We are back in LA, arriving about thirty minutes ago. It’s 9:25 pm. I had students until 6:45 pm and we left about a half an hour later. But we had to stop for gas and then navigate the traffic, which is getting thicker everyday as more people get back on the roads. All restrictions are due to be lifted for California by June 15th. I suppose that might change, depending on variants and any pockets where there are flare-ups. I am cautious about the state re-opening. After a year of holing up, it’s a bit hard to shift to feeling safe again. I guess we’ll see as time passes. I suspect l’ll feel braver as I see the numbers remain low. That will be a very happy day.
When I returned home, I saw that the Oliver Sacks book entitled Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain had arrived. My hometown friend, Beth Roe, recommended it to me after reading my post a few days back on musical hallucinations. I am extremely excited to read what Oliver Sacks has to say. I find him fascinating in his own right – apart from this book – because I’ve read that he was an incessant journal keeper, including writing his thoughts on the back of envelopes and napkins when his journal was unavailable. He wrote, “My journals are not written for others, nor do I usually look at them myself, but they are a special, indispensable form of talking to myself.” I feel the same way about my journals, which are a respectable stack at this point. I rarely read them, but know they have been critical in providing a place where I could pour out my worries, preoccupations, thoughts and feelings.
One blurb on the cover of Musicophilia from the New York Times reads, “Powerful and compassionate…A book that not only contributes to our understanding of the elusive magic of music but also illuminates the strange workings, and misfirings, of the human mind.”
The table of contents shows that the book is divided into four sections: 1) “Haunted by Music,” 2) “A Range of Musicality,”3) “Memory, Movement and Music” and 4) “Emotion, Identity, and Music.” Under each section are 7 or 8 stories, which illuminate a specific point related to music, neuroscience and human experience.
Like I say, I can’t wait to read it. I’ll share along the way when I find stories that are particularly striking to me.
It seems appropriate to end with a famous quote by Sacks. I think the one below is perfect, particularly since I just returned from an orange grove!