1. It is a cool, gray, drizzly day here in Knoxville, although there was a brief bit of sunshine. It would be a perfect day for working in the flower beds except that the drainage work is finally being done in the back of my yard after a long series of frustrating delays. Once again there are heavy machines and men in boots mucking about and digging things up. Admittedly I've let that section of the flower bed go to weed. It was a hot summer after all, and I knew the area would have to be dug up, so it hardly seemed worth the sweat and effort, knowing that any fruits of my labors would be destroyed. I've been waiting for this job since June and I am happy that the digging and hardscapes are finally complete (fingers crossed).
2. Last night's concert at the Knoxville Museum of Art was stunning in its beauty. Our fabulous young concertmaster, Gabriel Lefkowitz performed Brahms' First Violin Sonata in G Major, bringing the soothing lyricism of the piece to life, his violin singing with a gentle effusiveness, as if all the cares of the world could be washed away in the music. The second half of the program, Schubert's "Trout" Quintet, was also beautifully performed and it was an experience altogether different from the one at the square room a week ago, even though two of the musicians were the same. This time the music had its own life, the individual musicians indistinguishable, as if there were a profound conversation going on between them, the music melding to become something with its own life and presence, where as the previous week's concert I had felt like I was hearing three distinct musicians playing the same piece. It was as if a couple of people were talking about the same thing and drawing the same conclusions, but although they were "hearing" each other, they weren't really listening, the experience was not transformative. Last night's performance was something else all together, five musicians coming together to create something greater than themselves. If you are in Knoxville and you have a chance to go to tonight's performance, go.
3. I am reading Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend. Actually I've gotten a kind of slow start, not because I don't love the novel, I do but because I started it on my kindle and now I've moved to a paperback copy and have found myself needing to step back, and retrace my steps. I don't believe I had fully realized how different my experience of reading is, and how different my perceptions and reactions, between reading on the kindle, versus reading an actual book. This has made me step back and pause somewhat. I knew that I liked certain kinds of books better on one or the other, and that if I loved a book on the kindle, I might buy a physical copy as well, and end up rereading it as it always seemed different on paper. But only now am I beginning to understand the repercussions, and appreciate how the difference affects my thoughts and relationship to the material being read.