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Simarik's One Year Anniversary Postcard to Freddie.

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This one's for you, Don Basilio...

Opera [...] is excessive, chaotic with gilded clichés, where nothing is out of bounds.  No gesture is too large, no circumstance too small to be sung over.  Hysteria is within the human range of appropriate response.


The characters who inhabit opera love who is forbidden, murder who is good, and forgive who has wronged them.  They transgress.  They transmit their motives through plot and performance.  And we are caught in the intricate web of a story spun through the magic of music married to libretto.

And when opera succeeds in reaching its highest calling, which is to move us, I know of no art form that can seize my heart so forcefully.  On a winter afternoon in Hanover, New Hampshire, I sat with strangers in a full house watching Der Rosenkavalier, Richard Strauss's comic opera of errors.  I found myself sobbing as the beautiful, aging Marschallin mused on the passage of time to her young lover, Octavian.  I was not alone.  Kleenexes were being passed discreetly.

"Opera has the power to warn you that you have wasted your life," writes Wayne Koestenbaum.  "You haven't acted on your desires.  You've suffered a stunted, vicarious existence.  You've silenced your passions.  The volume, height, depth, lushness, and excess of operatic utterance reveal, by contrast, how small your gestures have been until now, how impoverished your physicality; you have only used a fraction of your bodily endowment, and your throat is closed."


Opera demands we pay attention to the spectacle before us, "a grand arena of irreconcilables: music and text, grandeur and tackiness, the aerial and the carnal, the aural and the visible, the modish and the outdated, the living and the dead," Tony Kushner says.  "Opera ought to have died out..."

But it hasn't.

— from the book When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice, by Terry Tempest Williams.

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Giulio Cesare, Santa Marinella]
[sabato 28 dicembre 2014 ore 22:03:41] []

What little I like about December.

That cooking makes you warmer.

That the cat she is a lapcat.

That you can keep your fingerless gloves on, while you peel a clementine.

That boots.

That the solstice comes.  So every day is a little longer, again and at last.

That I don't live in New York or Toronto or Montreal.

That this year is over.

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Giulio Cesare, Santa Marinella]
[sabato 27 dicembre 2014 ore 20:11:21] []


For later when you will want to remember, there were some getting-better days.  Of Project Didion and Project Elvira and (thanks to Project Elvira), Project Sleep.  Of meeting Justen Ahren in Orvieto and living off the good that this does for the writer in you, for weeks.  Of sending boxfuls of tisana depurativa to Jennifer in San Miguel, via Moira by San Clemente.  Of Brevity and Bone Bouquet and damselfly press.

January comes next and she's a little scary, because she expects you to show up and make things happen, and it's been several months now, that you haven't required yourself to show up and make things happen.  Who knows if that particular you is still there under all the quiet layers of these afternoons.  Who knows if you have the energy, the room for her.

You tell Elvira.  She says don't worry.  This progress you have made has been unhurried and whole.  You might slip a bit next year.  But you're stronger.

You don't poke holes in her argument.

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Giulio Cesare, Santa Marinella]
[sabato 20 dicembre 2014 ore 17:43:04] []

And five.

It's only when I sit down to write this that I see.  Oh.  It's the eighth.  I almost made it through this one without noticing.  Is that a good thing or a terrible thing?

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Via Giulio Cesare, Santa Marinella]
[lunedì 08 dicembre 2014 ore 21:54:07] []