I am gearing up for some last minute Christmas prep, as well as getting ready to go to NYC next week. My low back fell out of wack late last week. I’m still limping and having to inelegantly slide myself out of chairs; coworkers are concerned that I might not get to NYC, but I have assured them –and everyone else-- that I am going. If you see someone on crutches in the American Museum of Natural History, say hi: it might be me.
Chat around the coffee machine at work this morning turned to considering What a Year This Has Been. The economy was in terrible shape, with far reaching impact into so many people’s lives. There were the financial scandals in the USA and abroad. The news is full of stories about ongoing war. I cannot think of a year when so many people have lost jobs, houses, marriages, and deaths in their immediate family.
All of these things were going on last year and the year before, and they will happen next year as well. Perhaps there has been an increase in these events due to the economy so we naturally hear more news items and “human interest” stories in the media. Perhaps there is more media coverage because there is, somehow, more media. Perhaps I am also just more aware this year than in past years. Or all of those.
My year was pretty much a blur. My manager was talking about a piece of work we did in December 2008, and honestly, I couldn’t even remember it. When it faded back into memory, I wondered if it was, in fact, in December 2008. “Wait,” I said, “wasn’t that in 2007?” “Nope; 2008.”
It had me wondering what else I’d forgotten about. What positive things happened this year? I came up with a few things very quickly – my vacation in Vermont, for example – but finding more than that was a struggle.
Some years ago, a friend nursed his partner at home through his last year of life with AIDS. “It was tough, and lonely and horrible,” he said. “One of the things I did that really helped is that at the end of every day I made a list of at least 5 things that happened that day that were positive. It might have been something as simple as that John held down a meal that day, or that I actually took in the beauty of the sunset. You know, the small things can really count.”
So, here’s what I’m suggesting. Leave a comment, and in it write something that happened to you this year that was positive. Something big or something small, doesn’t matter. Let’s send out the year with a list of positives.
In Other News
Here’s a youtoob video of a piece by Francois Couperin, splendidly played on a nice pipe organ. (The microphone is so close to the pipe chest that it’s picking up the clicking noises made by the mechanical action of the organ. You wouldn’t hear them if you were sitting in the building.) Members of the Couperin family were recognized musicians throughout the French Baroque period; I think they’re practically considered a dynasty. Francois Couperin was nicknamed “Couperin le Grand” – I believe another member of the family named Francois is “Couperin le Petit” – and is best known for his suites of harpsichord music. They fully exploit the sonorities of the harpsichord typical of 18th century France; that’s the instrument Couperin would have heard and played daily and known intimately. The suites sound okay on harpsichords from other countries, but best on French instruments. IMO, they don’t “work” sonically when played on the piano and sound “oily”. (Pianos have a wildly different overtone structure than harpsichords.)
I hope you are all able to enjoy a celebration of the return of the light, and send my best wishes for peace, joy, health and prosperity for 2010. Talk to you next year.