At a City Park.
A sudden rustle and scramble of dried leaves. Squirrels dart from the ground cover and chase one another up a tree trunk for acrobatics in the bare limbs.
At the amphitheater two young men are fencing. One is a teacher. Movements are graceful and performed in slow motion. They repeat a sequence twice. The sight is worth the pause in the hike.
At the baseball diamond a batter stands alert. A catcher behind him is staring at the ground. The pitcher becomes a fielder, one of four, two boys and two girls, who catch or scramble after popped balls. Close by two women with a large dog sit, talk, and watch.
I look across the park to see a large elementary school on a hill. It is an imposing but friendly looking building in red brick. There is a one-story building with a long two-story wing to one side. With its cyan roof, it stands as a beacon for the neighborhood.
As I walk up a hill, a young runner with a closely trimmed beard smiles and waves as we meet. He is dressed in a purple jogging outfit. I note his lightness and energy.
These cool, party sunny days of mid-January are among my favorite days. I admire the bare architecture of deciduous trees. Looking up I see squirrel nests and mistletoe. Evergreens have no competition now, and the holly tree stops me so that I can admire it.
The Chamber Music Concert.
The music department faculty at the UNC School of the Arts performed Prokofiev’s Quintet in G Minor, Op. 39, the six movements evoking a circus; contemporary composer Tison Street’s beautiful, melodic Adagio in E-Flat Major for Oboe and Strings; and the original suite of Copland’s Appalachian Spring, from which the famous orchestral suite is taken.
I particularly enjoyed the use of the piano, not as a solo instrument, but as the sole percussive instrument in the Copland.
Best realization: that a faculty could perform together. Perhaps there could be an English faculty presenting dramatic readings, a history faculty debating, a science faculty explaining relationships of a concept.
Notes on Reading. Nonfiction.
Andrew McConnell Scott, The Poet and the Vampyre: The Curse of Byron and the Birth of Literature’s Greatest Monsters. Pegasus, 2014.
This interesting book concerns the travels in Europe of Lord Byron, the Shelleys, and the people associated with them, including Byron’s young doctor, John Polidori, who wrote The Vampyre. We read of the jealousy, obsessive passion, madness, and rivalry that often surround celebrity. There are extensive notes of documentation, a useful index, and thirty illustrations of places and people.