[This is a reprint from my second book, “Something Curious, Book 2: Simply Awed (expressions in poems, vignettes and dreams)” published in late 2016. It’s a contemplative piece that aims to remind how one’s perspective defines the significance of the moment or of the day. Trivial mundane things pale against what’s important, or what really matters. In my article, I share that it took a young little boy (my grandson) to remind his Lola (Grandma, and that’s me) that her propensity for trivia veils the proper curiosity for matters more important. The upshot is, it was “fun” to ask. In concurrence with the general theme of the book, my article is clinched with a reflection.]
Our grandson is a bundle of delight. When he started kindergarten two years ago, we, his Lolo and Lola (Grandpa and Grandma) were all curiosity to know how he felt about school and the activities he experienced. With little control and all interest, I bombarded this little kid with questions which he either answered forthrightly, or refused to answer. The latter happened when my questions tended to be trivial and perhaps unnecessary. I’m the grandma who clings to every word my grandson utters. His words are music to my eager ears. But I admit, my questions then bordered between silly and obvious. To such inquiries, my perceptive grandson responded, “Does it matter? It doesn’t really matter.” A very adult-like comment from a 5-year old.
Common cliché is “music is the language of the soul.” I dare say that it’s more than that – it triggers memories dear to your soul. Have you ever wondered what music does to you? I’ll tell you what it does to me.
I enjoy music of any genre, as long as there’s captivating melody and, if with lyrics, the words make sense. Good music to me is like eating good food. It satisfies.
When I take a break from computer work at home, I sit listening to classical music on the TV arts channel or PBS. I take delight in Chopin, Mozart, Schubert, Saint Saenz, Vivaldi, Bach or Beethoven. Relaxed listening is perfect respite from work. But when Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite comes on and “Dance of the Flowers” is played, I jump to my feet to render waltz moves, swings and sways with ballet-like lifts congruent with the movement. My mind then drifts back to my college years when I was part of a dance troupe that performed the lively interpretation of the piece. The dancers were decked in flowery costumes aimed to represent different colorful blooms. I was a sunflower, perked up by the vivacious harmony of wind and strings from the school orchestra. A lovely stage experience that I re-live over and over again, with Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece.
Flowers and music – they make me dance! (Photos by Monette C. Valencia and Nikki Gordoncillo Arellano)
Music and fine dining – a fabulous mix. That was a marvelous treat from a lovely couple, Linda and Dan, who invited me for outdoor dining at La Boheme in Palo Alto, California this week. I hadn’t gone out much in the evenings during the pandemic times, except for the August weekend in Monterey with my son and his family, and dinner with my sister and her family at a Filipino restaurant in Milpitas. So, that night was an exhilarating break for me. To boot were professional performers who sang opera, Neapolitan and Broadway numbers with vibrant accordion accompaniment. Strong tenor and soprano voices pierced the mildly cool night air – and jubilantly rang out for the benefit of neighboring outdoor diners for sure. I couldn’t resist mouthing some of the lyrics I knew, short of volunteering to go up front. Much to my delight, the lady at the table to my right was softly crooning as well.
Seated under a canopy with subdued lights beamed from nearby street lamps was like basking in the moonlight. The atmosphere and surroundings were exquisite.
Superb climax of the dinner – rich chocolate fondant and mousse (Photo by Linda L. Yasukawa)