Goldberg Variations

Leave a comment

The 1955 version

Glenn Gould is sitting in my head now, getting through Bach’s music with a dexterity that I did not know that a person could have. I believe that they were written to help a rich man fall asleep. The net is too slow for me to verify this immediately. The workings of Gould’s fingers tangle up my mind.

It is appropriate that I write to this — trying to make sense of my own words and of the chaos in somebody else’s life.

And yes, finished the walk!



Officer Darren Wilson’s story is unbelievable. Literally. – Vox

Current Affairs / Link

Officer Darren Wilson’s story is unbelievable. Literally. – Vox.

How #Ferguson showed us the truth about police

Current Affairs

Notice. Enough.



A notice two days ago that a friend had just died. A need on my part to work her memory and her passing into whatever word presents itself to me. Remembering how she radiated energy into a whole room full of people, a smile that was impossible not to notice. Notice how things can go wrong, and go wrong fast. Notice how much time I have not got left either — I could have another fifty years and it’s still not enough. Notice bits and pieces of the time as it flashes by and try to will it more important and I don’t think I can and I wonder if it will ever be enough.

I Nearly Died. So What? –


Crises, by definition, are chaotic. They don’t always impart lessons and, contrary to what we like to tell ourselves, they’re just as likely to bring out the worst in people as the best. But the redemption narrative, along with its corollary, the recovery narrative, is so beloved in our culture that even rational people tend to glom onto it — if only for the sake of making polite conversation. Equal parts bedtime story, love story and horror story, it’s a perfect example of the American preference for sentimentality and neat endings over honesty and authenticity.

The problem is, it’s also perfectly designed for making us feel like failures — to ourselves, to our loved ones, at life in general. And, ironically, the more we care about the chief sufferer in the crisis, the more we’re apt to try to impel that sufferer into making sense out of it for the sake of soothing our own nerves. By expecting my mother to deliver some kind of grand epiphany on her deathbed, I was really asking her to make the unfairness of her death somehow seem more just. By expecting me to become a better person after my own brush with death, my friends were really saying that they hoped I hadn’t scared the bejesus out of them for nothing.

They needn’t have worried. I’m not a better person. I’m the same person. Which is actually kind of a miracle.

Meghan Daum
via I Nearly Died. So What? –

What people say in #Cincinnati

art, etc.