Saturday, September 17, 2005

There's No Place ...

Pliable offers more paths to important performances and astonishing productions ...

And while I was considering Edinburgh last night, McCoy Tyner was coaxing his Steinway into an ecstatic jangle in my living room ... a state of confident grace there on my television, raising money for New Orleans.

Danny Glover arrived to speak eloquently on Katrina:

"She has revealed a poverty of imagination ..."

Jessica Duchen writes a post about the marvels and the thrill of the Eternal City

and she imagines that Dorothy must have actually said

"There's no place like Rome."

It brought on a brutally tender memory of Judy Garland. My father loved her deeply as a friend, and as her agent near the end of her life. They had marvelous, hilarious times together. I was about nine years old when he brought me to New Jersey to see her perform (she collapsed on stage that night). Earlier, in her hotel suite, I remember playing for her on an upright piano. It was Ellfenreich's little "Spinning Song", a piece that has entered the lives of so many little pianists. I sat down next to her when I was done, and she took my face into her hands with a passionate, surprising suddenness, and kissed me on the mouth. When we went out to the Boardwalk, passing through crowds of admirers, I remember her telling people that I was her daughter. Now that I'm older, I'm able to imagine the loneliness that must have shadowed her all the time. Except from the stage. And that must have been where she found the life-saving intimacy that we all need.

Looking into the living room at McCoy Tyner, I thought I saw it there, too.

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