Author: Patti Niehoff

Goldberg Variations

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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 […]

Notice. Enough.


Notice 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 […]

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 […]