Felsenmusick - The Weblog of Daniel Felsenfeld
The Web Log of a Certain Daniel Felsenfeld: Composer, critic, avid reader, aspiring
bon vivant, capricorn, shadowy figure, advice for the lovelorn

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Going Through the Boxes

I've spent the last few days going through some old papers. For months now the papers in the closet--a stack of old sketches and scores, memorabilia, letters, etc.--threatened to overwhelm. So I've started the paging through, and am shocked at a few things I find. For one, I find pieces I don't remember writing, or just barely remember: a flute concerto called New York Panels (unfinished, but not by much), about six songs (settings of, of all things, Shel Silverstein), a few piano pieces, the start of two different operas, a prelude for chamber orchestra, an organ piece, and a huge setting (illegal; unfinished) of T.S. Eliot's "Rhapsody on a Windy Night" (this one rattled around in my head for years). I wonder what to do with these things: save them? Burn them? Cast them into the river? Bank them for ideas?

It is remarkable, for someone who feels so un-prolific, to see these towering stacks. So many hours, so much pain and sacrifice, so many tears and false starts. The sum total of my life--the last twist of the knife (?)

For now, I just enjoy the non memories.


Blogger Elaine Fine said...

That's the strange thing about the passage of time. I have had the same experience: it is pretty daunting the things that we don't remember. I have also had the experience of mis-remembering things, and holding an inappropriate set of feelings with me for decades. This is one of the reasons that autobiography is so often fiction. The stuff in the box isn't going to change over time, but we (hopefully and thankfully) do.

I'd just put that box back in the closet and leave it for someone else to ponder. Or maybe when you are really old some of those long-range memories will be called back by something you can't remember now.

7:46 AM  

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