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Category: days of C***mas

Munich, the application‏

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after a period of some indecision – 
the state of my health, an abysmally
low iron count that left me 
uncharacteristically unsteady, near
fainting, which I’d considered to be 
old age instead of something more
chemical, clinical, the distance to 
where we’d be going, time zones, 
jet lag, the difficulty of finding 
appropriate accommodations for 
the one month we’d be there, and 
at a reasonable price, none of which 
was a problem for my mother, 
incidentally, but which rattled only 
myself – it looks like the holiday 
we’ve envisioned will come to pass, 
my mom and I ‘ll be going to Munich 
for both the C***mas and the New 
Year’s holidays, with at least ten 
days on either end 
 
what clinched it was that not only
had my iron leaped from abysmal
to completely ordinary, though my 
thyroid is now acting up, you plug 
one hole, another one pops up, I 
told my doctor, one day the tide 
will roll in, inexorably, I proclaimed
 
showed up, we got for a song, 
something out of Hansel and Gretel, 
which, with the invaluable help of a 
dear friend in Germany, who was born 
in Munich, apparently we’ve managed
 
I am so happy for you, “Ich freue mich 
ja so sehr auf Euch, dass ich gerne helfe, 
damit der Traum wahr wird“, I’d be
happy to help make your dream come 
true, she said, like a very fairy 
godmother
 
we’re waiting on a response to our 
application
 
 
the house is of stone and wood, 
it has a wooden staircase along 
a wall of the living room going
up to a bedroom there under an 
attic roof, where the whole aerie 
is covered in red carpet, just, it 
would seem, what a poet ‘d be 
looking for, I think, take a look
 
downstairs has all the appliances
we’d want, including a wifi
connection, so I can write my stories 
about the art galleries and churches 
and operas and Bavarian dinners out 
we’ll delight in, the epiphanies we’ll 
cross in all that enchantment
 
a very fairy tale, I project, though for 
me it already is one, with me as 
Prince Charming, why not, and my 
mom as Queen of the Magical Realm,
why neither – your dream is what you 
make it
 
 
Richard
 
 
 

 

a coronation anthem – Handel‏

Normans_Bayeux

                      “the Battle of Hastings” –  the Bayeux Tapestry 

                                       ______________________ 

among the ruling entities in our, indeed,
global history, none apart from the Catholic
Church has lasted so long as the English
monarchy, not even the Roman Empire, 
from Julius Caesar in 48 BCE, the year he 
took power, called himself emperor, until
Charlemagne, King of the Franks, who on 
the highly political date of December 25, 
800 CE, and at St Peter’s very Basilica in 
Rome, wrenched power from Leo lllthen 
Pope, and claimed the title of Holy Roman 
Emperor, Protector, thus, of the Church, 
changing thereby the face of Europe, and
burying forever Ancient Rome’s aegis
yes, aegis, protectorate
 
in 1066, once again on the propitious, 
apparently, date of Christmas Day, 
William the Conqueror, after his Norman 
Conquest, and the Battle of Hastings
proclaimed himself first king of England
in London
 
we count from there to Queen Elizabeth ll,
still monarch after all these years
 
here’s a pictorial rundown to the tune of 
England’s musical specialty, the ceremonial, 
one of Handel‘s Coronation Anthems 
commissioned for George ll by his dad, 
George l, for his 1727 coronation, though 
not, this time, on Christmas Day, sung at 
coronations apparently ever since
 
the Priest after the mystic who anointed 
 
long live the Queen, I guess
 
 
Richard

“Christmas Oratorio” – Johann Sebastian Bach‏

"Nativity" - Piero della Francesca

Nativity (1470 – 1475)

Piero della Francesca

__________

on the first day of Christmas, which
is to say December 25, 1734, the first
cantata of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio“,
“The Birth”, was presented at the
Nikolaikirche, or the Church of St
Nicholas
, in Leipzig

it was followed by five other cantatas,
each corresponding to its own
elaboration of the holy event

the Annunciation to the Shepherds, December 26, 1734
the Adoration of the Shepherds, December 27, 1734
the Circumcision – if you can believe it – and Naming of Jesus, January 1, 1735
the Journey of the Magi, January 2, 1735
and the Adoration of the Magi, January 6, 1735

the cantatas are usually played in
groups of three, or in their entirety,
to more easily accommodate too
either long, or short, performances
– the cantatas last only about 25
minutes – though Leipzig, and other
neighbouring communities might
still adhere to their more reverent
original position

an oratorio, of course, is an opera
without sets or costumes, usually
associated with religious services,
and, quite specifically, mostly, with
Bach’s, of whose manifestly prolific
output an astonishing 209 still
survive

a cantata is a work for voice and
instrumentation in several
movements, or contrasting musical
episodes, in Bach’s liturgical ones,
four voices, usually, cover the
ranges, soprano, alto, tenor and
bass, they tell the story, while the
choir stand in for the angels

this performance, conducted by the
eminent Nikolaus Harnoncourt, is
from the Nikolaikirche in Leipzig
itself, the Oratorio‘s very cradle,
its stunning altarpiece, flanked by
two mighty Christmas trees, is
glorious

incidentally the soprano and the
alto voices are taken over here by
cherubs, in the obvious guise of
prepubescents, you can tell by
their missing wings

their more stentorian counterparts,
tenor and bass, are aptly authoritative,
arresting, you’ll feel utterly blessed

here’s the text in English

Richard

psst: merry, incidentally, Christmas

 

“X-masis Coming” – Michael Sowa‏

 "X-masis Coming" - Michael Sowa

X-masis Coming

Michael Sowa

______

last week I interpreted for a man
from Morocco, his French wasn’t
sufficient for him to hold an
interview with his insurance’s
medical examiner, I was the
intermediary

he’d been hit by a truck, a
“camion”, he called it, not at all a
small vehicle, sustained bruises
and chronic pain that significantly
restrained him, he was 63, the
driver, turning right against his
red light, hadn’t seen him

a few days ago on my own way to
the airport, a man got onto the bus
in a wheelchair, found his assigned
place behind the wall of the driver’s
seat, at the next stop another man
got on with a cane and a metal brace
along his lower left limb, and sat on
the bench in front of the first man

jovially the two began to compare
each other’s situation

both had been hit by a car turning
right on a red, neither would ever
walk right again

drive carefully, the one you hit might
be an angel, trumpeting, ironically,
caution to the world

or is it, tragically, irony

see above

Richard