I’ve been watching prices slowly fall on gas at the local gas stations, and was thinking, “we’ll never see it go below two dollars.” Well, yesterday it was $1.99. I need to think things like that more often, I guess.
The boy was reading something about fast food yesterday, and future inflation, a burger costing $64,000.00 in the future, and I thought, “yes, well, we should be careful how we predict, we really don’t know which way things will be going.”
One of the problems is we always project in the direction we are going, but things don’t move in straight lines that way. There is the pendulum swing, but then again, it never swings over quite the same path it went over before. Similarity and difference. Everything is similar enough to be familiar, but different enough that we don’t really know what it is doing.
So beware those that forecast to surely — they are the ones most likely to be wrong. And look forward to the future — it is the promise that we all have.
A few posts ago I did some night-time shots of Penguin
Park. Today’s post is Penguin Park in the daylight.
I haven’t been there in a long time, my kids are so far beyond this stage now, but I think the merry-go-round featured in some of these pictures is gone now. I know they have removed them from many parks because of “safety” issues. Which is too bad from the fun perspective. I remember having fun on those as a kid, and more recently watching my kids have a whole lot of on them.
There are pictures of the two cousins again in these, having a lot of fun together. Great to see how close they were then, and know they still see each other as family today, even as life takes each of them in different directions.
My post yesterday on my first season at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival got me to thinking about how I ended up singing with Madrigalia Bar Nonne. That brought up thoughts about other musical groups I have sung with, and a lot of colored history floated through my mind.
This type of history isn’t easy to write about. So much of it is constructed memory. Much of the rest of it is close and personal enough, that to share it risks making one seem whiney or self-centered. Some of the comments may seem critical of others, and one shouldn’t, of course, offend others in a public forum.
Yet with all those minefields to traverse, I will still try to paint an honest reflection of the history I am going to recount.
When I first moved to the Kansas City area, my sister-in-law was singing with the Fine Arts Chorale, and invited me to try out and join it. So I did. A year or so later, she ceased singing with the group, but I was still there.
In the tenor section with me was Lee Fenwick. He mentioned that he also sang with Madrigalia Bar Nonne, and would I be interested in trying out. So I did.
For awhile I sang with both groups. It was around the time that we were moving into our first house in 2000 that I decided to leave the Fine Arts Chorale, despite enjoying the music that I got to perform.
We were moving into our first house, and I was shopping around for a piano to buy. I was at a special weekend rehearsal and got talking with the assistant director. While talking I mentioned moving into our first house and trying to find a piano. This led to a half hour conversation, examination of nearby pianos and suggestions for how to select a good one.
The next Tuesday at rehearsal, he made a special announcement about someone moving into their first house and how it might be nice to help them, give them a bottle of wine as a house-warming gift, etc. The person he mentioned wasn’t me.
It wasn’t that I wanted a bottle of wine — it was that I was invisible. It was fine to mention someone else, but to not mention me, after the extended conversation we had had about moving and pianos, showed I was invisible.
At that point I realized I just didn’t fit into the social circle of the Fine Arts Chorale. I fit musically, but socially I was non-existent. And since I wasn’t a social climber, there was no real reason for me to stay and experience that sort of invisibility.
The same year I joined Madrigalia Bar Nonne another person from my neck of the woods, Peggy Chilson, joined. It took a couple of years for us to realize that we grew up in the same area, and had even attended the same church for awhile.
We are both still in Madrigalia, where I fit well, both musically and socially. Peggy joined Fine Arts Chorale and over the years tried to encourage me to join back up again, until the group disbanded recently. I was never able to adequately explain to her why I didn’t go back.I always appreciated and enjoyed the music I got to perform, but even I can eventually tell when I am really not wanted, only a technical, not actual part of the group.
The same year my son was being born, I started singing with Madrigalia Bar Nonne at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival.
That first season was highly demanding. There was the music: learning 24 songs of polyphonic music. There was the costuming: I had to put together my own costume, which I did by actually picking up fabric and sewing most of it myself — with some able help from other group members (mostly Patrick). Then there was learning the lingo, the shtick and the interaction. I think that latter is still ongoing.
I don’t really remember wearing this costume, though looking at it in the pictures I do have memories of making it. Amazing to think that it was 17 seasons ago, and that I am still singing with many of these people, along with the many that have come and gone in our group over the years.
I also see that the family came out — at least we have pictures of Carly here. Nathan being just born, I am not sure if he came out. But if Betsy didn’t come out, who was watching Carly in these pictures? I couldn’t do it and sing at the same time — or did I?
Memory is such an interesting and capricious thing, as Sarah Hoyt showed when she posted these memories of growing up in Portugal.
This past weekend we had a birthday party. Today I will post pictures from the initial birth that spawned that party.
This was the second time I became a father, my first — and only — son. We could have asked to know the gender before he was born, but we chose to be surprised. So it was then that I first knew I had a son.
I think about my dad, and thought about him then. He had raised both my brother and me to be ourselves, not to be him. I realized how much of him he had given me, by not trying to make me in his image, and hoped then, and hope now, that I am giving that same gift to my son, who is now a young man — a young man that I have heard girls call “the man with the luscious hair”.
From the looks of these pictures, he had enough hair back then too.
(Part of a series singing through the hymnbook I grew up with: Great Hymns of the Faith)
While this is one of my favorite songs, it is one of my least favorite to play. The tune can be used as the doxology, and whenever I am substitute organist, I keep praying they choose the other doxology tune instead of this one. All those runs aren’t easy to play — especially when singing too. So excuse the simplified accompaniment.
One of the fun places in Kansas City North is Penguin Park. We spent quite a few fun hours over the years. Actually it is amazing that we didn’t spend more. It is easy to not make the time to run to the park.
But on the occasion in these pictures, apparently we did. This was while we were still living in Kearney, so I’m not sure why we would have been down around the park at night, in the dark. But we were. And we weren’t quite alone, either.
(Note: I’ve posted comments and summaries of the texts of several books that I have had in my Master’s in Communications degree. This isn’t one of them, though it is by one the professors I have had for said degree. But it is the book I have most enjoyed reading from that academic background. I am sharing my own perspective on the book, and doubtless have missed much of the scholarly point and may even have misunderstood some of it. For the scholarly among you, I apologize for that. For the rest of you, I encourage you to read more deeply than you usually do with my “scholarly” reviews. This one is more fun, and more worth it.)
CODA: Between Dreams and Nightmares of “the Other”: Rural Michoacan in the Summer of 2013
And so he ends with a story. This is more a montage of his visit to the region in 2013, after a six-year gap. Now the story of the region has changed. Violence and the drug wars are what people hear about. It has made the art and tourist markets more difficult. Xavier and his family are still managing, in more tight straights, but they are fortunate ones that still survive.
It is a mixture of images that shows again the fluidity of the creating of identity, and of their striving to craft their own, as they craft their own masks.
It is an end that isn’t an end, but a reflection to the future.