Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Snow's falling again

When I left the house this morning, it was snowing, and it continued to snow all day. It was a day for snow.
In order to catch a film of interest at the Michigan Theater, I left the studio this afternoon early to have ample
time to meet up with other folks watching and maybe a quick cup of earthbrew. However, the bus from
North Campus never came; it was snowing too hard, and the buses were all delayed. After waiting at the
stop for a good twenty-five minutes or so, I decided to go and play the piano at the music building until the
fuss of traffic had subsided and my chances of getting a bus were possibly greater. At this point, of course, I
knew I wouldn't be able to catch the flick. But after looking around the music building for a bit and passing up
many empty practice rooms, I realized that what I really wanted to do was not play the piano but walk in the
snow. Seeing the transit situation as it was, I decided to take advantage of the delayed buses and the
ideal snow to walk back to State Street on Central. Typically, this is considered a long walk. A very long walk.
Typically, traffic moves along the four-lane boulevard with noise and speed like a freeway and the idea of
walking along it is a bleak idea. But because Fuller was at a stand-still, the noise was reduced (with the help
of the snow, too) and the expanses of the lanes on Fuller were filled in with many interesting capsules of
folks listening to the radio or music or pulling at their hair. Walking along Fuller I passed cars at a pace that
must have seemed frustrating to the drivers. I was never passed by a single car--not even close. Many
people decided to make the walk from North Campus this afternoon, they too unable to catch a bus. Indeed,
many buses were snarled in the traffic, full of people that should be walking. Folks who set out from the path
in front of the music building walked along in groups, laughing and musing on the unusual situation. When I
came to the river, I stopped on the bridge and looked over the water. Snow lined the branches of the trees
along the bank and pieces of ice floated down the river. The maudlin eyes through which I viewed it almost
made me sick (HA! that would have really made the snow extra-special), but I couldn't deny that it was
pretty. It made me want to be away from the city, although I must also say that the city is sort of idyllic at
times like this--a town among nature, not hidden or safe from whatever inconveniences we might assign it.
On my way to Central, I walked up the southern ridge of the valley, where the hospital sits. From there,
you can see most of Fuller as well as North Campus, including the hills along the northern ridge where Fuller
Court, etc. cut through. By this time, the sun was perhaps half-set, maybe a bit more. The snow obliterated
the view after a half-mile or thereabouts, so the continuous line of stalled traffic along the entire view of
Fuller eventually faded into headlights and tailights east of North Campus. It was beautiful, particularly with
the privilege to walk along the Arboretum. When I arrived to the Diag, the light had become that purplish
silvery blue that only occurs when it's snowing in the last fifteen minutes of daylight. It's a rare light, but one
that always makes me glad it's winter. Folks are leaving work and school and the city quietly bustles along,
even if the bustling is only in the mild hum of car engines and distant horns in the comatose traffic. The
decision to walk was a very good one. For some sappy reason, I experienced one of the most beautiful
things I have in a long time.

Chanson du installation: J.S. Bach, Sonata for Flute, Harp and Cello in G minor

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

The second day of school

Hwaet! It bothers me immensely that by the second day of the semester, I am burdened with some of the most frivolous work
assigned my entire collegiate run. It's simply work that I only artificially have time for--articificially because I set aside time to
do that work--duped and tricked, forced and extorted into the autonomous commitment to do whatever work assigned despite
its value. I have too much other stuff to be concerned with:

1. I commited to compose an ensemble piece to be played in church but haven't begun
2. I need to work to develop the 50+ rolls of still unprocessed film on my bookshelf
3. My bookshelf contains exactly 51 unread or mostly unread books, many of them too exquisite not to read
4. I have hundreds and hundreds of photographs to scan, burn to CDs, and catalogue
5. I have tens of compositions to finish composing
6. I still haven't read the entire Bible
7. Of all the road trips I have planned, I have taken exactly 3 of 10, only one of them non-local (Boston-NY-Princeton)
8. I have three academic essays to complete and submit for publication
9. A creative writing course to make me eligible for the Hopwoods?: impossible
10. STILL need to write and play violin parts for Dawn's CD, and she doesn't even need me anymore
11. It's been over a year since I began the URC book table, and I need to tend it a second time yet
12. I've lost my chance to apply for a Christian leadership grant for college students: it was my chance to turn roadtripping and
photography into an act of worship with the comfort of subsidization
13. Will I ever get into Detroit to take the 80 rolls of film it depends I take, or to begin the restoration of a townhouse?
14. Business cards and business website for Wield Associates
15. I thought I was going to continue studying Latin and Old English
16. I still haven't recorded my family's oral history
17. How am I going to go to Ireland on the cheap?
18. Spotieotiedopalicious angelage
19. Social science credit independent study?
20. record music with JB
21. write line verse for IV
22. rent a cabin in a UP state park in winter
23. record those of my compositions that I remember before I forget them
24. Write letters to my aunts and uncles on a regular basis
25. the list will continue...

Chanson du installation: about the bitterness of sweetness--Outkast, Da Art of Storytelling (yes, more Outkast)