Housekeeping Note :Determined


This summer, I tell myself. This summer, I’m making some big changes!

In my mind, two completely distinct but not incompatible ideas of summer overlap, and yet the combination, if my track record is any indication, proves to be inert. When fall rolls around, I haven’t made any big changes. A few salutary fixes, perhaps. Perhaps even an entirely new blog platform: that’s what happened last August. But I didn’t do any of the work on that. In fact, I don’t know what I did last summer.

Here are the two ideas of summer that I’ve got in mind: first, the American child’s commonplace: the summer untrammeled. Going to bed late, after dark and long after bedtime. Running round during the day. A life of no consequences.

Second: Brahms at Bad Ischl. The busy man of music retires to an Alpine resort in order to compose great symphonies, quartets, Francophobic odes &c, work that would be impossible during the Viennese fracas of teaching pupils, directing women’s choirs, and undermining Hanslick. I have the sense to know that moving me to an Alpine resort would simply open up a three-month distraction. The only way for me to play the game of “Bad Ischl” is to stay at home in the apartment, and order in from Schaller & Weber.

Because it’s summer — the promise of personal growth breathes — the day-to-day can be overlooked, the short-term short-sheeted. Post less often. Resist e-mail. Play desert island. As if!