Sunday, December 31, 2006

Auld Lang Syne

First, a little New Year's music from Petaluma's own David Grisman.

It's New Year's Eve and I'm blissfully alone. Except for a furry and very high-maintenance (miaaoOWW! MEEEoww!) companion.

(I read somewhere that cats only meow around humans. And only because it works. That is, deaf people's cats don't meow.)

Steve is out doing a very non-lucrative gig rather far away from home. I'm feeling slightly guilty because I didn't go with him. He goes with me to mail my newspapers, for Chrisakes. After helping me put all 1,500 labels on them.

But lord knows I'm not too good after eleven. And I hate party scenes where everyone has to pretend to be jolly.

Steve, my love, thank you for this quiet evening. It would be even nicer with you next to me, but even by myself it's pretty good.

Even though it's not particularly cold in here, I've built a fire to sit in front of. Cleo, next to me, smells like an expensive fur coat that has recently been out in the cold night air. Old folk favorites of a mellow nature are playing on the electronic Victrola. I'm almost insanely content.

(Old "folk favorites"? Or is it more accurate now to read "Old folk" favorites?)

Yesterday I read an article about the science of music and the brain. You know how certain music evokes an emotional response that is deeply pleasurable? A scientist has tracked the brain pathway this music stimulates the brain to release dopamine, a chemical that triggers the brain’s sense of reward.

From my suddenly enriched music collection (see previous post), I've created a playlist just for this evening with the most reflective songs. I'm listening to it as I write. It includes tunes from Andy Irvine and Paul Brady, the Corries, Kate Wolf, Judy Collins, Cherish the Ladies, Sweet Honey in the Rock and a group I didn't previously know about, Cry Cry Cry. They are richly rewarding.

There's a New Year's Eve program on TV with Garrison Keillor. I may or may not actually turn it on. I may or may not actually stay up until midnight. I may or may not just turn off the lights and sit silent in the dark, watching the fire and listening to its music.

Addendum: I fiddled around until about 11:30, then decided to turn on the TV. The channel was set at C-Span 2, Book TV, with Karen Armstrong talking about her new book on Islam. It was so fascinating that I forgot all about the New Year's program until precisely 12 midnight. Then I couldn't find the TV remote, which had slipped under the coffee table, and then I figured it was too late. So that's my New Year's Eve experience: pigging out on sweet music, fire and Islamic thought.

I think it's a trend. I only heard one firecracker go off at midnight.


Post a Comment

<< Home