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The romantic in me

The romantic in me wants to share what I love, the surge of joy or the depth of sadness I feel when I hear certain pieces of music or see something that to me makes a kind of art.

Last night I finally put together my little sound system, setting it up in my bedroom on a new "audio shelf" I got for cheap from CVS, and this morning I turned it on. I have listened to Vivaldi's Gloria and Magnificat, Pink Martini's Sympathatique, and Leonard Cohen's Dear Heather. I found myself on the floor by the CD player, finding the right buttons to push, and then ended up lying on my back on the carpet and closing my eyes. The gorgeous harmonies and wonderful speed of the Gloria always makes me want to sing it (which I have done, twice, in concert) because it brings a kind of unspeakable joy to me. I think this is what I want played at my funeral. If my life can be at all connected with the beauty and excitement of that piece it will be what I want. Pink Martini, on their first CD, also touches my joy button, giving me a kind of dancing feeling (most of these songs are dances), and I'm taken to new heights by the sheer artistry of the musicians. There isn't a note or breath out of place anywhere. It has a kind of abandon in spite of being perfect.

Dear Heather is anything but perfect but has so much emotion, so much passion, within the narrow range of Cohen's deep voice that it touches me viscerally. It was while I was lying on the floor listening to Go no more a-roving (words by Lord Byron) and The Letters and There for You (both pure Cohen, with Sharon Robinson) especially that I felt the deep longing to share it with someone. I imagined knowing someone who would feel it the way I do and then I imagined that person lying next to me while we listened and how Cohen's words would say so much about us.

And then I imagined how I would look at this other person, who shares my sense of music (and more) and ...and...what? Are there hints of tears in my eyes? Do I smile awkwardly, just a twist of a corner of my mouth? Do I say something?

I couldn't make it come together. My imagination wouldn't give me that great feeling I wanted from this sharing. Maybe I'm not such a romantic after all.



Judith Lautner
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January 2012


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