Gifts and Such


I’ve been stuck in college for such a long time that I’ve finally run out of music. Last week I went back to 2000 and the Bs of my iTunes archive. I’ve circled back to Badly Drawn Boy.

I obviously have a terrible memory since it’s not like I’ve stopped listening to him. Something about this time of year makes me nostalgic about Badly Drawn Boy. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s summer/winter and I’m studying. I’m never not studying though, and when The Hour of Bewilderbeast came out I probably didn’t think I’d be on this side of thirty and still scheduling registration deadlines.

The first time I applied to grad school, over ten years ago actually, I had a plan for what my dissertation period would look like. I would procure a caramel Chow Chow and a cello. Taking my pup to the nearby dog park would force me to socialize and learning the cello would give me a hobby. My goal was to learn the intro to “The Shining” by the time I defended my dissertation.

Like most stupid plans we make on that end of twenty none of that happened. But now the song sticks for another reason. For the past 2.5 years I’ve been reading a lot about hospitality and gifts. As an art historian these aren’t terms one comes across frequently and I never really knew what to do with them. Okay, so my architects are generous.

But it’s more than that. They’re grateful. And they show this appreciation by giving gifts of architecture. It’s the same philosophy of awareness, openness, and kindness that “The Shining” has been reverberating in my unconscious for over a decade.

Maybe my world has become so small that something I’m interested in is inevitably connected to another thing I’m interested in, with myself as the uniting bit. But there’s something about the layering of time that makes even the familiar magnificent. This is probably why I like covers so much and why I usually order the same few dishes all the time.

Regardless, it’s invigorating and moving to watch these kids experience this song.

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