Normally I prefer having something spesh to talk about, something moderately scintillating with perhaps a hint of indulgence or novelty. Today I have no such thing. Frankly I am relieved. The sun is shining. The azure sky is clear. The air is crisp and dry.
It was the ideal inducement for a bicycle ride. We wore gloves and an overcoat to protect ourselves from the near freezing temperature as we wheeled throughout the neighbourhood. Naturally I got caught up with a friend who was working in his driveway. It looked very “spring cleaning”. We hadn’t spoken or otherwise communicated with one another for six months. It was the work of a moment to rekindle acquaintance. He shared with me his not insubstantial dream to renovate a family cottage as a full-time residence. And move to the country.
After the bicycle ride I drove to Stittsville to have the car washed. The highway reflected the weather – dry and clear. I opened the windows and landau roof. The wind tousled my hair. It was 15 years ago after returning home from open-heart surgery that I began the therapeutic automobile drives in the countryside. I clearly remember the first day, driving on a fresh morning to the Village of Pakenham, circling about then returning home. Who can recall the thoughts one had as the trees swept by? What idle and circuitous meanderings arise on a chilly morning ride? A smooth ride on an open road in the country.
The glaring sunlight presses upon the drawing room window and further stains the carpets and leather inside. Anton Rubinstein’s Melodie in F-major.
Anton Grigoryevich Rubinstein (Russian: Антон Григорьевич Рубинштейн, tr. Anton Grigor’evič Rubinštejn; 28 November [O.S. 16 November] 1829 – 20 November [O.S. 8 November] 1894) was a Russian pianist, composer and conductor who became a pivotal figure in Russian culture when he founded the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. He was the elder brother of Nikolai Rubinstein, who founded the Moscow Conservatory.
As a pianist, Rubinstein ranks among the great 19th-century keyboard virtuosos. He became most famous for his series of historical recitals—seven enormous, consecutive concerts covering the history of piano music. Rubinstein played this series throughout Russia and Eastern Europe and in the United States when he toured there.
Although best remembered as a pianist and educator (most notably in the latter as the composition teacher of Tchaikovsky), Rubinstein was also a prolific composer throughout much of his life. He wrote 20 operas, the best known of which is The Demon. He composed many other works, including five piano concertos, six symphonies and many solo piano works along with a substantial output of works for chamber ensemble.
What a thoroughly lanquid day! My project of quietude was interrupted by a conversation with a former client. It is near impossible to resist spouting one’s legal opinion; but resist I must! I attempt not to lapse into that ambiguity of offering one’s view while at the same time objecting to the act. Nor is it sufficient to avoid the blemish to qualify the legal opinion as gratuitous.
A smart espresso coffee reunites me with my vapid purpose. Earlier I entertained myself with a sketch on the electronic piano, drawing upon the varied options and embellishments. It is but a wasteful talent yet it continues to divert. The soul abounds.
The Town is overcome by artistic expression; viz., art shows. At this point of my life museums constitute the primary source for viewing original works of art. All others are retail undertakings and therefore beyond my interest. Sufficiency – like certainty – is a liability in this world. Exhausting one’s appetite is bad for business. But we have to know when, “Enough already!”
Our torpid evening now stretches before us. It is late in the afternoon but the blazing sunshine continues.