Monday, October 1, 2012

Harvest Hurry

October already! What kind of a time vortex have I fallen into? This Saturday is the Para X in East Brunswick. I remember being in the hospital thinking, “Oh, by October I should be up and walking. No problem.”

Wrong... but I'm getting there.

Meet my new shoe and brace.

It's not the medieval torture device I had envisioned. I took my first few steps since this entire ordeal began almost a year ago. It felt strange, but good. I won't be using this until my physical therapist is here from visiting nurse service, but I should be walking with a walker in a few weeks. Fingers crossed.

The Anam Cara has been released from rehab. Claude is doing very well, and is now at home. She will also be doing physical therapy. Gods! We're the walking wounded around here! The replacement knee surgery went very well and, although she is in pain now, ultimately she'll be glad she did all this. Her attitude is great, her spirits are up, and I am very proud of my gal. Atta girl, Claude!

Meanwhile, the show must go on. I put together my presentation and my handouts for Saturday's lecture ( I will also be selling my books and doing Tarot readings). I'm going extremely high tech for this:

That's right. I've finally gotten into the 20th century. Big improvement over the rock and chisel I used in the past. Hey, I printed off exhibits onto full page “Post It” sticky picture paper and attached them to my presentation pad, PLUS (brace yourselves) I have a laser pointer. Well... OK. It belongs to Rufus. He likes to chase the red dot. But on Saturday it is a lecture tool. Folks have brought down PLANES with these things, people! I will have the power!! (...until the shih tzu comes home).

Now, on to the musical portion of the program. My first selection is Chopin's “Funeral March”. I bet a bunch of you thought this was composed purely for Warner Brothers cartoons ala Chuck Jones. Nope! It's a bona fide piece of spooky, classical gloom.

My second selection is a particular favorite of mine. I encountered Schubert's “Erlkonig” in University. I was shocked to recognize the opening as the “chase music” from dozens of silent movies. Little did a know there was a mystic, macabre story behind the music, based on the old legend of the Erlkonig. Below is the English translation of the German, and an Illustrated video of the song with the original verses.

Everything sounds more frightening in German.

Who rides, so late, through night and wind?
It is the father with his child.
He has the boy well in his arm
He holds him safely, he keeps him warm.

"My son, why do you hide your face so anxiously?"
"Father, do you not see the Elfking?
The Elfking with crown and tail?"
"My son, it's a wisp of fog."

"You dear child, come, go with me!
Very lovely games I'll play with you;
Some colourful flowers are on the beach,
My mother has some golden robes."

"My father, my father, and don't you hear
What the Elfking quietly promises me?"
"Be calm, stay calm, my child;
The wind is rustling through withered leaves."

"Do you want to come with me, pretty boy?
My daughters shall wait on you finely;
My daughters will lead the nightly dance,
And rock and dance and sing you to sleep."

"My father, my father, and don't you see there
The Elfking's daughters in the gloomy place?"
"My son, my son, I see it clearly:
There shimmer the old willows so grey."

"I love you, your beautiful form entices me;
And if you're not willing, then I will use force."
"My father, my father, he's grabbing me now!
The Elfking has done me harm!"

It horrifies the father; he swiftly rides on,
He holds the moaning child in his arms,
Reaches the farm with trouble and hardship;
In his arms, the child was dead
Humm... Sweet dreams!


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