Sunday, January 20, 2013

What resonates and remains

In a fit of silly curiosity, I asked Google, "What makes On Green Dolphin Street a jazz standard?  I found myself here.  When you click on the Songs link, you'll discover it is ranked #25.  Click there and be taken to learn all you may ever have wanted to know about the song, the movie in which it was first heard and so much more.  I don't read music, play an instrument, compose or really know what makes a composition endure and I think the water was too deep for me.  Too much information (for me), however, takes nothing away from the tune or this interpretation of it.

A rhetorical question, asking myself for an opinion:  what gives anything - creative work, toy, lipstick color, fragrance, any object, the ability to endure?  The short and simple answer, the very personal answer, is we love what we love.  Books we never want to see go out of print - and hunt them down if they do, easier than it used to be.  The same for a favorite pen or brand and color of socks or frozen chicken pie.  Claim Jumper still markets its frozen dessert pies but the chicken pie has faded into memory.  Which is more about preference and not about timelessness.  My son discovered that the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Charles Dickens are both available for free downloading.  I have spent a lifetime rereading Dickens and, happily, forget some of the plot points so it all stays fresh.  The characters, the names, the writing.  What a bonanza.

I was thinking this week, apropos of a conversation with a friend about turning to favorite childhood books for the wisdom and friendship they offered, of reading some of the Oz books I never got around to and going back to those I did read.  I thought of all that passes through our lives, how much of it resonates and remains, how we are, at least in part, formed by the way we ingest and process it, convert it to material for the building of a self.  These are early, scarcely explored musings, just the beginnings of seeing each of us as an amalgam of all things.  A reminder to choose carefully that to which we give our time and attention.

8 comments:

Radish King said...

I am a constant and terribly loyal rereader. I have worn the same perfume for thirty years. I put down little roots when I can.love this post.
xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Rebecca - Thank you. I need to look in the treasure chest and see what we have for such a constant and terribly loyal reader. This theme has really got a hold on me. Do you, too, see us a being held together by the little roots? I know the resonance of things is part of it. So glad for your company. xo

Erin in Morro Bay said...

"On Green Dolphin Street" one of my big numbers back in my all girl jazz band days! And Dickens - ever fresh no matter how many re-reads. Excellent post!
Erin

T. Clear said...

An Oz book is a sure cure-all.

So much here to ponder and to carry with me through this week, to call up in quiet moments.

susan t. landry said...

the things we love, the music, the books, are touchstones, reminders of the threads that are still discernible in the complex textile of identity that the years have woven.
when i think of the oz books, i remember whichever one it was that depicted lunch pails growing on trees. my child-self was delighted with that idea; my almost-65-year-old self is still completely delighted with that idea!

Marylinn Kelly said...

Erin - Thank you. I would so love to have heard your all girl jazz band. Yours is a most vibrant resume. xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

T. - I am still thinking about it all. Challenging when information arrives as feeling and one has to go looking for the words. Of the ones I read, I think "Ozma of Oz" was my favorite (see Susan's comment below, I also loved the lunch pails). xo

Marylinn Kelly said...

Susan - Many of the Oz images remain. Ozma's heads, the lunch pails (in the 70s I found an old, handled lard tin that looked just like them), the storm-tossed chicken coop, Tik-Tok. Does it take us, or some of us, a long time to appreciate and examine that textile of identity? It seems so to me, as though discovering myself anew each day. xo