— 6:50 AM, November 22 …

As she scans the guest list for the (Whole Foods prepared) meal she’s setting out at two o’clock, she realizes that absolutely everyone – family and friend – (with the exception of Mr UD) is a serious singer. Among the guests are two excellent cantors, two award-winning a cappella singers, a performer with an impressive following on YouTube, etc., etc.


UD‘s parents met when her mother, visiting a Johns Hopkins fraternity house, heard Bach pouring out of a room and pressed open the door. Her father sang in the Hopkins glee club, played piano, loved all music. Her mother also sang, and together they made their children’s lives sing.

How many friends and lovers over the years have told me to tone it down while I tear through rooms warbling? I grew up in a six-person, two-dog Jewish house best understood as actually Italian, with Jewish noise (here’s how we behave on WhisperJets) plus Italian opera. Generations of people have told me I’m loud, and I still don’t get it. Loud is loud; I vocalize above the uproar.


Music is the best means we have of digesting time, wrote Auden, and how can I not be grateful for long meditative exultant time-devouring piano and song?


UD‘s Thanksgiving table.

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