|An earlier - abortive - attempt to link our home|
to the online version of the film festival
involved this dongle-ish device. Don't you
agree it sort of resembles a poisonous snake?
In old age small difficulties get bigger. I drop a spoon while drying-up and curse inordinately. I wear my downstairs glasses upstairs in my study and am irritated. I forget The Guardian voucher and must, in effect, buy the newspaper twice. Also I am left scarred by techno preparation for watching the Borderlines Film Festival online at home. Instead of in village halls, as previously.
More scarred than I imagined. On Monday I’m waiting at my computer for my Skyped singing lesson to start and my stomach churns. I’m scared, as if I were about to face an audience. Worse, I cannot believe music will comfort me.
Betrayed by my body, my mind and my experiences. For more than five years I have progressed as a singer, exhilarated by creating music, triumphant at managing this most difficult art in my eighties. Proof I can adapt. Yet now…
For at least half an hour I bombard V, my teacher, with my doubts. Not a note is sung. V lives alone and has her own problems but she’s dealt with this kind of thing. She listens and talks, but no word of conventional sympathy; nothing futile like “It will be all right”.
The warm-up no longer consists of repeated scales. Instead, six-note songs, often in a minor key, which V improvises and I copy. Some so lovely they ought to be recorded. Then we’re back to a 2018 lesson and Purcell’s glorious EVENING HYMN. Simple sounding, and difficult as hell. But I’ve always embraced it. And V knows it will embrace me.
Hallelujahs ring out. V’s dog, Floss, barks to join in and we laugh about that afterwards. I am calmed and strengthened by:Now. Now that the sun has veiled his light
And bid the world good night...