in the same poem. It happened more times than I want to count. Heck, someone should've just smacked me when I used "soul" and that would have saved the world some awfulness. Heh. It was interesting to revisit my evolution from about ages 17-20, though. Amusingly enough, the poems I was proudest of at the time were not, as it turns out, the best ones or the ones that furthered my understanding of how to write. Go figure. I suppose that's probably still true...

I've lived in Bloomington for thirty years - ever since I was 18. With the echoes of some of those (awful) old poems in my ears, I'm even more aware of how many ghosts there are for me here. I don't mind living with them, but damn, they get noisy sometimes.

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Tonight I get to see Yo-Yo Ma perform! He's doing a solo recital, accompanied by only a pianist - something he apparently doesn't do that often. You can read about the performance, including the program, here: http://newsinfo.iu.edu/news/page/normal/13743.html He's going to play some Shostakovich - that should be phenomenal. Yo-Yo Ma could play "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" for an hour and it would be the greatest "Twinkle" ever played, so I am really looking forward to this.

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Attention: Do not leave your longings unattended


Jessie Carty said...

i used to be glad that i only have a handful of poems from my high school days but now it makes me kind of sad. i love that you typed them all up!

many of my college poems, however, did survive and are actually in my book - LARGELY revised. Although many of them are also missing as I went through periods where I tossed everything.

enjoy yo-yo ma. wow! what an opportunity!!

Sandy Longhorn said...

This is a great goal: I want to be one of those people who lights up a room when she walks in - people find themselves feeling happier even if they're not quite sure why.

Hope you don't mind if I adopt it as well.

Anne said...

Sandy - I suspect the world would be a better place if more people adopted that goal. :)