Sunday, April 3, 2016

Arts and Lungs

Red Boat
Pastel by Older Daughter

Lake Scene
Pastel by Older Daughter
I have a nasty cough.  I now know that one cough drop can almost last through the entire first two movements of Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2, as played by Emanuel Ax. Yes, that was me you heard, hacking uncontrollably during the symphony concert.  I tried to suppress it, which only made me cry involuntarily and uncontrollably instead.  I had to break my own rule about not making an unnecessary motion during the performance, and leave between the third and fourth movements so the rest of you could properly hear the cadenzas and the part with the cello and all.

Emanuel Ax!  He played brilliantly.  He would look up while the orchestra played their part, as if to say, “I love hearing you all play.  You have my rapt attention.  Oooh, I like what you did there, violins!  Nice crisp notes there in the brass!  Go for it, percussion!” And then he would turn back to the piano and execute his phrases faultlessly, attacking or gliding effortlessly across the keys.  He looked like he was genuinely enjoying himself, even though you know it had to be the 8,145th time he was playing that music.

My lungs calmed down after intermission.  The second half of the concert was chorus + orchestra, and it was excellent.  My favorite was Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, which I had not heard before.  They also performed “O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana.  It’s possible to cough during that one and not be heard at all.  Just time your coughing fit for when the timpanist starts in.

And again with the cough at the opera the next night.  It was so bad at the opera that I had to leave the hall for the entire second act and read my book sitting outside the bathrooms in the opera hall basement.  Opera is my husband’s favorite, but not mine, so I wasn’t dreadfully disappointed, but this opera – Rossini’s Barber of Seville – looked like it would be amusing if I had been able to stay and watch.

I went through an entire bag of cough drops in one day.  And numerous doses of other medicines, gallons of herbal tea, water, soup, and prayer.  Waiting for something to work. 

So while I am going to get another dose of my friend dextromethorphan, I bring you this visual art drawn by Older Daughter.  She received pastel drawing sticks at Christmas and within an hour had drawn all of these, while we were sitting around chatting. 

Without further ado, I present:

Some of the Family as Star Wars Characters: Pastels

Dad Windu

Don't I look Imperial?

The artist's brother as The Hutt

The Artist herself, portrayed as a Wookie

A Stormtrooper Cousin


smalltownme said...

Beautiful art, and I can empathize with the coughing, having been there myself last month.

jj said...

Dexter Methorphane! I think I went to school with him!

Cassi said...

Amazing art :-) She is so talented. I'm really sorry about your cold, though!

Patience_Crabstick said...

Your children are so talented! I'm sorry about your cough. It is really hard to suppress a cough when silence is required.

Angie said...

So sorry about the cough. I know how frustrating that can be. Is pollen the culprit? I've been sinusy myself. Oak trees, here. Love the artwork!

The Crislers said...

Your daughter has such talent! And that awful, trying-to-hold-back-a-cough feeling is the WORST, I'm so sorry it's coincided with all those quiet places. I wish you many days ahead with no place to be, where you can hack to your heart's content. Also that your cough would get better.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I swear, having a cough when you're supposed to be quiet always makes it worse. I hope you are on the mend by now.
Those Star Wars portraits are pretty terrific. I especially like how imperious you look.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

She's got talent!
And yes, the more you focus on not coughing, the worse it seems. I hope you are feeling better now.

My book group read Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett, and the Q&A with the author at the back of the book tells how she learned to like opera.