The snows that swept up over New England today allowed a mid-afternoon walk through the cemetery near our house. They allowed some moments of conscious praying in that place. They allowed some opportunities of speaking out loud into the cold air around me. They even allowed taking a photograph with my cell phone.
After returning home and shoveling the front walks, I indulged in a short nap in the chair in our library. Awake, I hunted in the CD cabinet in our living room and found the recording I had seen earlier in the week, a 1951 recording of La Bohème that I had not listened to in a long time. Nineteenth-century Paris in the language of Puccini – it fit the week I had just finished.
Through the wooden blinds the late afternoon snow created a light in the living room that I could not violate with a lamp. Bohemian Paris in the winter of 1830 demanded an appropriate setting. A votive candle, maybe. One cat settled on the folded blanket on the sofa back behind me; the other settled at my feet.
The mood in the room for the next two hours was gentle, sentimental, reflective, lyrical.
Solitary and tender, the experience fed my heart, fed my dreams.
Photo of London CD of La Bohème with Renata Tebaldi