P is for playing

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You can play the violin, or you can just play. You can play one person against another. You can play chess. It is instructive to think about how all the work and practice of playing a musical instrument can lead to an ease and abandon that is like that of children playing tag. And on the other hand, the ease and abandon that children experience while playing tag must be weighed against the tension and challenge that they experience at the same time.

K is for Keeping…

  
the music going. We are very fortunate to be members of a homeschool orchestra. Kids and a few parents of all different playing abilities meet at a firehouse to practice under the competent direction of student conductors from Bard College. The orchestra plays music arranged by some of the students, and pieces written by a graduate of the orchestra who is now composing. 

I is for ignoble…

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death.

I slip on my marblized Dansko clogs each morning to trundle out about 50 feet behind my house to feed the chickens. I carefully make my way through the gate into the electrified enclosure, and then even more carefully, pick my way through the curious excited group of birds. I have learned the hard way that it is crucial to avoid any serious misstep as it can result in slow horrible death for the affected bird. After dispensing the food and water just outside the hoop house door, I make my way tentatively inside. I always enter with the greeting, “Is everyone still alive?” This is because our chicken egg farming enterprise doubles as a chicken retirement home. About half of the chickens are on their last legs so to speak. So this morning, the words froze in my mouth, as my eyes fell on the golden feathered corpse of a dead lady resting on the straw covered floor under the roost.

Earlier that morning, I had discovered the gruesome corpse pictured above on our patio, and just to prove that these things happen in threes, there was another only slightly mangled corpse off to the north of the house outside my studio barn. I am afraid the chickens are not bright enough to take these deaths as a clear warning to stay in their electrified enclosure. Alas. But if the death is sudden enough, it may be more merciful than the slower decline they face in the straw.