A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Bach's Suite For Cello In D Minor Revisited
Thursday, February 07, 2013



Mstislav Rostropovich
Today I went to see my urologist Ercole Franco Leone. I arrived early with one purpose which was to look through the pile of magazines in the reception room. I hoped to find the latest copy of the Malahat Review.

Why was I looking for it? Read here

But there was no Malahat Review and I contented myself with reading, a Vancouver Public Library book that I had brought,  The Bookseller – The First Hugo Martson Novel by Mark Pryor. It is a terrific tale about the American Embassy in Paris security head, Hugo Marston who gets involved with a countess’s daughter and a kidnapped bouquiniste [look it up!].

Dr. Leone is the kind of doctor who could have an ancillary career as a person able to expertly talk down someone about to jump from a high bridge. In fact I would buy a used car from him. But the idea of shaking on it is not all that pleasant a thought, after all this man is an urologist who mainly sees older men who have problems with their prostate. I will not go any further and I am sure you can all figure it out.

I explained to Dr. Leone (who was amused) that I had owned a brand new Volkswagen Beetle in the early 70s in Mexico City. I had it serviced at one of the many VW dealerships of the city that were always fronted by a tall German in a white doctor’s coat (with a demeanor similar to Dr. Leone’s) who would give me the keys to my car after it had been serviced. He would proudly show me a perforated IBM style computer sheet (VW was early in the use of computerized engine diagnostic) that had a graph with four parabolas. They all shot up. I knew that eventually one or two would begin to plummet. This was a sign of the lowering of cylinder compression which to anybody who might know just a bit about car mechanics is the sorry lapse into what ends up as an expensive ring job.

I told Dr. Leone that I felt like an old VW and that all four cylinders were now in plummeting mode and that I could not expect a ring job or the equivalent of an n engine rebuild. I told him I was prepared to live with my decline as long as he kept the plumbing in some sort of working order. It seems that this is a possibility. I will not suffer the fate of my idol English writer J.G. Ballard who died of prostate cancer not too long ago. But that pesky prostate will surround that little tube that leads to my you know what and it will pinch it and pressure (a ring job?) will diminish.

Up until now the idea of visiting the powder room three or four times at night is a pleasant experience. I am able to go back to sleep no problem. One of the pleasures of sleeping is certainly not sleeping. If you never wake up the pleasure is not there. Some people call that concept rest in perpetuity.

In my situation I get that nice about to fall asleep feeling many times and then I do wake up. But expect that soon I might not be able to return to sleep every time. I told Dr. Leone of this concern.

I left his office with my dignity ever so slightly diminished by the complete examination. I knew I would want to get home as soon as I could. I wanted to re-read Lorna Crozier’s poem from that Malahat Review:

On Bach's Cello Suite NoO. 2 In D Minor

Prelude


Lacking the violin’s higher reasoning,
its closeness to the mind, the cello
without touching, knows the lower body
best, the shame and glory of the belly,
the bowels, the inner thighs,
the sweat and stain of things, holy and otherwise,
—this, the cello’s music, the dark vibratos,
the pitch and muscle of their sounds.

Lorna Crozier






     

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8/7/16 - 8/14/16

8/14/16 - 8/21/16

8/21/16 - 8/28/16

8/28/16 - 9/4/16

9/4/16 - 9/11/16

9/11/16 - 9/18/16

9/18/16 - 9/25/16

9/25/16 - 10/2/16

10/2/16 - 10/9/16

10/9/16 - 10/16/16

10/16/16 - 10/23/16

10/23/16 - 10/30/16

10/30/16 - 11/6/16

11/6/16 - 11/13/16

11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16

12/11/16 - 12/18/16

12/18/16 - 12/25/16

12/25/16 - 1/1/17

1/1/17 - 1/8/17

1/8/17 - 1/15/17

1/15/17 - 1/22/17

1/22/17 - 1/29/17

1/29/17 - 2/5/17

2/5/17 - 2/12/17

2/12/17 - 2/19/17

2/19/17 - 2/26/17

2/26/17 - 3/5/17

3/5/17 - 3/12/17

3/12/17 - 3/19/17

3/19/17 - 3/26/17

3/26/17 - 4/2/17

4/2/17 - 4/9/17

4/9/17 - 4/16/17

4/16/17 - 4/23/17

4/23/17 - 4/30/17

4/30/17 - 5/7/17

5/7/17 - 5/14/17

5/14/17 - 5/21/17

5/21/17 - 5/28/17

5/28/17 - 6/4/17

6/4/17 - 6/11/17

6/11/17 - 6/18/17

6/18/17 - 6/25/17

6/25/17 - 7/2/17

7/2/17 - 7/9/17

7/9/17 - 7/16/17

7/16/17 - 7/23/17

7/23/17 - 7/30/17

7/30/17 - 8/6/17

8/6/17 - 8/13/17

8/13/17 - 8/20/17

8/20/17 - 8/27/17

8/27/17 - 9/3/17

9/3/17 - 9/10/17

9/10/17 - 9/17/17

9/17/17 - 9/24/17

9/24/17 - 10/1/17

10/1/17 - 10/8/17

10/8/17 - 10/15/17

10/15/17 - 10/22/17

10/22/17 - 10/29/17

10/29/17 - 11/5/17

11/5/17 - 11/12/17

11/12/17 - 11/19/17