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Monday, August 29, 2011


I was listening to Nadja play the violin and thinking that it was wonderful that I could enjoy her playing very much even though I have difficulty remembering a melody.

That led me to think of a time I took some classes at Berkeley during the early part of the Vietnam war. I was a freshman, but sharing rooms with a number of Physics graduate students. A married friend of theirs was visiting. I knew he had been riding trains a short distance as a protest against the war.

On this particular visit Doug, the married student said to me, "You know what I did?" I answered, "No."
"I put put all of my son's  toys in the middle of the living room floor and stamped them to Pieces." I knew he meant toys related to violence.

His son was a pre-school child so I asked Doug how he had reacted. Doug said, "He looked up into my face and said, "Are you crazy?"  "Of course I told him that I was.

It was Doug who had broadened my musical interests.

As I continued to listen to the Nadja cd I thought that I had my crazy moments. I remembered a time that I was somewhere in Hispanic America at a well attended violin recital. The soloist was oriental and his first language was neither Spanish nor English.

I found his playing very satisfying. Toward the end I was particularly moved by the feeling he put into the piece. As he finished i came partially to my feet and said, "Once more with feeling!" I have a voice which carries well. I may have interrupted the applause. Ask me what happened.

Before my fellow audience members could mention tar and feathers, the soloist played it again with feeling.

When the house was nearly empty, I found myself standing by my seat. I may have cried a bit. I am sobbing now.

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