Saturday, February 28, 2015

Vienese Waltzes

I used to imagine that in another life I lived in Vienna during the period of the great Strausses, father and son, who composed one wonderful waltz after another. I heard the music and wanted to go whirling around a ball room in a full skirted dress.  The simple rhythm is totally infectious (as are polkas and marches). Dr. Oliver Sacks, as I've mentioned, has written about music affecting a primal part of the brain.  

Thursday it snowed again -- yes, again! When i arrived at my opera class I was told the opera of the day had been change to something light and cheery -- Die Fladermaus.  Oh, my! It was an old DVD of a performance done in Vienna, probably at New Years. The set and costumes were authentically Viennese, the singers were very fine, the comedy was broad - expecially in the final act! -- and the dancing, both waltzes and a breath taking polka, were so much fun I think the rather small turn out for the class totally forget the "weather outside was frightful" because the music inside "was delightful."

Yesterday at my writing class one person read a very short essay about being older and hoping for joy in the midst of his distresses. (His wife died only a few months ago.) In the last few weeks I have enjoyed so much music which has lifted me like helium into areas of joy -- it did not fall in my lap, I went where it was -- one sort of fell in my lap when a friend offered a symphony ticket to see the Annie Moses Band. I could have said no, but, of course I didn't.  One must not sit home and wait for joy to descend like the falling snow, you have to know what makes you happy and go where it is.  Of course it won't always be there. No, I didn't realize my dreams of whirling around with dashing partner.  Only once, in college, there was a polka and a partner and we whirled and stomped until we were so out of breath we couldn't talk. It was summer and we were on the big terrace of the student union building. A long, long way from Vienna. Some joys are short but unforgettable and, for me, many of them have to do with music.


barbara judge said...

June -- This phrase of yours, "One must not sit home and wait for joy to descend like the falling snow, you have to know what makes you happy and go where it is," is so true. Whatever your interests in life one should go out and seek it like you do June. I know some older folks that put a television in front of them and then wonder why life is so boring as they age. Life is so full of ways to pursue your interests.

June Calender said...

Absolutely right, Barbara. I haven't owned a TV for decades (truth!) and I'm sometimes feel happier than I ever expected.