Rain came back to the Pacific Northwest, painting the sky with myriad translucent gray threads. Now that the shiny golden-leaf arcades that adorned the streets are gone we are left with wet brown heaps on the sidewalks. “I like rainy days,” I want to say — but it’s not easy to accept the virtues of grayness that permeates the environment when it’s just started. It always takes time to see the goodness of whatever environment we are unwillingly thrust into. Is it simply a result of habituation, or perhaps acquisition of different perspective that allows us to see the lights in many shades of gray?
Last weekend my husband and I attended the first concert of our city orchestra. We first discussed if we should prioritize golf (we have not played it for a while) over music concert; however, the weather made it easy for us to choose. We played golf for 6 holes in the light rain, and then attended the concert after having dinner at the club restaurant. I initially wondered if the attendance would be poor that evening due to the scheduled televised presidential debate; but my half-hearted concern evaporated after seeing more than 70 % of seats were filled. After all, what we lost by not sitting in front of TV was merely a chance to see an ugly spectacle of two would-be-head of-states’ personal attacks (one is immeasurably more vulgar than the other) “ignoring the democratic tradition of the town-hall-meeting setup” (according to some TV “pundits”).
What I enjoyed most in the concert program was Debussy’s Three Nocturnes. I particularly enjoyed the first movement Nuages because (I believe) it is not often performed in concert halls perhaps due to its diaphanous quality (people tend prefer clear beginning and end). The work was evocative of Impressionists’ works such as Whistler’s Nocturne (supposedly Debussy was inspired by it) or Monet’s Impression, Sunrise in its cumulative effect. It seems to me that Debussy’s Three Nocturnes completed in 1899 was an epochal work that signaled humanity’s new found preoccupation with human inner life and psychoanalysis (Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams was published in 1900). The second movement Fetes, for instance, reminded me of our chaotic and busy dream scenes. I find it interesting that music can convey thoughts and ideas almost as effectively as languages and pictures.