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Magic Flute Musings, Part Two

poster for MF premier in 1791; image accessed via Wikipedia.

Well, folks, it’s all over. My tiny part in this fairly big production is now a thing of the past. It was so much fun! We didn’t have a huge crowd for either performance, but the people who did come were quite enthusiastic. And our small chorus added to the overall effect. Everyone was pretty pleased, I hope. We added to our stock of good will with the Arapahoe Philharmonic. We bonded. We invested time. And we got to hear Mozart’s glorious, glorious music performed by some very talented singers. I’m so glad I stepped up and volunteered to do this. (Be sure to read Laura Vanderkam’s post about her own singing experiences. So fitting that she wrote about that today!)

And now it’s Monday morning, and life has moved on. I came home yesterday at about 6:00 and just vegged out in front of the TV, but that was perfectly okay. This morning I’m up and at ‘em. There’s so much stuff to do! Writing projects. Gardening projects. Getting ready for the big trip to France in three and a half weeks. Getting ready for the final concert of the year for the Chorale. (Do come! It’s going to be such a nice evening!) And just the ongoing business of life. The lovely performance is receding into the past even as these words go onto the page. I reminded myself several times yesterday afternoon to be present, to pay attention, to be in the moment, and I succeeded in doing that at least some of the time. It’s very hard to keep your mind from racing ahead.

But this past week didn’t just include the great Magic Flute experience, with its extra rehearsals and ongoing work at home. Oh no. That would be too easy. It also included the Great Plumbing Project, which I wrote about when it was in its early stages. We could not put anything down the drain for about a week all told. Showers were taken off site. Dishes were very sketchily washed. A portable toilet was installed. (I will spare you the details.) Jan and I were so glad that we went off to the women’s retreat that weekend. I came back a week ago Sunday with the hope that the situation had somehow resolved itself, but no such luck. We thought we were looking at the possibility of at least another week and probably more of living like a great swathe of the world does every single day. But sometimes things turn out better than you expect. A week ago today the plumbers arrived and by afternoon had started digging the trench. By Monday evening they had excavated part of the patio and found the offending root that had wrapped itself completely around part of the pipe and crushed it. On Tuesday they installed the first section of the new watertight heavy-duty PVC stuff and then hooked that first part into the existing clay pipe so that we had plumbing. They had to get that section inspected, then dug up the rest of the old stuff out to the street and replaced that. There was a brief plumbing interruption of a half day or so while they were finishing up, but by Wednesday we were totally back in business. And now? Do I breathe out thankfulness as I step into the shower? Well, no. I should, though.

Hamlet says (in that vastly over-rated play), “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” I really did try to think of the plumbing situation as simply an interesting experience, something that was inconvenient but that we knew was fixable and had an end point. It was a problem to be solved, and we had the resources to do so. It was also a chance to see people doing a job competently, confidently, and good-humoredly. I worry sometimes about the future of work, as indeed do others much more qualified than I to comment on our current situation. But the world will always need plumbers—and auto mechanics (two of which are my nephews), and farmers (several of which are my cousins), and others who work with their hands. (Hey, I work with my hands—I type!) I find myself wondering sometimes about how this whole economy of today’s world works. It seems like a gigantic merry-go-round, which I guess is pretty much correct. I was reminded, as I so often am, of a Lord Peter Wimsey novel, this one Murder Must Advertise, in which Lord Peter takes a position as a copywriter in an advertising agency in order to solve a murder, posing as someone named “Bredon,” a supposed cousin of himself. He’s quite fascinated by the experience, never having paid any attention to advertising in his own life as an extremely rich man: “Where, Bredon asked himself, did the money come from that was to be spent so variously and so lavishly?” That’s the question I ask myself quite often. But perhaps a disquisition on economics will have to wait for another day.

So that’s that. Three cheers for Mozart–and plumbers.

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Magic Flute Musings, Part Two


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