Back in the City
Arrived at JFK this afternoon, following a fitful plane ride filled with dreams of . . .Aikido, of course. What do you expect with all those fluffy white clouds tumbling outside my window? In my eager use of the JFK WiFi I fixed a double posting, and apparently thereby nixed a comment. Silly Rabbit.
It's cloudy and warm and very green; the thin sheen of sweat on everyone's forehead takes down all that sophistication a notch or two. Spent the evening attempting to listen to Madame Butterfly on the Great Lawn of Central Park with my friend and her mother, but the soaring baritones and orchestra were almost dim amid the sounds of 10,000 plus people chattering, grilling, chewing, and popping open bottle after bottle of wine. And their dogs barking and babies squealing. Our experience of opera in the park was totally impromptu and uninitated, and without the blankets and tubs of food everyone else had brought, we decided to give up about halfway through the second act. Picking our way across dark patches of grass between encampments was like trying to find our way out of a maze and after a while I gave up and stomped on the corners of those blankets that seemed to have the most inconsiderate owners. About three quarters of the way across, something familiar and stirring suddenly reached out across the lawn, and I spun around and held up my hand to my companions. "Wait!" I said, "This is it! This is the Aria." The Soprano sang and sang, and the orchestra swelled, and the crowd quieted just enough, and the only piece of Madame Butterfly I've listened to more than once floated over all of us, perhaps a minute or two in all. Cliched, common, but oh so very classic.