Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Auntie Marian

I have to talk about my life. My life seems to be the hardest thing to talk about sometimes though. It often seems uneventful and boring. And quite possibly that’s true.

But the truest truth is that the days where there is so much to talk about are the days that I want least to talk about them.

I never feel I can give the moments their weight and proper justice. Life is a movie—a painting, a still frame, a soundtrack. Life is hard to hold.

With that drawn out entry point I must point out that I recently lost my great-aunt Marian. She was a wonderful woman. I don’t know what to say about this loss.

It happened suddenly although we knew it was going to happen. It was unfair somehow.

I suppose there is always something unfair about death.

I have been listening to the free album previews on NPR. They get albums in before they are ever out. And I get to hear some phenomenal albums.

The latest that I have fallen in love with is Regina Spektor’s new album “What We Saw from the Cheap Seats.” It is as if she is performing in front of friends giving them her favorite secret songs. I can almost hear her chilling out with friends in between tracks, talking about love, life, and death.

The big three. And she puts them into her music quietly, letting the music color in the words. A soft pastel.

Her fingers deftly take on the keys of the piano, finding the minor chords to remind us that life has a darkness to it. She never forgets the majors though; the rising history of man from Greek myth through the Baroque; from the subway to the bright light of day; the indigent masses to the shining city on the hill.

And vocally she complements her soft key strokes with confidence and control. In her living room concert she gasps for air in one song and in the next she coyly smiles at us; letting us hear and feel the vastness of life in the compactness of a woman, her voice, and a piano.

This is an album of loss. And like all loss; there are always people left behind. Left behind with sadness and the magnitude of the moment when something was taken. Yet those left must move on. They must move on in the deafening silence.

I will miss Auntie Marian.