Concert Note:
Announcement at Intermission
7 August 2019

¶ At intermissions, I stand up and step out into the aisle, to let past the people further in the row. I am always on the aisle myself. There are several reasons for this, having to do with my size and with the comfort of an easy escape route. The price is that I must remain standing throughout intermission. About halfway through, I head to the men’s room, whether I need to or not, because walking is more agreeable than standing — standing, what’s more, on the slightly raked aisle. The line at the men’s room is usually very long, but it moves quite quickly, and again, even shuffling is preferable to standing. The main thing about waiting until halfway through intermission is that almost everyone except for the gentlemen in the men’s room line is standing still somewhere else; there are no moving crowds to navigate. When I get back to Kathleen (who never budges during intermission), I stand until the others in the row have returned to their seats. There is always someone who doesn’t come until the last minute. I keep an eye on the doors. Once the ushers close them, I know that nobody will be coming back, and I can sit down in peace.

And, as long as I’m sitting, waiting for the orchestra to come out to play Schubert’s Ninth, I can make a couple of announcements. I’ll be taking another break from blogging after the end of next week, for an indefinite period, possibly just the last two weeks of the month but possibly longer. And then I shall be retiring, permanently, either in November, on the fifteenth anniversary of this site (and its predecessors), or in January, on my seventy-second birthday. I’ll be writing about what comes next as these dates approach; I’m still wondering myself. But of daily contributions to a Web site there will be an end, as there will be to regular schedules of any kind.

Blogging has been a great task for me, and I think I can say that I’ve tried it every different whichway. But it has achieved what I never thought of as an obective: it has come to interfere with work on the longer, more considered pieces that writing for The Daily Blague has inspired. That daily exercise, with its not infrequent outputs of a thousand words or more, taught me not so much what I thought as how my thoughts interrelated. In other words, I mastered my own personal curriculum. Now it’s time to write those things out together. Producing readable prose, I find, is a matter not of hours but of weeks, or even months. But the prospect of a solitary pace is cheering. Having always written primarily for the sake of my own understanding, I look forward to the freedom to set it out. 

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