Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Ghosts of Memory Writing + Audition Time

After I read my piece entitled, "Today, Savtah Speaks," to a 10 year old girl, the father asked, "Is that all true?"
"Yes," I said.
"So how do you remember all those details about your Savtah?"
"It's part of my memory and I how I see those things. I'm sure if you gave yourself the time, you'll remember sentimental memories - smell, taste, touch, sight, etc."


What we remember from childhood we remember forever - permanent ghosts, stamped, inked, imprinted, eternally seen. ~Cynthia Ozick

Later I thought about the father's point. If we don't remember, we think we might have forgotten what our mothers said, the way our fathers look when we were ten; those memories are always there - just buried in the lavender of a linen closet or bedsheets.

The more detailed my memory, the more "truthful" and deeper my impression on the "memory writing." As as if, I'm almost close to G-d.

It just takes one little trigger to make them come alive.

And here it is:


It was Saturday morning. I had arrived late - too late to my liking to hear my son practice with his piano teacher - one on one. Standing outside the small practice room, I suddenly heard a voice. Could it be? After all these years? No, it couldn't be.

It was the hit song, "More" from the musical, "Mondo Cane."

I thought it was just "my song" and how glad I am to hear there are others who enjoy it too.


I am 13 years old practicing for my audition for the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School in NYC (behind Lincoln Center) for the Performing Arts in vocal performance.

My mom is my accompanist. She doesn't look at me, only the notes on the sheet music. As I reach the higher notes, I channel the passion through the words-

"Will be in your keeping, waking, sleeping, laughing, weeping..."
She raises her eyebrows in approval.

The notes are high, but not too high for my range and I use a gentle timbre to accentuate the high floating melody.

Mom nods again in approval. I want her to give me a verbal acknowledgement like an emphatic "yes," but I guess this nod will have to do.


I lean against the door, watching my son look at the sheet music, moving to the beat of the rhythms and all the while, I can tell he is making sure he uses the right fingers for each note under the teacher's watchful eye.

But I'm in deep reverie listening to the piece; it's as if my mom has come to life again. How relieved I am to know that my mom has been gone for long.. In fact, she was right here, in my musical soul and heart, all the time.

I guess that is where I'll find the ghosts of memory writing - where classical music can be found.

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